Summer holds a special spot in my heart. Growing up in Illinois, we spent summers in a cabin on Lake Michigan. It was not the ocean, but in my child’s mind it was as vast and mysterious as any ocean I could have imagined. Fast forward to today and I am a 40 something mom with kids of my own. An added bonus—we now live by the ocean.
My husband and I made the move to New England just three years ago and it is a decision that will forever be one of the best ones we have made. We’ve embraced the lifestyle whole-heartedly and are always eager to explore with our two boys.
This summer has been one that has not been great for travel because of COVID-19, but to our delight Maine opened up to Connecticut residents in July. I quickly booked a vacation rental in Kennebunkport and we packed up our Jeep for a Vacationland adventure.
One of our favorite parts of this particular vacation was the day on the water we spent with Captain Rich and his crew aboard the Schooner Eleanor. Our boys had sailed before, but never in Maine. They were up bright and early that morning eager to see what the ride would be like.
We arrived to the Schooner Eleanor’s office, an old boat house with buoys hung randomly on the outside. Inside we gazed at treasures new and old. A chart map from the 1800’s, old flags and photographs, and our boys enjoyed getting to pet the Captain’s dog before we boarded.
The weather had just turned to sunny and we were the first sail of the day. We motored out of the Kennebunk River and in a matter of moments the sails were hoisted and we zigzagged our way on the water. It was quite choppy at first. One of the crewmates admitted that the waves were just under the limit for sailing the 55 foot schooner. Our youngest held onto me tight until we made it to smoother waters. It was thrilling and I’m sure a little scary for him. Our teenager enjoyed riding the waves as I did and once the chop was over we basked in warm sunshine, sweet salt air, and ocean breezes.
I always enjoy seeing coastal places I love from the water. We passed rocky shorelines, all the area beaches, and the Bush compound. We chatted with the crew and moved around the vessel for new views. Captain Rich was a wonderful companion and he told us all about his life sailing and building the schooner in just 2 years!
It was a beautiful way to enjoy a summer’s day. The weather was sunny yet a tad cool which made for comfortable sailing. As we headed back to the dock, I thought to myself…how would 11 year-old me have handled the choppy beginning? Would I have found it thrilling or scary? I do know that I would have loved being there with my family and maybe I would have held on to my Dad or Mom until smoother waters gave way.