I am a seventh-generation Midcoast Mainer, on both sides of my family. My mother's family were the Cries, of Criehaven, Crie Hardware, etc in the Rockland/Thomaston area. My father's family had a house full of sea chests, sailors' gear and even a model ship built by my great-great grandfather, Captain Henry Atherton Starrett, who sailed cargo ships around the world and later based his family in Belfast. It's in me blood. BUT... I've lived in many other places, including Vermont, Montana, overseas, in a major city....all (gasp) inland. I can barely tie a bowline. I get on the water quite often, but it's photography, not sailing proficiency, that gets me there. The need for the smell of salt in the air and the nuances of wind, weather and light have stayed with me. But the skills and traditions are disappearing, even from families like mine. The windjammers are mainly a tourist-based industry now and so is the Camden Windjammer Festival. It's a small part of the culture here which supports all the ways we connect to the mountains meeting the sea. Many thanks to those who work so hard to make this festival and so many other events a reality. I needed some new images for Cape Air and the Pen Bay Chamber of Commerce for next year. Here are a few portraits of the people and pets I met during the shoot.
I am grateful that we were able to raise our children in a coastal environment and I hope that our grandchildren will continue to see schooners in the water, not just as miniatures in a glass case. Here's the bow of the Lewis R French.
Headquartered at Graffam Brothers Harborside Restaurant, which was the festival sponsor for the Pen Bay Pilot, Holly Edwards (above), Lynda Clancy and others, provided full, almost instantaneous coverage of the 3-day festival.
has devoted his life and art to maritime themes and fantasies. No stranger to the realities of the climate, he was down at the public landing in Camden at 2 a.m. Saturday morning when a strong wind and thunderstorm blew through. The work was not damaged, but some of the materials for the children's art workshops were on the soggy side. Smith also has a long-time association with the Sweet Chariot Music Festival on Swans Island. Many of the schooners here sail to Swans for the sea chanties and musical performances each August. The crate race is one of the most popular events at the Camden Windjammer Festival. Advantages go to those who are light and quick.
The focus of a five-year-old crate racer This dog helped Rick Bates supervise the races. Bates is the new Town Manager for Rockport and also Captain of the smallest Appledore Bridget Qualey and Saphrona Stetson, long-time local sailors, literally brought the kitchen sink as part of their woodstove cooking display It's never too early to introduce the next generation to the ways of the water Members of the West Bay Rotary Club relax at Graffam's after working at the Chowder Challenge Pirates at Graffam's steal the First Place Best Chowder award this year Ready for the Sea Dog Show Ready for the Sea Dog Show, organized by P.A.W.S. this year Plein air painters surrounded the harbor throughout the festival. Here's a painting in progress by Eric Glass of painter Michael Vermette The Build-A-Boat Race participants designed and built their boats from scratch during the festival Jen Martin and Courtney King take a break on their family-owned schooner, Mary Day, before the Open House A battle raged between the Royal British Navy and Pirates of the Dark Rose. Sky the parrot was visiting with a pirate from southern Maine.
Everyone survived and will be back for next year's celebration of the Midcoast's maritime history and culture. Many more photos here.