100 YEARS OF SERVICE - STILL A BEAUTY
Schooner Mercantile's 100th Birthday Spring Haul
It's spring in Camden and time to get the schooners ready for the sailing season. Yesterday the crew was busy on board the Mercantile removing her winter cover.
It's always an exciting time when the shrink wrap is gone and the sun hits the decks for the first time since last fall. We all stand on the deck and take a deep breath of salt air and wood.
I like to think that when the covers and frames are gone that the Mercantile takes her own deep breath and smiles in anticipation of sailing again, this time for her 100th year!
This morning Captain Ray and the crew fired up the yawl boat slipped the Mercantile's lines and headed to the North End Shipyard in Rockland for spring haul out. It was a perfect day for it - bright sunshine, calm seas and warm temperatures.
With the guidance of the crew at North End and a diver to be sure that the blocks, which would support her during her time on "the hard", stayed in their proper places, the Mercantile slipped into the cradle. North End's engine started and engaged the gears which slowly pulled her up onto the railway.
Local photographers were on hand to record the moment and acknowledge the Mercantile's 100 years as a Maine Cargo Schooner and a Windjammer.
It is a gift that we still have these wonderful old coasting schooners gracing the bay as they have since the 1800's.