Sailing the Victory Chimes – A Maine Sunset at Sea

On every sail, I always look forward to the sunset at sea.  Sunsets and sailing are a perfect pair. Add a cocktail, and well, it produces an idyllic holiday memory.

My time on the historic schooner, the Victory Chimes, proved exactly that – idyllic.

the Victory Chimes anchored off North Haven in Coastal Maine

The Victory Chimes

Sailing History in Maine

The Victory Chimes, a US National Historic Landmark  prepared to set sail from Rockland, Maine  in the late morning after the its crew served us breakfast and allotted us an hour in town to pick up any last minute supplies.  After my first of three nights on the Schooner, spent in the port, my Florida Keys wardrobe was not sufficient early autumn attire in Maine. I headed into town to acquire some gloves and a bottle of whiskey for good measure.

Once back on board, the captain and crew made the final preparations to leave the dock and as we headed out in the harbor.  The crew hoisted the main sails on each of the three masts with help from many of the eager guests. Such overnight sailings take forty passengers along with nine crew and plot a course of adventure through the islands off the coast of Maine.

the breakwater lighthouse in Rockland, Maine

Listening to orders, helping at times too, Victory Chimes navigated out of the harbor, tacking past the local Breakwater Lighthouse and out through the bay to the islands of Vinalhaven and North Haven.

Often, I found myself changing sides of the boat to stay in the sun and keep warm, I was still holding off on the whiskey till sunset and the planned onboard tasting (each sailing on the Victory Chimes has a theme, these sailing’s theme was Whiskey tasting and cocktail making). Hours later and still prior to sunset, the captain identified a safe cove to anchor and set the stage for our evening of music courtesy of fellow guests on board, dinner of fresh Maine lobster (leftovers might be used to make proper New England lobster rolls), games such as cards and dominoes (no Wi-Fi here), and of course the promised pours of the brown spirits.

The Perfect Pair – Sunset and Sailing

Sunset on the Victory Chimes, a US Naitonal Historic Sailboat in Mainesunset in the cove by North Haven in Maine onboard the Schooner Victory Chimes

Yet, before the evening took full form, I grabbed an early whiskey and headed to the bow of the 119 year old vessel to capture the fading colors of the sunset. The once brilliant cloudless sky turned as a new weather system approached and peppered us with severe cloud cover. No stars tonight (often sailings these islands allow guests to see the Milky Way Galaxy and countless stars). And this very system would provide a misty rain the next day including some evening storms, but not yet. This was my chance to appreciate the sunset.

So out came the best pair I’d have all night (even though I won many of my poker hands), the sunset on a historic sailboat. I took a deep breath and imprinted the moment into memory before snapping a few images to share. Then as I listened to the music entertain us all before dinner, I felt as if I scored a win in life’s moments. Was it the chimes of Victory I heard from the cello, guitar and violin? Maybe, but either way, it was a sunset memory for the travel holiday history books.

Happy Sunset Sunday

Stay adventurous, Craig

I was an invited guest on the Schooner Victory Chimes thanks to Maine Windjammer association. Yet the opinions on the vessel, the sail, and the sunset are, as always, my own. 


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