Maine's Schooner "Mary Day" to Host 50 Year Anniversary Celebration at Camden Windjammer Festival | Community Spirit

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Maine's Schooner "Mary Day" to Host 50 Year Anniversary Celebration at Camden Windjammer Festival
Maine's Schooner "Mary Day" to Host 50 Year Anniversary Celebration at Camden Windjammer Festival

CAMDEN, Maine - Maine schooner Mary Day of Camden is celebrating 50 years since her first launch and of taking passengers sailing along the coast of Maine. Captains Barry King and Jennifer Martin will host the celebration on Sunday, September 2, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Mary Day dock in Camden. Local music and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees. Captains King and Martin will also unveil a surprise fiftieth anniversary present for their vessel. The event will happen in conjunction with the Camden Windjammer Festival in Camden and is open to the public.

"As much as this is a celebration of Mary Day, her history and context become special because of the waterfront communities and windjammer fleet that make the 'schooner coast' such a magnificent national symbol of our maritime history and the place we call home," shared Captain Barry King, who also turned 50 this summer.

The 90-foot schooner was designed by Havilah "Buds" Hawkins, Sr. as the first schooner built exclusively to carry passengers along Maine's coast. At the time that Mary Day was designed, the majority of windjammers were commercial vessels that formerly carried a variety of cargoes throughout New England. After owning the schooners Stephen Taber and Alice Wentworth, Hawkins started from scratch and designed Mary Day specifically with passenger comfort in mind. Mary Day, named after Hawkins' wife, was launched in 1962 at the Harvey F. Gamage Shipyard in South Bristol, Maine, making her the first commercial coasting schooner launched in the second half of the 20th century.

While Mary Day has 50 years of rich sailing history behind her, the windjammer is in top condition. Captains King and Martin renovated the schooner in 2000 and have continued to make upgrades on a regular basis. The beautifully-appointed cabins all have nine feet of headroom, skylights, and windows that open to provide plenty of fresh air and sunshine. During the early spring and late fall, the wood-fired heating system keeps the passenger accommodations warm and dry. The main saloon is large and welcoming, offering several cozy sitting areas, as well as plenty of space for guests to gather and mingle.

Captains King and Martin encourage anyone interested in Mary Day, windjammers, or coastal history to attend the celebration. For interested attendees, the captains are offering a bed and breakfast overnight on the schooner for $150 per private cabin or $50 for those willing to share. Profits benefit the Camden Yacht Club youth sailing program. To reserve a cabin, call the reservations line at 1-800-992-2218 or email anniversary@schoonermaryday.com.