The Arctic Schooner Bowdoin
Now the official sailing vessel of the State of Maine, the Bowdoin was built for Admiral Donald MacMillan in 1921, making 26 Arctic voyages between 1921 and 1954 under his command. Now owned by the Maine Maritime Academy, she was designated a U.S. National Historical Landmark in 1989.
A sailor herself, Virginia Thorndike has written an informative and affectionate recounting of the life of the Bowdoin, featuring interviews with those who have sailed on her, including the original "Bowdoin Boys" who sailed with MacMillan, excerpts from the ship's log, accounts of her rebuilding, her adventures with Outward Bound, and her most recent voyage in 1994 that took her 500 miles above the Arctic Circle, to the sea where the sun doesn't set.
"She breathes history...She remembers all the men and women who have lived aboard her, worked on her, loved her. She remembers...someday she will remember me, too. Captain Mac loved her, and Miriam. And all those college boys that Mac brought north--do you remember them all, Bowdoin? Do you remember the men who sailed on her in World War II? I think you do. I can feel some of them now, here with us in the stillness."
Deborah Harrison, on her first night aboard the Bowdoin, summer 1991.