Our boats are under wraps again, safe and cozy for the cold months. Our Captain, crew and staff have settled in to their winter rhythms: reorganizing, refurbishing and repairing. Work on the boats is always front and center, especially during warm days.
Our big project is recaulking Swift’s deck. We are nearly finished. As with most “simple” projects, they usually take longer than anticipated!
Swift, our newest schooner, will have her debut sailing with us this season. She sleeps six, with one cabin able to accommodate an extra passenger (families only). Each cabin has its own enclosed head and sink, and there is a shower below decks. Anticipation since last season has resulted in many early reservations! Her maiden voyage will be July 1.
At this time, Swift offers 3, 4 or 7 day trips, and she can take up to 12 passengers for Charters only. Many of you have asked when photos will be available. Once she is completely outfitted, they will be posted!
Schooner Mercantile, one of our original fleet, national Historic Landmark and long-time icon in Camden harbor, will continue offering 3 or 6 day trips during the pre-season month of June. Swift and Mistress are available for charter during that month. Then our regular season starts on July 1 with all three boats. Our regular season offers multiple-day cruises which you can combine into a longer trip at a discount.
We are still planning the schedules and fares for our three vessels, and are maintaining last year’s prices through Valentine’s Day!
Our itineraries always vary, depending on prevailing wind and water conditions. Plan a multiple-day cruise around Penobscot Bay, and cast your cares to the wind through the end of September!
We love to welcome all of our sailors, whether they are first-timers or Old Salts. Solo passengers have just as much fun as those in a group, and you can choose moments of solitude or of socializing. Hug the rail, lounge on deck, help sail the schooner, read a book or do nothing at all…you will enjoy our coast and islands and all their scenic beauty.
For our daughter Kristi’s recent birthday, she asked me to make Beef Stew like I used to make on the Schooners. It pleased me that she remembered it, so I happily made it for fun for her birthday dinner and several times since. It was one of my mother’s favorites that we ate often when I was a child.
Serving the stew over whipped potatoes is a perfect comfort food for this time of year. When I was ready to prepare the birthday meal, I discovered it was not in my Cookbook! So, here is my recipe for you to try. Of course, I had to make Irish Soda Bread to go with it!
Ann’s Beef Stew (serves 3-4)
- 1 large diced yellow onion
- 3 cloves diced garlic
- 2 pkgs. cut-up stewing beef
- 3 T flour
- 1 t pepper
- 1 sweet potato cut into small chunks
- 3/4 lb. green beans (each cut in half)
- 1 lb. baby carrots
- 1 8 oz. white mushroom, diced
- 1 carton beef broth mixed with 3/4 c. water
- 3 lbs. white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
In a large pot, saute butter, onion and garlic. Add beef, flour and pepper, and continue sauteing until meat is browned on all sides.
Add sweet potato, green beans, carrots and mushroom. Pour in half of the beef broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until meat and vegetables are soft (1 to 1-1/2 hours). To thicken, make a paste of 1T flour and 1/4 c. water. Add and stir gently.
In a separate pot, boil potatoes in the rest of the broth. When done, mash and then whip them with butter, milk and pepper. Serve the whipped potatoes with the stew on top! Enjoy.
We still have copies of my cookbook for sale, now at a special price through Valentine’s Day! Please call the office if you’d like to order one. $15 plus shipping