Summer 2016 (where did it go?) part 2 – working as a crew member on the Margaret Todd


One of the neat things about being off 3 days a week is that time is created to pursue other interests.   Ever since I was a boy, I dreamed of working on a ship..  it took a long time ( I am about to celebrate my 57th birthday), but I finally turned that dream into reality.   On a bit of a whim, I wrote a nice letter to Down East Windjammer Cruise Lines  soon after arriving on MDI in late April.   My hope was that they might need  a part time crew member on the Margaret Todd, a 4 masted schooner, sailing out of Bar Harbor.   I was somewhat surprised when I got a favorable response, and, within a few weeks, I was invited to an interview sail on the Bailey Louise Todd.    In the picture above, the BLT is in the foreground, and the MLT is behind her.   This was taken one of the first mornings that I arrived in Bar Harbor as an official member of the crew.



It was pretty chilly the first few weeks on Frenchman Bay… The first thing I learned is that I had a lot to learn!   But, I found that my fellow crew mates were very supportive, and that was, and continued to be, a huge positive part of the job.


This is  a shot of folks boarding for the evening cruise.   In the foreground is the friendship sloop Chrissy.  She is over 100 years old and was used for trips for small groups of 6 or less.


A couple of shots that I took at the conclusion of the sunset cruises..  these tended to be quite popular trips…mt-8

There were lots of things to get done after the passengers left…  it was usually dark before we were able to call it a day…


we were treated to some spectacular sunsets!


on the 4th of july, we encouraged the passengers to remain on board for the fire works after we returned to the dock.  That was a popular option..  we certainly had great seats!


fellow crew mates,  Amanda and Greg, backing the jib during a tack.   The passengers enjoyed watching us tend to sailing duties, and especially enjoyed engaging in conversation…   I found it a bit challenging to maintain a watchful eye, while also carrying on a discussion with passengers..   i really like to talk 🙂


Janet and I had the opportunity to ride the ferry to Schoodic Peninsula …  we took our bikes and had a great day.  on the way back, we got pretty close to the Margaret Todd under sail.


one of my goals for the summer was to get a chance to climb the rigging – not something that we did on a routine basis – but one morning there was a job to be performed at the top of the main mast on the BLT , and I quickly jumped at the chance..   this is a pic taken from the top of the mast..   it never seems that high from the deck!


I did not get my phone out in time to get a good shot of this rainbow, but it is still there – if you squint and use your imagination 🙂    It was a beautiful evening, and we certainly did not expect a rainbow, but there it was…


the routine is that we show up at 8 am  and perform some maintenance tasks aboard the boats and then prepare for the 10 am cruise.    This was taken recently, early in the morning..   I am going to miss this part of the job – and lots of other things as well.   Halfway through the summer I decided that I should set a goal for trying to get through an entire day without making a stupid mistake..      soon after that  prepared to raise the sail on the foremast when there was no sail to be raised!   When one of the crew members pointed that out with a smile..  I told him ” my goal is to get through a day with no stupid mistakes… i guess today will not be that day”  🙂      in fact,  last week i kind of made it through the day… one minor goof – up..    Tomorrow is my last day on the boat..  so, one more chance!

2 comments on “Summer 2016 (where did it go?) part 2 – working as a crew member on the Margaret Todd

  1. Margaret Mair says:

    How nice that you were able to do this! It’s never too late to pursue a dream.

    • lifeat6mph says:

      Thanks Margaret.. it certainly was great to be a part of the crew.. even if they were all 20-somethings.. and early 20’s at that! 🙂 the only downer was that we really never got to go anywhere.. three two hour cruises a day.. we really never got out of site of Bar Harbor ! so now, the next quest is to find a crew position on a boat that is actually going somewhere! 🙂

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