Travel & travel writing

Tale of Three Schooners: And why you need to get on at least one of them

If this late summer heat has you dreaming of luffing sails and ocean spray, then I have a suggestion for you. Board one of Portland Schooner Company‘s historic schooners as quickly as you can.


Scott Reischmann and Michelle Thresher, owners of Portland Schooner Company and Peaks Island residents.

I love all three beauties–Bagheera, Wendameen, and Timberwind.

Bagheera 1924. My husband helped sail her to Portland, Maine when Portland Schooner Company moved her from San Francisco. Truth: I stood on the widow’s walk of a cottage and waited until three in the morning for Bagheera to arrive in Portland, only to give up and fall asleep (as I imagine many have done awaiting a sailor’s arrival). I’ve spent a fair amount of time on her since, including when she has served as a floating science classroom for Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. I hope you’ll read the up-close account in Portland Magazine of what it’s like for students to work from her deck.


Schooner Timberwind. Built in Portland Harbor in 1931 and christened as Portland Pilot.

Wendameen 1912. She’s breathtakingly beautiful. Lashed to the dock. Under sail. Either way. There’s a reason she’s hosted lots of weddings and photoshoots. When she sails, she flies. Simply glamorous.

Timberwind 1931. Now here’s a native Portlander that returned home early this summer after decades away.  This schooner was christened as the Portland Pilot in 1931 on the Portland waterfront. Her legendary escapades in the harbor, serving the Portland harbor pilots, led me to write a story in Portland Magazine. I hope you’re curious enough to read about how she was tapped by the Coast Guard to serve as an auxiliary patrol that protected the Maine coast from German U-boats during World War II. Luckily for us, she has returned home, rekindled memories throughout the maritime community, and offers you insight into a chapter of Portland’s working waterfront.

Next, I’ll share more about the research that went into writing about the Timberwind during WWII and some of the content that didn’t make it into the story.

Patricia Erikson blogs about Maine writers, travel, and science from a vibrant, literary community perched on Peaks Island, two miles off the coast of the beautiful and award-winning city of Portland, Maine. If you haven’t already, follow her on Instagram at @seashorewrite or subscribe to Peaks Island Press in the upper right corner at

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