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CASTINE, Maine—June 23, 2014—Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin, a National Historic Landmark and the Official Vessel of the State of Maine, will sail into Provincetown for the 4th of July. The Bowdoin will dock at MacMillan Pier in Provincetown Harbor. The ship’s crew and student sailors-in-training will host public open boat hours on Friday and Saturday, July 4th and 5th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days.
The Bowdoin set sail for New York on Monday, June 2nd with ten Academy students in the Vessel Operations and Technology program who will navigate and maintain the 88-foot tall ship, with the help of 6 crew members, as part of their at-sea training during the month of June. The Bowdoin will travel widely this summer and participate in a number of public events in its role as flagship of the MMA sail training program, making stops in Roque Island (Downeast Maine), Grand Manan Island (Canada), Boothbay Harbor and Portland, before making its way to Provincetown.
The Bowdoin enjoys a long history of seafaring education and Arctic exploration. Commissioned by explorer Admiral Donald B. MacMillan (1874-1970) of Provincetown to facilitate his work in the high northern latitudes, Bowdoin was built by Hodgdon Brothers Shipyard, now Hodgdon Yachts, of East Boothbay, Maine. The ship has made 21 expeditions above the Arctic Circle, 18 of them before 1954 under the command of MacMillan. MacMillan sold Bowdoin to the U.S. Navy for use in World War II during the Greenland Patrol. After WWII, MacMillan bought the ship back for $3,000 and continued to sail her for nine more years around Greenland. After MacMillan’s retirement the boat belonged to the Schooner Bowdoin Association until 1988 when Maine Maritime Academy purchased the vessel for the purpose of training students.
In 2021, the Bowdoin will turn 100 years old. As this important milestone approaches, the ship’s steward, Maine Maritime Academy, will oversee a major re-build of the ship’s decks and systems over the next three years, beginning with the deck replacement in the fall of 2015. The Academy will be conducting a survey of the ship to determine the scope of work and maintenance, as well as commencing a fundraising effort to garner financial support for the renovations.
Bowdoin’s Captain, Eric Jergenson, is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy’s Small Vessel Operations program and former sailing master at the college (2000-2009). He has sailed extensively aboard the schooner Bowdoin in positions ranging from Deckhand to Master, from points south of Boston to the Arctic. Jergenson holds a U.S. Coast Guard license for Auxiliary Sail Vessels upon Oceans and is a US SAILING Certified Coastal Passage instructor and an Instructor Trainer for Basic Keelboat and Cruising Instructors.
The public can follow the adventures of the schooner Bowdoin throughout the sail training cruise. Visit bowdoincruise.mma.edu or follow the cruise on facebook at Arctic Schooner Bowdoin. Updates will include a Captain’s log and a hyperlink to the online vessel tracking site, iBoat Track.
Maine Maritime Academy is the only college in the United States with a dedicated sail training program that leads to a U.S. Coast Guard license as mate on an auxiliary sail vessel. Students may start with no prior sailing experience and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, a USCG license, and all necessary certificates.
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation. The college is consistently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top undergraduate engineering schools in the nation. MMA graduates benefit from hands-on instruction, international sea-time aboard the Training Ship State of Maine and Schooner Bowdoin, cadet shipping aboard commercial vessels, and cooperative education assignments. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.