We are anchored in Rockland Harbor, Maine, it’s blowing near gale force and raining of course, courtesy of what’s left of hurricane Issac. A speck on the horizon grows rapidly in size, as a schooner fore-reaches towards shelter. Outer and inner jibs drawing, main and foresail taut, gaffs beautifully twisted off, she is a sight to behold.
In this era of roller furling, where sailboats use their engines 70% or more of the time, it is a treat to witness what a properly handled vessel can do without an inboard engine. This is the Heritage, one of the working schooners of Maine, making its way in the world by introducing paying passengers to a sailor’s heritage.
She’s got her outer jib down on the headstay now, with the inner about to be furled. Jib hanks work really well in this context, and also on modern yachts. They are simple, reliable, and allow easy headsail changes.
Main and mizzen sheeted in, Heritage goes head to wind off our stern.
The big foresail calmly drops onto its boom, lazy jacks and gaff keeping the heavy canvas under control. With the main sheeted in she sits quietly head to wind.
The jolly boat holds Heritage on station.
Gaff headed main furls as quietly as the fore.
Her anchor is uncatted, ready to drop, the jolly boat pushes the stern around, and off she goes to her downwind moorage.
We think an extra ration of grog is in order for master and crew of the schooner Heritage.