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Maine Windjammer Schooner Stephen Taber


Parade of Sail ©Charles DurforFriends:
When the schooner is downrigged, covered, winterized, and has made her annual metamorphosis into an inert thing, it's hard to avoid being a bit wistful, thinking the magic is over. Of course this is the season's cycle and there's nothing sad here, but the annual transition from briny adventure is abrupt. The change serves to highlight the unusual nature of our life aquatic, and heightens the sense of how extraordinary life on the Maine coast can be. Deep gratitude to those of you who joined us for this exceptional season, and we welcome your encouragement as we work through the winter to restore beautiful Ladona. This project is taking everything we have, but is deeply rewarding. We hope all our friends can find peace and fulfillment in the coming year.

Thank you to all that joined us on the bay. Fair winds, and as always, be kind to the locals.

  —Jane, Noah, Oscar Barnes and the Crew of the Stephen Taber

2015 Crew of the Stephen Taber
What a year!
The Taber had a jolly successful year with an exceptional crew. Anna is dividing her time this winter between a few lucky local restaurants, Kat is renovating her newly purchased house and helping Noah when she can, Tyler is headed back up to Maine to help out on Ladona, Cody and Emily are sailing south in various vessels, Mollie is finishing up her training as a midwife, Kenya is a sophomore at College of the Atlantic, and Bethany has resumed her mantle running the demonstrations at Stonewall Kitchen. I hope you join us in hoping most if not all of them come back to join the team next season. The strength of our crew last year makes us feel even better about doubling down on Ladona. Speaking of which...

Schooner Ladona

Two Schooners!

In July of 2014 we took a crazy leap of faith, saving the ailing schooner Nathaniel Bowditch from the knacker's yard and doubling down to keep another schooner in an honest trade. In the last year plus, we have returned her to her original name, Ladona, restored her lovely sheerline, and given her a 90% rebuild, much as Noah's parents did for the Taber back in 1981. Although there is still much to be done, we look forward to this spring when we see the re-christened Ladona, captained by our good friend J.R. Braugh, set sail once again to the delight of her guests.

Stephen Taber Sailing Penobscot Bay

The Great Schooner Race

Taber wins! And not just the Coaster Class; we won the overall race. And not just on corrected time, but in a flat footrace. Not bad for a little old coasting schooner. We did get lucky with some nice lifts from the breeze, but that makes (ahem) seven years now winning at least class honors. Fun to have Will and other special guests aboard for the day to help trim sail! Icing on the cake was joining the raft-up at the Rockland Public Landing and playing an impromptu gig with Noah's fellow band mates, the Dolphin Strikers, dockside.

Fruits of the DownEast Cruise

The 2nd annual Penobscot Bay Food Cruise with Down East Magazine

The second shot at this event was pretty swell. We sold out fast and this year we'll be doing the trip tandem with both schooners. Turns out that when you combine extra swanky food, special Maine-only events, and an on-board masseuse, folks dig it. Next year sailing in company should be extra fun!

Our 3 great chefs Anna, Caroline & Bethany
This year we were lucky enough to have Chefs Anna and Bethany return to tag-team the season. Add to the mix we also had amazing fill-in: Chef Caroline! So next year's line up? Anna on Ladona, Caroline on the Taber and Bethany jumping back and forth on both. Things are working out just fine.

Ladona Limerick Challenge
It has been over a year since our team of shipwrights embarked on a mission to save a beloved American classic schooner. And as often happens during a major renovation, the farther we went, the more apparent it became that the old girl needed more than a nip and a tuck. To do the job right, we were faced with a 90% rebuild. We came up with a creative crowd-funding contest to help get through this critical phase of the rebuild: we're having a poetry contest to help finish the rebuild. Why limericks? Because it's a fun way to involve as many of you as possible, we could use a chuckle, and because it will make for a fun book after we're done! Grand prize will be a trip for two on any 2016 cruise. Celebrity judge: not telling, but she's a NYT bestselling author, has her own rugged reality TV show and is Maine-based.

Simply submit a limerick (try to keep it clean, and loosely topical) to us with your $100 contest fee. Our celebrity guest judge will select the winners, who get a FREE CRUISE: one double cabin on any trip in 2016 Paddleboat Rockland Maine(all cruise expenses, barring transportation to Rockland, are included). Deadline is January 31, 2016. Winner announced February 28, 2016. For details visit

To all of you shipwrights (vicarious)
Try your hand at a limerick hilarious
You may thus participate,
Ladona's launching facilitate,
And your input of cash would help carry us!


  • So many extraordinary days under sail — 2900 nautical miles in all — remember clocking 9.7 from Rockland to MDI?
  • Great music on the bay: Thanks to Jenn Schott, Tom Whitehead, Chicky Stoltz & Jed Kriegle for making the Taber the best floating backstreet music club afloat
  • Fourth annual wine trip with Michael Green — informative and hysterical. Four wine-themed trips, each one everything we hoped for: one long extended dinner party
  • Stellar crew. I mean, c'mon, what a great bunch we had this year: Hats off to Cody, Kenya, Emily, Kat, Anna, Mollie, Caroline, Bethany and Tyler
  • Delicious Food CruiseGreat kick-off olive oil and balsamic tastings with our friends from Fiore
  • Cheese. Lots and lots of cheese and other delights from our friends at Maine Street Meats!
  • "Huzzah, Huzzah, the captain has a plan!"
  • The frigate replica L'Hermione emerging from the fog as we escorted her to Castine
  • Speaking of Castine, we had a few memorable nights of, um, community singing at Danny Murphy's (thanks everyone for not posting video)
  • Fourth Annual Gourmet trip with Chef James
  • The sweet sound of Kenya's cello across the anchorage
  • Swim call!
  • Oh yes, did we mention we won the Great Schooner Race?
  • Stand up paddle boards!


Special Trips

Since our specialty trips all work so well, we're not adding much (except another Schooner). So in 2016 we have:

  • TWO SCHOONERS! During our Music, Wine and other specialty trips, we sail in company with nightly raft-ups. Added fun: Captains Noah and J.R. have been playing music together for years
  • Five wine trips — Four with our own lovely Jane and one with the AMAZING Michael Green in August
  • Gourmet trip with Chef James Tranchemontagne: hedonist's delight, replete with the bouillabaisse of the Gods
  • Two June Music trips: Tom, Chicky & Jed (the Charlie Nobles), and our favorite Nashville songbirds Melissa & Jenn
  • August 6-day Captain's Choice on the Taber. Where are we going? Noah's favorite places
  • August 6-day Ports Unknown trip where we range a bit farther Downeast on Ladona
  • Photo & Lighthouse Cruise in September led by John Shipman
  • WoodenBoat Parade and Celebration
  • Penobscot Bay Food Cruise with Downeast Magazine on both boats sailing in company
  • Acadia National Park Centennial trip with Downeast Magazine July 31- August 4 (4 day trip) on Ladona

Downeast lobster bake on an island

The 3rd Annual Penobscot Bay Food Cruise
This trip includes unique and priceless Maine experiences while sailing in company with both schooners:

  • Welcome dinner with Downeast editor-in-chief Kathleen Fleury at In Good Company on boarding night
  • Tour and island geology talk at The Keeper's House on Isle au Haut before heading over for a...
  • Chocolate making workshop at Black Dinah Chocolatiers on Isle au Haut with Kate Schaffer
  • Farm to table lunch on an island
  • Oyster and prosecco tasting with North Haven Oyster Company's Adam Campbell

Remember, we offer our repeat passengers a 10% discount if you book before March 1, 2016. We are already filling up for next year so book soon! And, if you are not on our e-newsletter list and would like to be, drop us an email at A few times a year, we like to let you know what is going on and highlight any special projects and offers.

American Classic Schooner

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