Photo by Robert Angell
Schooner Heritage

Your Captains

Capt. Doug Lee
More than 60% of our guests each year have sailed with us before or were referred by those who have.
 


The Schooner Heritage
P O Box 482
Rockland, ME 04841
1-800-648-4544
(207) 594-8007
info@schoonerheritage.com
 

Captains Doug and Linda Lee both always sail aboard the Heritage. They've been doing so on their own schooners for more than 30 years now. After years of sailing their first schooner together, they dared to do the unthinkable; design and build the Heritage from the keel up. A monumental undertaking that took four years to complete, they now have a schooner that not only looks like a traditional coasting schooner but has been specifically constructed with their guests' comfort in mind.

Both have Masters Licenses issued by the United States Coast Guard, Linda being the first woman in the fleet to earn hers. The requirements are substantial, including accumulated sea time working aboard a vessel as well as an extensive written exam covering all aspects of seamanship.

Their teamwork makes sailing one of the larger windjammers look easy but it's because of their years of experience working together. You may find either one at the wheel, or working alongside crew and passengers alike to sheet in sails, coil lines or furl the sails at day's end. Passengers are amazed by Linda's non-stop activity. Throughout the week you'll find her frequenting the galley keeping a watchful eye over the preparation of meals, if not actually kneading the bread dough or rolling out a half dozen pie crusts. Midweek on a sunny afternoon she'll have an impromptu ship's store, describing the items as she unpacks them. All while carrying on conversations with passengers or crew.

There's more to a week aboard though than sailing. Don't be surprised when Doug and Linda take a seat at your table for breakfast, joining in the recounting of yesterday's adventures. Doug may go into storyteller mode after dinner in the evening, captivating everyone with his stories laced with DownEast humor. Guests who have sailed before often put in their request for a particular story on the first day of a trip. Linda perhaps will give you a tour of the evening sky right from the schooner deck, pointing out different constellations. The sky, undisturbed by city lights, appears awash with tiny diamonds, perfect for stargazing.

Captains Doug and Linda's two daughters, Clara and Rachel, grew up aboard the schooner Heritage.

They're adults now and out on their own but come back and sail as crew whenever they can. You may get to meet them aboard.

Word's gotten around about Doug.
This snippet appeared in the February 2004 issue of Soundings Magazine.
(A legible copy of its text is printed below.)

Capt. Doug Lee, Rockland, Maine

AGE: 56

OCCUPATION: Captain of the 95-foot wooden schooner Heritage, part of the Maine Windjammer Association fleet, and co-author of "A Shipyard in Maine," a historical look at the Percy & Small shipyard (Maine Maritime Museum, and Tilbury House, $49.95). Lee, and his wife and co-captain, Linda, also own North End Shipyard, which caters to wooden sailboats.

FROM THE KEEL UP: The Lees designed and built their 165-ton schooner, modeling it after a 19th-century cargo-hauling coaster but modifying the interior for passenger comfort. "She looks like a 100-year-old schooner, but she's not a replica; she's the next generation." Built of local oak and pine, Heritage was launched in 1983 and begins her 22nd year of chartering (four-day and weeklong) June 7. "The vessel has never left the dock without me at the wheel."

WELCOME ABOARD: "The best part about this business is the people. They're not really passengers; they come and stay for days. You're living with them — they're crew, they're family."

WHAT FLOATS HIS BOAT: A good crew and the right sailing conditions. "Some days you have unbelievable breezes. Those perfect days where you just go."

—Rich Armstrong

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