As soon as we saw this schooner docked in the water at Bar Harbor, and
discovered we could make reservations to sail on her, we wanted to sign up
for a windjammer cruise in Frenchman Bay.
Here's a picture from the
website of all nine sails unfurled on the
You can read more about the construction of this 151-foot long
sailing vessel at the link above.
The remaining photos of the boat are ones I took from shore and while
we were out on our cruise. The best ways to get a photo like the one
above are from a nearby boat when the Margaret Todd is sailing or
with a good telephoto lens somewhere on shore or up on Cadillac Mountain.
She doesn't always sail with all nine sails unfurled, just the number
needed for current conditions.
I did get several long-distance photos of the schooner from the
summit of Cadillac Mountain several days before our cruise but the
16-megapixel, 16x zoom on my little compact Sony couldn't capture any
real details of the vessel from way up there.
In the first picture below none of
the sails have been raised yet;
in the second, as the schooner nears the big cruise ship, you can see
that two of the sails are up:
I didn't wait long enough that day to see all the sails go up.
We purchased our tickets online on Friday for today's 2 PM cruise;
the total cost was $70 for the two of us for a two-hour cruise. We chose
this cruise because it is narrated by a national park service ranger and
is advertised to be a "livelier, more adventurous sail on Frenchman
The company offers two other types of cruises on the Margaret Todd
that you can read about on the sign above.
It also operates three different passenger ferries, a small, historic lobster
sloop that holds six guests, and it offers half-day fishing trips.
After lunch at the
campground today we drove to Bar Harbor, found a parking space (not an easy thing to do
in Bar Harbor), and walked to the gangplank that offers access to the
Margaret Todd below the Bar Harbor Inn:
We picked up our tickets and got in line for the afternoon cruise:
The boat wasn't totally full so we had plenty of room to sit or walk
around to take photos of the scenery (islands, harbor, Cadillac and
other mountains, etc.), wildlife (sea birds and porpoises), and other
things the ranger and captain pointed out to us as we sailed around the bay.
This is the GPS track of our six-mile cruise:
I believe the land mass to the right is Stave Island. The small light
green islands are part of Acadia National Park; they include Bar
Island, due north of Bar Harbor. The little line in the water indicates
the path people can take to walk to the island when the tide is low.
The captain used the engine to get us out of the harbor and into
deeper water. Then five crew members and passenger volunteers slowly hoisted five
of the nine sails:
That was interesting to watch. With all those sails up, the captain
and crew were able to maneuver the boat without the engine for most of
the two hours we sailed around in Frenchman Bay. They apparently didn't
need to use all nine sails.
Jim and I both enjoyed the beauty and the calm of the cruise. We had
good views of the slopes on Mount Desert Island, including the
recognizable profile of Cadillac Mountain:
These folks looked like they were having a great time, too:
We quietly sailed past numerous lobster pots:
Most of the islands near Bar Harbor are now owned by the National Park Service rather
than individuals so we didn't see much development except near town.
We talked with several couples from around the USA when the ranger
and captain weren't doing any narration. Everyone was friendly and in a
good mood. How could they not be, on such a beautiful day and in
such a beautiful place?
Next entry: photos from two hikes on the coastal
trails at Acadia NP
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil