Historic schooner Bowdoin restoration

Arctic schooner Bowdoin gets repaired in Camden

CAMDEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Schooner Bowdoin has been exploring the far reaches of the world since 1921.  Now, she's taking a short break.

The historic vessel is undergoing renovations to keep it afloat, so the ship's new captain can steer students at Maine Maritime Academy to a bright future.

"The ice came down and enclosed us. We were able to get out but it was really a pretty close encounter," said Pete Rand, who sailed aboard the Bowdoin from 1948 to 1950.

The Bowdoin has withstood the test of time in its 95 years of service, and those who have sailed on it hope to see smooth sailing in the future.

"We're working really hard to make sure the vessel is ready for the next hundred years," said Eric Jergenson, former captain of the Bowdoin and faculty of Maine Maritime Academy.

The schooner, built in East Boothbay, has explored some far reaches including the Arctic Circle.  She is the only American schooner built specifically for Arctic exploration.  Normally docked in Castine at Maine Maritime Academy, she now resides in Camden for renovations.

"It's just like replacing the roof of your house.  You basically have to keep the water out of the deck so we put a new roof if you will on top of it so new decking and addressing any internal issues that we may find in that process," said Jergenson.

But the ship offers more than just history for students.  It's a place for them to learn about teamwork. 

Captain Emma Hathaway made the transition from a sailor to both captain and educator.

"I think modern things make things a little easier but the kind of life aboard stuff, how to live in a very small space i think is very unique," said Captain Hathaway.

Sailing is her passion that she hopes will inspire her students.

"My parents bought me a sextant as my high school graduation present so they sent me off to sea on my first trans-pacific," said Hathaway.

The Schooner should set sail again this summer.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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