Saturday, September 5, 2009

25th Annual Schooner Festival in Gloucester

This weekend marks the 25th annual schooner festival in Gloucester, an event that was in part initiated by a dear friend Scott Stuart Eddington who sadly passed away this year. Scott helped get a lot of things going in Gloucester - he was an idea man and instigated things like whale watching, schooner festivals, and many other community-minded events - as well as being a great photographer.
I met him while making a circumnavigation with him in 1991. It was an early trip as mate on a steamship and he was the AB on my watch. During our time at sea we schemed about what we might do back in Gloucester when we got home.
It was with his encouragement that we built the Muscongus Bay sloop "Kim" as a charter boat and started our charter business in 1992. He was with us through a lot of activities we have done since. We miss him.
Last night they had the Mayor's Reception and the mayor of Gloucester and Sen. Bruce Tarr talked about the proud fishing heritage of Gloucester but also took time to congratulate the Gloucester high school sailing team. Who knew! It was great to see the team and they wished them a good season. The harbor looked spectatucular as we were able to stand on the deck of one of the large visiting schooners at one point and watch the full moon come up as dusk settled in...the mast lights of the Bluenose II and other schooners lit the harbor and it was great to see so many tall masts around Gloucester - which is sometimes too quiet for my taste. To see the activity of schooners arriving, and the crews spreading out throughout Gloucester, greeting each other and looking forward to two days of racing was great. We will give you a wrap up story of the schooner festival after the weekend. For now, enjoy the three-day holiday weekend!

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