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  • Shari Goddard Shambaugh

Sail Away

I am the designated passenger in a family that loves to sail. We only have a very small boat (a shared Zuma), but my daughter sailed on the varsity sail team of our local public high school - you gotta love Maine, and my husband and son can find their way around a deck and sheets and all the other terms only sailors use. Me, I serve as ballast. Fast boats are fun, but my soul sings on a sailboat. These windjammers live in the harbor of Camden, Maine. In the summer they take visitors out for cruises. In the winter they remain in the water, wrapped up for protection from the ice and snow.

My daughter did a "SEA Semester" during college. After several weeks of study at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, she spent weeks sailing the area around New Zealand doing research and learning about both large-boat sailing and marine ecology. They compared current conditions to those they studied in the logs of a whaler from the 1800's who cruised the same area. Her vivid accounts of life on ship included raves for the cook, who produced miracles of delicious comfort for the crew. As someone who loves to cook, and cooks to show love, the image of a crew cook caught my imagination. For years I enjoyed the cooking columns of Annie Mahle. She wrote about her life cooking without electricity and on a wood stove on the schooner, the J.E. Riggin.

While I've been on a short cruise out of Portland's Harbor, my dream is to take a several-day cruise on a Camden windjammer some day. Maybe I'll even get to taste the food of Annie Mahle! With her food or another's, I know several days onboard will also feed my soul. That's what sailing does.

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