Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Maine Maritime Museum

Located a bit north of Portland in the cute little town of Bath is the Maine Maritime Museum. We learned all about Maine’s rich seafaring history on the banks of the Kennebec River. From watercraft and lobstering, to shipbuilding and sea trade, we heard stories about dangerous voyages to distant lands, saw how a shipbuilder’s family lived in the 1890s, smelled the sawdust from historic ship timbers, and discovered the wonders and mysteries of Maine’s maritime culture.
And the kids had fun too! I just love it when they learn somethign new AND have fun!

Wish getting them to lay down and take a nap was always this easy! Maybe I need to get them bunk beds...

After seeing the exhibits inside we ventured outdoors.

It's just so beautiful here!

The Sherman Zwicker is a 142 foot wooden schooner built in 1942 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for the Zwicker and Co.,The Sherman Zwicker was one of the first, and last of its kind to be built. It is the only original Grand Banks fishing vessel that is still fully operational, and seaworthy.

The Sherman Zwicker plied the rich fishing waters of the Grand Banks until 1968 from the ports of Lunenburg, and Glovertown, Newfoundland. Starting in March the vessel would make three trips each year to the Banks for a three month period to dory fish for cod.

After the "summer trip" in September the vessel sailed to South America with a cargo of salt fish, and returned with a hold full of salt. The dorymen where a precarious lot risking their lives each time the dories were launched in all weather conditions into the cold, unforgiving waters of the North Atlantic. That little boat on the deck is the dory. There were 12 of them, 6 on each side, that would be put in the water to fish from. When the dory was full, the fish would be thrown up on deck with a pitchfork.

Today, the Sherman Zwicker is a fully operational, traveling museum. When not on one of her modern three-week voyages, or starring in a maritime event in the northeast she is docked at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine.

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