Cruise Destination: Coastal Maine
Cruise Dates: Summer
Guest Contributor: Schooner Fan
For those looking for a personal and unusual sailing vacation - The Schooner J.&E. Riggin, based in Rockland, Maine, provides an outstanding outdoor vacation experience (with great food!!). This wind-powered vessel has no set itinerary; you literally go where the wind takes you, on a 3,4, or 6-day schedule. Accommodations are basic, but cozy, with reading lights over the quilt-covered bunks and running water in each cabin. An apt description of this cruise would be "camping with luxury".
Captain Jon Finger and his wife, Captain (and chef) Anne Mahle, are the owner-operators of the schooner and sail with their two young daughters. Annie is a gifted chef and utilizes local and organic foods whenever possible. She produces 3 wonderful meals (including fresh bread) daily for 28-30 people, working in a small galley with a wood-fired stove.
The State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection has recently honored the Schooner J.&E. Riggin an an Environmental Leader in Hospitality--the first Maine windjammer to be given the award. Besides using little fuel, energy-efficient lighting, and locally made products, the Riggin crew make their own cleaning products, compost table and galley scraps, and use office paper as mulch in Annie's garden.
My husband and I have been returning enthusiastically to the J.&E. Riggin yearly since 1985; no two weeks are ever the same, and the trip is a fabulous stress-reducer (no phones, radio, or TV).
Most of your time on this National Historic Landmark is spent outdoors-- relaxing on a cabin top with a good book, helping to sail the vessel, learning some seamanship from Captain Jon, viewing and photographing the beautiful scenery and wildlife along the Maine coast, conversing with your fellow passengers, and, of course, eating the homemade delicacies produced in Annie's galley. I highly recommend this vacation for those who enjoy the outdoors.