WORKING ON THE WATER VII

A gathering of local mariners sharing their experiences through stories, songs, and poetry.

Saturday, November 12 at 1:00 PM

Sail, Power, and Steam Museum
75 Mechanic St, Rockland ME 04841
$5 per person, kids under 12 free

We are always interested in new presenters. Do you have an experience to share? Come join us - speak to Gordon or Kathy at this event or give a us a call.

2016 Presenters:



Gordon Bok

Gordon Bok grew up around the boatyards of Camden. In his early years, he worked on a variety of vessels, from passenger schooners to yachts. A lifelong folk musician, when he couldn't find songs that matched his experiences or needs, he began to write his own, and has kept up a lively flow of poems, songs, stories, choral and instrumental works. He has participated in the FisherPoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon, the event that inspired Working on the Water.

   


Stefanie Alley
photo credit: Sarah Corson

Stefanie Alley lobster fishes out of Islesford, Little Cranberry Island from May to November. After sterning for 20 years she lobsters from her own boat, named Ashley'n Lucy. Stefanie also offers lobster boat tours, demonstrating hauling traps, relating stories, and explaining regulations. Her husband, Rick, and son, Jeremy both fish from the Cranberry Isles Lobstermen's Co-op, and her daughter, Ashley, comes back to the island in summertime to lobster with Rick.

Originally from Minnesota and Colorado, Stefanie grew up in an active family. Her parents are hot air balloonists, her brother is a commercial airline pilot, and a sister captains boats on the west coast. Stefanie's travels have led to exploring places where writers like Willa Cather and Edna St. Vincent Millay have lived and worked. When a poet from Downeast was asked to give a workshop in Ireland, Stefanie accompanied her and savored opportunities to observe, reflect and create. Stefanie enjoys meeting fishermen, poets, islanders, and staying connected with friends and family.

   


Sharon Daley

Sharon Daley, R.N., has worked as the Director of Island Health on the m/v Sunbeam  for the Maine Seacoast Mission for the past 15 years. The Sunbeam  travels biweekly to the islands of Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, and Matinicus, and less frequently to Cranberry Islands, Monhegan, and Eagle Island, providing a variety of services to island residents. Sharon’s work in telemedicine brings health care directly to the islands, linking residents with medical specialists via the internet. “It has been a very special job and an honor to be part of the island communities.” Here is a short video of the service she provides. Sharon lives on Islesboro with her husband, Tom. They owned Quicksilver Services Water Taxi for 13 years.

   


Capt. Dave Gelinas

Capt. Dave Gelinas graduated Maine Maritime Academy in 1984. He holds multiple licenses including Master of Steam or Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons Upon Oceans and Maine State Pilot for Penobscot Bay, Penobscot River, Frenchman Bay and Somes Sound. With over 30 years of experience navigating these waters on vessels of various sizes, he is intricately familiar with the tides and currents of Penobscot Bay. He is president of the Searsport-based Penobscot Bay & River Pilots Association, is a governor-appointed board member of the Maine Pilotage commission, is president of Searsport/Bucksport Chapter of the Propellor Club of the US, and sits on the board of the Maine and New Hampshire Port Safety Forum. In 2000, he received a Certificate of Commendation from the United States Coast Guard for his efforts in establishing the Penobscot Bay Recommended Route for Deep Draft Vessels. Dave Gelinas lives in Penobscot with his wife Rae-Ann and son Noah. Their daughter Charlotte attends the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.

   

Capt. Annie Mahle
photo credit: Colleen Duffley

Captain Annie Mahle and her husband, Captain Jon Finger, run the historic Maine windjammer, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin. Not only is Annie a maritime captain with a background experience as crew on the windjammers and on private yachts, she also is the captain of her galley where she has been cooking meals for the last 19 years on a cast iron wood stove. She is the author of three cookbooks – At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J&E Riggin, and Sugar & Salt: A Year At Home and At Sea. Captain Annie lives in Rockland with her husband Jon and their daughters Chloe and Ella.

   


Capt. Kendall & Jacqui Morse

Capt. Kendall Morse:"I joined the US Coast Guard just out of high school, served 4 years aboard the CGC Coos Bay out of Portland, Maine. Our duties were ice patrol, weather patrol and search & rescue. The Davis straits in January is not a fun place to be.

"However, they made it up to us by sending us to Cuba in August. That was before the revolution and it was a dangerous place to be.

"After leaving the Coast Guard, I joined the State of Maine's dept. of sea & shore fisheries aboard the patrol boat Explorer out of Camden, Maine. When the Captain resigned the job fell to me and I lived in that boat with one other Warden until I resigned and took a job with the US Fish & Wildlife, stationed in Portland, Maine. I finally retired from that job and started traveling around doing performances of folk music and Maine humor."

   


Bill Page

Bill Page grew up in Winterport, where his long career in wooden boats began. At age 12 he put up a small shop next to the family garage and built his first boat – a 14’ Rhodes Bantam sloop, and continued building prams and small runabouts to see during high school years. Later, while studying engineering at the University of Maine he established a boatyard on the river front and he worked on the boats during the winter weekends and breaks. After obtaining his Mechanical Engineering degree, Bill joined the Coast and Geodetic Survey (now NOAA) as a junior officer and first served aboard a Seattle-based ship doing hydrographic survey work North of Alaska, and later was assigned to a small survey party to resurvey Charleston, SC Harbor and its entrance waters. In the sixties Bill established a yacht brokerage business in Camden, specializing in traditional wooden boats. The business was sold in the late eighties, and this provided him more time to build boats and cruise. He has cruised extensively in the Pacific NW and the Northeastern coasts, most recently cruising the Southern coast of Newfoundland in his Bill Garden-designed West coast troller type vessel, Serianna, which he built over a 14 year period (with help from others!) and was launched in 2013. Bill lives with his wife Paula in Cushing.

   


Capt. Bill Zuber

Capt. Bill Zuber has spent most of his life on or near the water since he was three months old. He sailed his first sailboat at the age of five, got his first USCG captain’s license at the age of 18, and after graduating college was president and manager of the family boatyard in Brielle, NJ. He purchased the 32’ Friendship Sloop Gladiator and sailed to Friendship, Maine where he eventually settled. He’s worked for Hurricane Island Outward Bound as director of Fleet & Facility, for S.E.A. as Chief Engineer aboard the sail training vessels Westward and Corwith Cramer where he taught Marine Engineering and Celestial Navigation, and as master of the island transport vessel Reliance for Rockland Marine. In 2014 he decided not to renew his USCG 200 ton license in favor of just sailing Gladiator in his retirement. He lives in Friendship, Maine with his wife Caroline.


A Selection of Previous Presenters at Working on the Water:



David Calder

David Calder went to work on the Kennebec River Drive in 1966 at age sixteen. The "DRIVE" ended in 1976. At that point in time he started working in construction, primarily in paper mills, dams, and pipe lines. Presently, David lives in Canaan with his wife, Maureen. He is a father and grandfather and enjoys gardening, reading, writing, playing guitar, and raising a few goats.

   


Andy Chase

Capt. Andy Chase, Professor of Marine Transportation, began his sea-going career at the age of 16 as deckboy aboard a Norwegian bulkcarrier. He received his B.S. from Maine Maritime Academy and holds a USCG license as master, unlimited tonnage, for power vessels, and master of auxiliary sail vessels of up to 1,600 tons. Andy sailed aboard tankers, container ships, tugs, and freighters as deckhand, bosun, third, second, and chief mate. His professional sailing career was aboard gaff and square rigged training ships as deckhand, mate, and master. Andy is the subject of Looking for a Ship, a book about the U.S. Merchant Marine by John McPhee, and is the author of Auxiliary Sail Vessel Operations, by Cornell Maritime Press.

   


Diane Cowan

Known to many as the “Lobster Doc” based on her Commercial Fisheries News column “Ask the Lobster Doc,” Dr. Diane Cowan earned her Ph.D. from Woods Hole-based Boston University (BU) Marine Program in 1992. She came to Maine to teach Animal Behavior and Marine Ecology at Bates College. She also started a coast-wide survey of juvenile lobsters, the “Juvenile Lobster Monitoring Program,” which led to her founding the non-profit The Lobster Conservancy (TLC). Following a donation of properties, Diane moved to Friendship Long Island in 1999 where she studies juvenile and adult lobster behavior and ecology throughout the year. Her honors include a Presidential University Graduate Fellowship at BU, Senior Research Fellowship in Marine Policy at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a Sarah Orne Jewett Award from Maine Women’s Fund.

   


Jack Merrill

Jack Merrill has been writing and publishing poetry since high school. He is a graduate of Antioch College (Literature and Marine Biology) and worked for Outward Bound School. Merrill started lobstering in 1972 and has spent over 20 years as the Vice President of the Maine Lobsterman’s Association. He’s also been a board member of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine since its inception. Merrill has enjoyed coaching over 60 youths’ sports teams (baseball, basketball, hockey), and with wife Erica (a retired teacher), has enjoyed island living and raising two now grown children. “In recent years, I’ve become more involved with playing music and painting, but continue to write, and participate in FisherPoet events whenever I get the opportunity.” Merrill’s poetry was most recently published in Anchored in Deep Water: The FisherPoets Anthology (2014).

   


Capt. Richard "Kip" Files

A Maine native, Captain Kip Files has been a licensed Mariner since 1975. He has made a career on the water sailing traditional vessels and has owned the three-masted schooner Victory Chimes for 25 years. Some of the other vessels he has been Captain of include the barques Charles W Morgan and Elissa, and the schooners Bill of Rights, Ladona (ex Nathaniel Bowditch), and Bowdoin.

   


Capt. John Worth

Capt. John Worth began his marine career in 1973 in the windjammer vacation business in Camden, Maine, becoming captain of the Schooner Mistress and then the Schooner Mercantile. In 1980-81, he rebuilt a 1911 sardine carrier, the Sylvina W. Beal, and operated her out of Belfast, Maine, for four years. A chance trip to Eastport driving the Tug Brian F. led to a career change. In 1989, Captain Worth bought the Belfast, Maine, tug company, and re-named the company Maineport Towboats. For fourteen years, he operated this company, docking and sailing ships in Bucksport and Searsport, and in Bath and Portland, and undertaking coastwise tow work as well. During off-hours, he worked as relief captain for Schooners Timberwind and Stephen Taber. Captain Worth has worked on sail vessel deliveries from Bermuda and points south in the Caribbean, and from Spain. In 2003, he sold his interest in Maineport Towboats and began working at Maine Maritime Academy. While there he ran the Schooner Bowdoin on trips along the Atlantic coast including circumnavigations of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. He also taught tug and barge operations and workboat operations. From 2009-2011, he served the Academy as Director of Cadet Shipping and Career Services. In 2013, Captain Worth joined the faculty at Maine Maritime Academy in the Department of Marine Transportation. He works part-time as a relief captain for Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug Company and the Maine State Ferry Service. Captain Worth holds a 1600-ton master steam and motor, with a towing endorsement and 100-ton auxiliary sail, near coastal, U.S.C.G. license. He is a Maine State Pilot Commissioner.

   


Brian Robbins

A former offshore lobsterman from Stonington, ME, Brian Robbins is a freelance writer, musician, and cartoonist. Regular homes for Robbins’ saltwater-flavored work include Commercial Fisheries News, Fish Farming News, National Fisherman, and Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine. His music-related articles (features, interviews, and reviews of everything from modern rock to classic jazz) regularly appear online (Jambands.com and Relix.com) and in print (Relix and Hittin’ The Note magazines). His live performances often include readings from Bearin’s: The Book (a “best of” collection from the first 20 years of his column in Commercial Fisheries News), acoustic music, and off-the-cuff storytelling. Says Robbins, “My goal is to turn whatever venue I’m at into a bait shed full of friends. Well, you know … a nice bait shed.” Examples of Robbins’ writings, music, and cartoons (or as he refers to them, “tales, tunes and ‘toons”) can be found at www.brian-robbins.com. These days Brian and his wife Felicity Myers live in the midcoast area with Bonnie their faithful Chesapeake and Stella and Pearl the Siberian kitty sisters.

   


Capt. Jim Sharp

Capt. Jim Sharp is an old salt with a long history of rescuing, working on, and sailing vessels of all sizes. He started his nautical life running a charter boat in the Bahamas before coming to join Maine’s windjammer fleet owning and running or working on several different boats in the fleet, including the schooner Stephen Tabor and the schooner Roseway. He helped rescue the Arctic exploration schooner Bowdoin from dismantlement (now the flagship of Maine Maritime Academy) bought and sailed the Gloucester fishing schooner Adventure as one of Camden's passenger-carrying windjammers for many years before returning her to Gloucester, and has been enjoying a reputation as spokesman for Maine’s Windjammer Fleet and nautical history ever since. With his wife Meg, he runs what he likes to call the “world famous Sail, Power, and Steam Museum right here in South Rockland”, which not only displays much of Rockland’s history in ships and shipbuilding, but also has become well known for its Friday night concert series and Sunday afternoon jam sessions. He has published his autobiography in the book "With Reckless Abandon" and will have a new book out soon about the history and engineering of canal systems in the United States and Europe.

   


Capt. Ray Williamson

A lifelong sailor, Captain Williamson’s love of classic wooden sailing vessels lured him to Camden and Maine’s original windjammer fleet, the Grace Bailey, Mercantile and Mistress in 1982. After serving as captain of the Mercantile, he and his wife Ann became the proud owners of Maine Windjammer Cruises in 1986. Buying older boats in need of a great deal of work gave Ray the opportunity to experience his two favorite occupations at once: shipbuilding and sailing. During the first five years they completely restored all three schooners. The massive undertaking earned them National recognition as preservers of historic vessels. The Grace Bailey and Mercantile were declared National Landmarks securing a rightful place in history for these two graceful “coasters”. Over the past three decades Ray along with his wife Ann, have been devoted to maintaining their historic vessels and sharing the experience of traditional sailing with their many passengers. In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of his Original Windjammer Fleet, Capt. Williamson published “Keeping the Tradition Alive”, stories and vintage photos of Maine Windjammer Cruises and its vessels from the days of cargo to the present. His passion for history led him to research not only his own vessels, but the proud heritage of Camden’s shipbuilding past. He works actively to protect and preserve the rich maritime history and resources of our area.


Abe Baggins

Abe Baggins has been messing about in boats for more than 50 years. He grew up sailing the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in an engineless sloop, worked as a rigger in an Annapolis boat yard, ran away from the sea for 10 years to North Carolina and came to Maine to learn traditional wooden boatbuilding. Realizing that he loved driving boats more than building them, he obtained his captain’s license and for over 30 years has been earning his living on the water. With his wife, Selkie O’Mira, they ran a day-sailing business out of Camden. Then yacht deliveries, a passenger/cargo ship, a landing craft, tug boats and ferry boats took him from Maine to Trinidad and back…to Camden where he lives with Selkie and tries to figure out what to do when he grows up.

   


Jon Broderick

Jon lives on the Oregon coast and is the guy who made the first phone calls that started the Fisherpoets Gathering. He seined in Kodiak, then drifted in southeast Alaska and now his family setnets on the Nushagak in Bristol Bay. He has read, among other places, at Kodiak Out Loud, at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, at Writers on the Edge in Newport, Oregon, at the Seattle Folklife Festival, at Sea Stories at Fort Flagler, Washington, in Curt Olson’s cabin at Nushagak Point, Alaska and, of course, at the Fisherpoets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon. He and fellow Fisher Poet & musician Jay Speakman played behind Clem Starck on Clem’s “Looking for Parts” cd and have recorded two cds of original fisherpoetsongs “Pitched Off and Heading Home” and “Miles Away.”

   


Bill Gargan
photo by Melissa Waterman

Bill Gargan came to Maine by chance in 1942 as a Coast Guard recruit to watch for German submarines from Whitehead Island. After leaving the Coast Guard in 1945 he began lobstering, fishing offshore year-round. “That was, until I got smart!”
He started taking fishermen out in the summer months aboard his boat, Shamrock, and found that the work suited him. Apparently his clients were happy as well. Over his 38-year career, Gargan carried the Bolivian prime minister, South American diplomats and officials from Canada as well as a variety of avid fishermen out into the Gulf of Maine to fish for cod, halibut and other species. In the winter he would lobster, or in early summer go longlining. In 1985 Gargan came ashore, sold the business and retired.
condensed with permission from the article written by Melissa Waterman, published May 30, 2012 in Rockland's The Free Press. Read the entire article here.
   

Selkie O'Mira
photo by Terry Heitz
Selkie O'Mira grew up around the Great Lakes where she spent her summers rowing about in an old wooden boat her father had built, whilst singing, bailing and looking for turtles and frogs. Later, she crewed on The Arctic Tramp, a charter motorsailer, in Prince William Sound, and came to Maine from Alaska in 1980 where she met her then future husband Abe Baggins at the Apprenticeshop Boatbuilding School in Bath. Together they sailed the Vernon Hart, a Key West Smackee for the ‘Shop, then bought their own boat, Scud, and did daysailing charters out of Camden Harbor for several years until Mr. Baggins decided he wanted to drive big boats. She now works at Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Freedom. Selkie has been writing all her life, and has written poetry for about ten years. Her works are published in the book Stone In My Pocket: poems and images of Maine by the Moody Mountain Writers.


Muriel Curtis

Muriel Curtis has enjoyed ten years of sailing, fishing, and singing with friends and vessels on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, as director of Station Maine (an organization of community members dedicated to offering boating opportunities at no cost to youth of all ages in the mid-coast Maine area), her love of kids, the sea, and music all come together on the coast of Maine.

   


Nat Hussey

Nat Hussey is originally from Bowdoinham, Maine, and, for the last 6 years, has made his home on Matinicus Island. Nat worked in the lobstering business, the one room school and serves as the island's tax collector. His saltwater rock, folk and blues songs are drawn from the unique character and characters of the Maine coast and islands. Diesel and Driftwood is Nat's 7th recording and has been featured on WKIT, WCLZ, WRFR and Maine Public Radio. You can view his music videos on his website www.nathussey.com.

   


Frank Gotwals

Frank Gotwals is a musician and lobsterman from Stonington, Maine wIth professional musicians as parents and a long family history of making a living on the water. His songs reflect his enjoyment of many genres of music, a love of words, and over thirty five years of making a living from the sea. Several of his guitar instrumentals have been used in documentaries of the Maine coast and the fishing industry. He has recorded four CDs of original music.


Jay Speakman

Jay Speakman is a descendant of an old Maine seafaring family. He spent his childhood summers on Little Cranberry Island. Except for three years spent in Beirut, Lebanon, he was raised in New England. After attending college in Hawaii, he moved back to Maine and began a lobstering career, then went on to fish commercially in Alaska and British Columbia.

He has also found employment on freighters and yachts, taught briefly at Hurricane Island Outward Bound school, and worked as a marine mechanic. He gave up fishing full-time to become an architectural blacksmith in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he met his wife, Diane. Together they operate a small home-decor shop in Cannon Beach, Oregon. They have two daughters and live in Gearhart, Oregon.

Speakman's writings have appeared in Hipfish, The Alaska Fisherman's Journal, Like Fish in the Freezer, and Moving Mountain. Over the past few years, he has been a reader at the annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria, Oregon.