The beautiful Schooner Alert setting sail and departing Gloucester at first light.About Schooner Alert
In 1992 Schooner ALERT was launched and christened TALL COTTON, a southern expression that means Finest Kind. She was designed and built by Paul Rollins in York, Maine. Built for a charter business the owner abandoned the idea, no charters we ever done, and the beautiful vessel was abandoned for at least 10 years.
She was purchased by Roger Woodman in 2006. Woodman changed her name to ALERT and started a new life for this fine boat fitting her out for commercial fishing and research. ALERT operated out of Portland, Maine until 2012.
In 2013 ALERT was sold to Captains Perry Davis and Bethany McNelly-Davis. They have been sailing out of Bailey Island, Maine hosting charters on the ketch TEVAKE since 2006. They converted the ALERT from a commercial fishing schooner to a commercial passenger carrying vessel. In September 2013 ALERT was awarded a certificate of inspection by the United States Coast Guard to carry 28 passengers.
Schooner ALERT Windjammer Cruises collaborates with schools to offer a tall ship experience that caters to their curriculum. Island Adventure trips are offered to students and private parties. The Harpswell based Tall Ship aims to serve their community and get the best out of every day we are given.
The Schooner ALERT and Ketch TEVAKE operate out of Garrison Cove on Bailey Island, Maine hosting two, four, and six hour public and private sailing charters.
My fingers froze and I had to call it quits yet despite the bitterly cold five degree temperature and biting wind, day break brought blue skies and beautiful sea smoke all along the backshore, from Gloucester’s Ten Pound Island Lighthouse to Rockport’s Twin Lighthouses.
Take heart friends -today is the last day of January- only 48 more days until the spring equinox!
Evocative views looking through sea smoke along the shoreline this morning, from Ten Pound Island to Twin Lights, and at every vantage point along the way. On my very last stop photographing a buoy in the sea smoke, I spied a mystery bird far off shore. Bobbing in the water and with a bill not at all shaped liked a seagulls, it was a SNOW GOOSE! He was too far away to get a great photo, but wonderful to see nonetheless!
Heading out to photograph wild creatures, I found fog, too. Beginning in the afternoon and lasting into sunset, waves and ribbons of fog enveloped the east end of Gloucester until only shapes and silhouettes were visible.
Fog Ribbons and FV Endeavor
A wedding reception was underway at the Yacht Club, lots of folks were out watching the setting sun, and a photo shoot was taking place on the Dogbar. Returning home, Niles Beach and Ten Pound Island were even more shrouded in fog. Final stop was the Paint Factory to catch the last glimmer of light. Looking towards Ten Pound Island from the Paint Factory, in the last Instagram you can see the sliver of a crescent moon.
Exciting news–the Schooner Lynx will be returning to Gloucester next year for the Schooner fest! The captain of the Lynx, Donald Peacock, wrote the following, “Thank you for noticing Lynx in your harbor. Gloucester Marine Railways have been most hospitable and we look forward to returning for Lynx 2017 yard period and the 2017 Gloucester Schooner Race and Festival.”
A magnificent ship under sail, she was a joy to watch and to photograph as she moved through the Harbor, setting course for Saint Petersburg, Florida, via Portland, Maine. You can see in the last photo that by the time she was passing Brace Cove she was under full sail with her square sail hoisted too. Safetravels Schooner Lynx and crew!
At the Railways with crew members Casey and Hunter
Passing Ten Pound Island -note how much taller the Schooner is to the Lighthouse
Oliver Hazard Perry Passing Ten Pound Island on the way to Cape Pond Ice
Thanks to Scott Memhard for the heads up that the magnificent Oliver Hazard Perry was docking at Cape Pond Ice this morning. While the Ice House crew provided the ship with water, which takes several hours, the Perry crew took a tour of Cape Pond Ice and then had an hour to tour around Gloucester. The OHP takes no passengers, everyone aboard is a working crew member or working student.
Last night’s spectacular fireworks display was preceded by a glorious twilight. After photographing the parade, I met my husband at the Beauport for a fabulous al fresco dinner of fresh, locally sourced fish and veggies. The deck was filled to capacity with expectant firework’s viewers yet despite that, our meals were delicious and the service exceptional. Marly was our waitress and although it was her first night on the job, she is top notch. Colleen was the hostess. Many may recall what a sweet and welcoming person she is from her years at the Studio and Rudder. It was a treat to see Colleen at the Beauport!
The sky changed from golden violet to violet pink within seconds and it was fun to see all the boats jockeying into position for firework’s viewing.
Schooner Lannon and the Greasy Pole
Pinky Schooner Ardelle and Ten Pound Island from the Beauport Hotel Deck
Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
Beauport Hotel’s very helpful and friendly concierges Emily Jermyn and Chris Horack
Ten Pound Island just after sunset ~ As the sun was setting, hundreds of gulls poured onto the shoreline, along with Red-breasted Mergansers and Common Eiders. If there were other species, they were too far off to identify, nonetheless, it was fascinating to watch all the birds settling into the trees and rocky outcroppings for the evening.
Common Eiders swimming toward the Island
The gulls and sea ducks were conglomerating at the rocky beach on the (north?) end of the island
Ten Pound Island’s little sandy beach, late afternoon