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"This unique four-masted schooner was conceived and designed by her owner,   
Captain Steven Pagels . . . and was launched April 11, 1998. The four-
masted schooner rig, steel hull construction, and double centerboard
design make the Margaret Todd unique on the East coast . . ."
~ from the Down East Windjammer website
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 four masts:

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. My bad.

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 Bay:"


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 entryphotos from two hikes on the coastal trails at Acadia NP

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil