Maine Windjammer Stephen Taber
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Maine Windjammer Schooner Stephen Taber


Great Schooner Race pursuitIn the Press

We had a few mentions this past summer, ranging from a nice feature in Maine Magazine to a shout-out in Entrepreneur Magazine (Top 5 Unplugged Vacations). Once in a while we get a come-on from the reality TV world, but so far we've been able to avoid all that.

The Great Schooner Race
Carbon fiber wings? Fiddlesticks. Hydrofoils? Bah. Integrated computer flight-control systems? No ma'am, not on this party-barge. No, we win races the way the Good Lord intended: with an obsolete century and a half old cargo schooner, impeccably crewed and sheeted down to within an inch of her life. Team Taber this year was poetry in motion, from the headsail crew to the boom vangs to the cheering squad. Do you want to join us in 2014 to defend the title?

Projects, projects, projects
New awnings are in the works — we're thinking this next set should be waterproof, right? New Sampson post (162 board feet of white oak, baby), new hatch slides (mahogany, of course), new guest ice box, updated cabin lights, more headroom in all cabins (kidding, just making sure you were paying attention), and a newly machined anchor windlass, which should make cranking the anchor much easier (not kidding). And a new 56' storage shed for Babe and assorted shipbuilding materials. We have our hands full.

Hubby Jenkins
In addition to our stellar music cruises, our October 3 trip featured Hubby Jenkins, the multi-instrumentalist from Grammy Award-winning outfit Carolina Chocolate Drops. This was a happy accident, but it worked out great and he wants to return in 2014. Stay tuned.

Toasts & Highlights of 2013 season

    Sail vacation
  • Chefs Anna & Scott: our year-in-review section has got to lead with our all-star galley tag-team. Their talent and ability to amaze and delight using nothing but an aging Home Clarion, fresh ingredients and ninja-like focus kept us in a constant state of awe. They have both agreed to return for next season!
  • Second annual August wine trip with the incomparable Michael Green- informative and hysterical.
  • Great music on the bay: Thanks to Jenn Schott, Melissa Pierce, Tom Whitehead, Chicky Stoltz, Jed Kriegle and Hubby Jenkins for helping keep the Taber swinging. It just gets better and better.
  • Seven wine-themed trips, each one everything we hoped for: one long extended dinner party.
  • Once again, great crew: Kat, Will, Anna, Hannah, Sally, Becky, Scott and Robert.
  • New anchorages, new lobster bake beaches: after three decades, the Maine Coast still surprises!
  • Cheese. Cheese, cheese, and also, cheese. Cheers to our new partners in cheese, Maine Street Meats.
  • Second Annual Gourmet trip with Chef James (and he's coming back too!)
  • Best musical raft-up ever with the schooner Lewis R. French.
  • Sailing farther than we ever have sailed.
  • Does winning the Great Schooner Race get old? Nope.


Special Trips

Since our specialty trips all work so well, we're really not changing anything. So in addition to the calendar of fleet-wide events, here's how things are shaping up:

Yum!Seven wine-themed cruises, most led by the lovely Jane, and one featuring the amazing Michael Green. Chef James will reprise his role as Guest Chef for a short cruise in June. Get ready for bouillabaisse, heavenly ribs, and the best bacon we've ever tasted, period (Maine residents will receive an additional discount for this trip). Music is on tap in June as well, with back-to-back cruises featuring Tom, Chicky, Jed, and Melissa & Jenn, respectively. Music will set you free, my friends. And as always, the captain wishes to celebrate his birthday in the least dignified way possible, by daring the crew and guests to throw him in the drink on his birthday during Captain's Choice, a cruise packed with all his favorite things. Finally, we have our ever-popular Photo & Lighthouse Cruise with John Shipman. Book early for our specialty trips; they tend to fill up fast.

Capt. Noah circa 1983

Winter Fun, or What I Did on my Winter Vacation, by Capt. Noah
What fun! The Sampson post* had to be replaced, so the bowsprit had to come out. And since the leg bone is connected to the shin bone, it made sense to take the masts out. Now that the masts are out, we really should take the opportunity to take the mastheads apart, strip everything down, and replace everything that looks un-perfect. This is a good example of "project creep," a term to describe what happens to my winter when I'm not paying attention. The upside; we get to sail the heck out of the Taber, knowing everything is Bristol.

*Sampson post: a giant timber in the bow that holds the anchor windlass and the bowsprit in place, without which we could not anchor or carry sail. Here's a picture of me polishing the very thing, circa 1983.

Oscar is 5!The Crew
Chef Anna is in the Caribbean cooking for cadets on a school ship tied to Tabor Academy. Chef Scott is with his family in Charlottesville, cheffing it up to beat the band. BOTH talented maestros are returning. Will is, we're sure, being a perfect scholar at St. Andrews (hear that, Will?). As for the others: at last contact, Robert, Kat, and Bex were headed to the airport bound for a European tour. Bless them, those crazy kids. What a great year for crew! We wish them all the best.

Oscar is 5 and 5 is fun!
He loves school and helping Dad with work. "Work," of course, mostly consists of wrestling, light-saber battles, and running errands to the hardware store via the dump via the pizza/ice cream shop.

Gourmet Cruise
Gourmet Cruise June 12–15 with
Guest Chef James Tranchemontagne

We had the pleasure of having Chef James from the Frog and Turtle in Westbrook, Maine join us for a tasty 3-day trip in 2012 to benefit Share Our Strength. The trip, a tag team between Chefs Anna and James, culminated in an on-deck bouillabaisse demonstration, from stock to spoon that left us gasping for breath. The trip was an instant smash, and we booked Chef James for another trip in 2013. He's back again in 2014! (Book it now!)

"James is a wonder. Fabulous food as always. The Frog and Turtle is my first choice when I want good food in a comfortable atmosphere." —from a review on

Jenn Schott and Melissa Peirce
Solstice & Music Cruise
with Nashville songwriters
Jenn Schott & Melissa Peirce

Enjoy the start of Summer and the longest days of the year, June 16–20, 2014, with Captain Noah and special musical guests Jenn Schott and Melissa Peirce, accomplished performers and songwriters. What a more perfect way to end the longest days of the year than an informal concert. Melissa and Jenn's charming songs and sweet harmonies were such a hit last time we just had to have them back! (More info on our schedule page.)

Crew of the Stephen Taber

"What the doctor ordered and then some: idleness, laughter, tranquility, sun, wind, and the food of the Gods. Thanks to all, while we scheme of how to make a habit of it..." —Lillie, ME

New Yawlboat Engine
Babe was clearly happy with her new mahogany interior, and although it may be hard to tell, the safety and power of the new Volvo D2-75 meant fewer grey hairs on the Captain this summer. Everything we hoped it would be, enabling us to spend less time under power, because she got us there quicker.

schooner cookbook
Our Cookbook

We are thrilled to offer Taste of the Taber: Wine Trip Edition. Featuring over 60 of Aimee LePage's recipes from our wine tasting cruises, the book is over 140 pages with lots of color pictures, wine pairings and a cheese guide. It's kind of a virtual wine trip. The book is $20, $24.95 with shipping. Email or call us to order.

"What an awesome trip!! This was by far the best wine tasting trip ever, Jane. Noah, the sailing has been wonderful. Love you guys" —Jim and Freddie, NC

Partnership with Fiore Olive Oils
Many of our 2011, 2012, and 2013 guests had a surprise treat on boarding night: an olive oil tasting with Rockland, Maine's Fiore Olive Oils. Well, Fiore has loved doing the tastings so much they will be doing one on all trips in 2014! I know an olive oil tasting might sound weird to many of you but if you give it a chance, your taste buds will thank you.

Stephen Taber recognized as EcoTourism Leader: LEAVE NO TRACE certified
During the entire month of June, every guest who sails aboard the Stephen Taber will be offered a complimentary "Leave No Trace" outdoor awareness workshop on the 7 principles of responsible outdoor ethics. While windjammer captains have been practicing and teaching the Leave No Trace policies for years, this is an exciting opportunity for guests to learn the invaluable skills of properly caring for the environment. All guests who successfully complete the workshop will receive Leave No Trace certification.

Leave No TraceIn keeping with the June spirit of volunteerism and conservation, the Maine Windjammer Association will also host an official Coastal Cleanup during the week of June 5th, in conjunction with World Ocean Day. Guests and crewmembers will scour the beaches for trash that's washed ashore over the winter.

With hundreds of pristine islands in their sailing grounds, it's no wonder we are committed to preserving them. Sail this June and learn new skills to make a difference in your own backyard.

Lobster bake in Maine

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