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Schooner Nights in Maine - Introducing Victory Chimes

Victory Chimes news feature - new vessel

Sam & Cara - We Bought a Ship!

If you are in the mood for a bit of positivity and good news, then we can tell you about an incredible couple that has successfully given a 100 year old Maine schooner in a new lease of life. We have been watching with interest their first season and are thrilled to add them to the Classic Sailing Fleet in 2020.

The new owners have been preparing for this almost all their professional lives it seems and the engineless schooner Victory Chimes is in good hands. In 2019 she has been creating a musical wake and good customer reviews across Penobscot Bay, Eggemoggin Reach and stomping on down east to windjammer festivals and wooden boat jamborees. She has more for you in 2020, and her voyages are now ready for bookings on the Classic Sailing website.

Introducing the Victory Chimes - Explore Maine by Schooner
Introducing the Victory Chimes - Explore Maine by Schooner

Captain Sam Sikkema & Cara Lauzon - Who Are They?

So what sort of crazy couple buys a 127ft ship that has had a hard working life as a cargo ship and passenger vessel and has 40 cabins of all shapes and sizes?

I met Captain Sam Sikkema 2 years ago when he was Captain of the barque Picton Castle. He is pretty well known around the world and thrilled to finally be doing his own thing with his own sailing ship. It was only an 8 day trip around Nova Scotia but I was blown away by his calm seamanship as he short tacked a square rigger into Rose Bay in front of several European tall ships that had entered port under engine. 

Sam Sikkema has been Captain of some pretty magnificent sailing ships from Friends Good Will, Lynx, Tole Mour, Harvey Gamage, Lettie G Howard, and Roseway. He is licensed internationally to be Master of vessels of up to 3000 tons worldwide. He also holds the Nautical Institute International Sail Endorsement for Square Rig and Fore & Aft Rig and has been a carpenter and rigger. I can't think of a better person to be the master of a 208 ton schooner without an engine.

​Along with his passion for being on the water Sam has always enjoyed playing music and is a student of History and Marine Preservation. When he is not at sea you can find him between Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Rockland, Maine playing music and building boats with his friends.

Sam and Cara
Sam and Cara

 

Cara - Bringing you musicians from Maine, Appalachians and around the world

Next you need some big ideas to fill the ship with lovely customers and have a ball sailing with them. In comes Cara Lauzon with one of the ingredients that make this ship special. Musicians, She has managed to lure the talented, storytelling acoustic type of instrumentalists or singer-songwriters to sea with charter guests on selected voyages. Cara plays a mean fiddle herself.

Cara ran off to sea at 17, working 4 seasons on Maine schooner Stephen Taber. A lady with a lot of wanderlust, she travelled with her fiddle on her back, travelling and living in over thirty countries in the last 10 years, playing and touring throughout Europe, South and Central America, the Middle East and South Pacific. 

Most recently she was living in Israel studying Turkish music, playing Indie Rock and living by the sea. However, there came a point that she “just missed home,” so she packed her bags and returned to the states where she has now become involved in running the VICTORY CHIMES. She is very excited to bring her knowledge of the world and her connections to the musical world to breathe new life into this historic vessel's journey.

1st concert with Resonant Rouges
1st concert with Resonant Rouges

Showing you the Secret Maine - of boat builders, lonely outposts, fishing towns 

In peak summer it is pretty hot on the Eastern Seaboard so the best place to be is out on the water in cooling sea breezes or exploring an offshore island....and Maine has plenty of islands. Pose on the bowsprit, go for a wild swim at anchor, enjoy al fresco meals on deck. As the days get a bit shorter into the famous Maine Fall, the sunsets get more vivid, the leaves go red and jumpers and hurricane lamps come out in the evening.

With Penobscot Bay, Hurricane Island, Isle au Haut, Jericho Bay and other classic sailing grounds on her doorstep to explore and sail a three masted schooner to its full potential. There are plenty of voyages just for exploring without any famous guest musicians. Bird watching for bald eagles and other seabirds is another special trip.

bald eagles in Acadia National Park on mount Desert Island
bald eagles in Acadia National Park on mount Desert Island

Messing About in Boats

Maine is a bit of a mecca for wooden boats with a fine boat building tradition and plenty of lumber to build them. Victory Chimes has a sailing dory, fine rowing boats and a push boat with an engine, to help the ship manoeurvre into port. In the chosen anchorages you can go for a sail or a row, or ask the crew to join you if you are just learning your small boat skills.

The 2020 Sailing Programme has something for everyone, but it is the authenticity that locks it together. This is their life and Sam, Cara and their hand picked crew and want to enjoy it and share it with you and their friends. And they have some great friends:

take the captains rowing boat ashore
take the captains rowing boat ashore

Sea Great Concerts

Victory Chimes owners have put together a series of summer concerts that take place on board, exclusively for you. Usually after dinner as the perfect end to a sailing day, the performances are intimate and wonderful. Each is an hour or so, often longer because folks keep asking for more, but you can just as easily fall asleep to it from your cabin if you like. 

Schooner Fleet Gatherings

  • Schooner Gam Week 
  • Boothbay Windjammer Festival
  • Great Schooner Race
  • Parade of Sail - Maine Bicentennial
  • Camden Windjammer Festival
  • Windjammer Fleet Visit to Wooden Boat School 
festivals with other windjammers
festivals with other windjammers

 

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