Monday, September 27, 2010

Adventures in Photography: Sailing Aboard the Margaret Todd

In Bar Harbor, Maine, the Margaret Todd has been providing summer tourists with the opportunity to sail on beautiful Frenchman’s Bay for more than a decade. The Margaret Todd is a four mast schooner that is 151 feet in length. With wooden decks, a white hull and red canvas sails, she is a beautiful sight to behold.
Photographic opportunities abound on board the Margaret Todd. The red sails are absolutely eye catching. Ropes and tackles running up and down the masts material for numerous macro and abstract compositions. Some visitors are even lucky enough to have their photo taken while they help hoist the sails!
In addition to the many images that can be made on board, the Margaret Todd takes her passengers through some of the most beautiful waters on the east coast. Island studded Frenchman’s Bay is a photographer’s delight. The famous porcupine islands start the show with fantastic views of their rugged shores. Sometimes, bald eagles can be spotted among the islands, providing a real treat for adventurous tourists.
Not to be missed on the sail through Frenchman’s Bay is scenic Rum Key. This tiny island is hidden from prying eyes on Bar Harbor. During prohibition, rum smugglers would do their surreptitious business at this clandestine isle. Today reputable seals are often seen basking on its shores.
Providing some of the grandest views of all is Mount Desert Island. With the tallest mountains on the eastern seaboard of North America, Mount Desert Island is truly resplendent. Cadillac Mountain rises 1532 feet, offering tremendous scenery. At the foot of Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor looks like a perfect resort town.
During her journeys, the Margaret Todd also passes many other boats. As she returns to Bar Harbor, she dwarfs sail boats and lobster boats alike. These smaller vessels are very colorful and afford images that have plenty of New England character. Sometimes the sizeable Margaret Todd is dwarfed by enormous cruise ships. The old fashioned schooner sailing by an ultra modern cruise ship is a striking contrast.
The most charming time to sail aboard the Margaret Todd may be during the “Sunset Sail”. The finest light of day will illuminate the islands, waters and wildlife of Frenchman’s Bay, for outstanding photographs. Musicians frequently perform on the “Sunset Sail” adding a romantic flair to the evening. With some luck, visitors may even glimpse a dolphin swimming into the setting sun.
Returning from a pleasant sail, one can not help but feel relaxed and refreshed. A short journey on the Margaret Todd can take you miles away from your cares and worries.
To sail on the Margaret Todd, call the Downeast Windjammer Company at 1-207-288-4585 or visit their website at To see more images of Acadia National Park and the Margaret Todd visit my website here:
This month’s tip: Making sharp images aboard a sailing vessel can be difficult. The constant rocking motion of the ship can make for many blurred shots. Bumping your camera’s ISO up to 400 or higher will help make your images crisp and clear.
Join me for a photography workshop in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park! For more information, visit or call 781-837-9400 for an itinerary.

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