April 17, 2024


Capt. Ray and Ann c.1979,  St. Croix, USVI.

Capt. Ray and Ann c.1979,  St. Croix, USVI.

Dear Friends,

They say the two best days of a boat owner’s life are the day they buy and the day they sell. Well it has been a little more complicated for us over the past thirty-eight years. In 1986 we purchased the Original Windjammer Fleet consisting of the schooners Grace Bailey, Mercantile and Mistress. Over the next years we totally restored these historic landmarks and raised our family sailing the waters of Penobscot Bay.

Now with grand children we plan to bring them up with a similar opportunity for adventure and wonder that can only be achieved at sea. Three years ago, we started making plans to retire but couldn’t see a future without a schooner. Then along came Swift, a beautiful traditionally rigged Hermaphrodite Brig. Smaller and less demanding than our larger schooners, she seemed the perfect fit for downsizing in semi-retirement.

Swift was launched in 1983 to plans drawn by the famous Maine naval architect Murray Peterson in the mid thirties. Originally used as a private yacht, it was an interesting challenge to repurpose the vessel into what we consider the perfect six passenger windjammer. A yearlong refit transformed her from an open layout to three spacious staterooms; each has its own enclosed head with an electric flush toilet and sink. There is a separate galley and saloon with an additional day head including a hot water shower. The decks are broad and unencumbered having room to roam or relax in deck chairs.

After nearly four decades in the business, we knew what we wanted and Swift is everything we could have hoped for. The next challenge was to unburden ourselves of the immense responsibility of maintaining and operating a fleet of schooners. One by one the vessels sold, with the Mercantile being the last to go just recently.

We have so many great memories that we have shared with family and friends over the years. It is impossible to say that these were not the happiest days of our lives. However there is a speck of truth to the adage that this was the second happiest day of our ownership of the Original Windjammer Fleet.

Our sincerest thanks to all of our past passengers.  It couldn’t have happened without your support. Your participation is responsible for making our dream a reality and we are happy to have shared these memories with you. When one door is closed another one is open and we invite you to join us on our new adventure aboard the Swift “Keeping the Tradition Alive”.

Kind regards,

Captain Ray and Ann



Spring officially arrived a few weeks ago, but Winter has not ended just yet.  Our state experienced several severe weather events earlier this year, with heavy rains and winds causing extensive flooding and damage to coastal harbors.  Just over a week ago we had a snow and freezing rain storm.  Our fleet was spared, due to Captain Ray’s vigilant daily dock visits to check on our vessels.

An occasional warm day provides Captain and local crew the chance to carry out light maintenance tasks.  Soon, Camden Harbor and our dock will be buzzing with activity as covers come off and prep work begins to make our boat ship shape and ready to welcome you!



Reservations for our 2024 sailing trips have been coming in at a fast clip from around the country.  Swift’s three spacious electrified cabins with private enclosed heads have proven popular with first-time and returning passengers ready for a new experience. Two double cabins and a third cabin with three single beds offer an ideal way for families or singles to enjoy the windjamming experience.

The first two weeks of June have been reserved for charters, customized to passenger requests.  Our regular season offering multiple-day cruises commences on June 16 and runs through October 2.  Schooner Swift offers 3 and 6-day trips boarding on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Some charters may be available occasionally during the regular season.  Call us if you are contemplating a special event or excursion, and we can help tailor your cruise. Regular reservations may be made by phone or on our website.

As always, our staff is happy to assist you with your travel, lodging or touring arrangements in addition to your sailing reservations!



Nothing quite beats the apple as a year-round versatile and delicious fruit.  Here in Maine we have over 100 varieties currently grown; between the 17th and 19th centuries, there were more than 600 cultivars!

Here is just one of many of Ann’s favorite recipes, featured in her Cookbook and often served aboard:

Apple Crisp
8-10  apples, peeled and sliced
1 t   cinnamon
1 t   sugar 
1 t   lemon juice 
2 c   flour
2 t   baking powder
2 c   brown sugar
2     eggs
2/3 c butter, melted

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Place apples in a large bowl; mix in cimmamon, sugar and lemon juice.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, brown sugar and eggs.

Place apples in a greased 9×13 pan; pat flour mixture on top; then pour melted butter evenly over the top.

Bake for about 30 minute until apples are soft and top is slightly crisp and browned.  Serve warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream.



Dear Windjammer Friends,

In honor of our new business phase, we are offering our books, notecards and merchandise from our former fleet vessels at a 50% discount.   One Old Salt teeshirt is included free with every purchase.

Keeping the Tradition Alive, by Capt. Ray Williamson.  172 page, 11×14 profusely illustrated and beautifully written book chronicles the history of Maine Windjammer Cruises from the cargo trade to the present.  $24

Maine Windjammer Cruises Cookbook, by Ann Williamson.  245 pages, spiral bound, soft cover book features favorite stories and recipes representing Ann’s 20 years of training cooks, planning menus, provisioning and cooking aboard the Grace Bailey. Lavishly illustrated.  $12

Grace Bailey, Mercantile and Mistress clothing:

Tees $10

Sweats   $15

Denim Shirts    $20

Not every size or color is available, but let us know what item(s) and size(s) you are interested in, and we will check our inventory.

Mercantile boxed notecards:  Set of 10 cards and envelopes, heavy linen, blank inside  $10

This special offering will last through the end of this sailing season.

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Copyright Maine Windjammer Cruises. Site by Adventure Advertising. All rights reserved.

Copyright Maine Windjammer Cruises. Site by Adventure Advertising. All rights reserved.