Capt. Ben Pine was a very colorful character back in the Gloucester’s history of international sailing schooner racing fame. He gained international prominence for skippering the Gloucester sailing schooner “Columbia” in the International Fisherman’s Cup in 1923. Nova Scotia dominated the races with the Schooner “Bluenose.” Capt. Pine successfully raced against the “Bluenose” with his Essex built “Gertrude l. Theabaud” in 1931. On one of his races the actor Sterling Hayden was at the helm.

The year was in the early 1950s, when Capt. Pine approached my husband. “Bob McKinnon, how would you like to accompany me and my friend on my sailboat the “Skilagalee” to Nova Scotia, Canada to see the International dory races?” Bob was so excited for this opportunity as he was also asked to bring alonga friend. The dory races are traditional each year just before Labor Day and are held alternately in Gloucester and Nova Scotia. Bob’s friend Harold Bradley was also excited to be invited as they both had never attended this event. The day of therace was approaching when they set sail on that beautiful September day. All was going well.

The four-man crew were taking turns keeping watch. Suddenly, the ocean became very rough, and the winds were howling. Ben Pine stated to Bob, “Time for your watch.” Bob opened the cabin door, and the wind took his breath away. All he could see was a terribly angry ocean and huge waves. He quickly closed the door; they were at the mercy of a fierce ocean storm. Bob’s friend became very seasick and vowed never to speak to Bob again.

The storm lasted for many days. The boat’s engine became disabled. Never reaching Nova Scotia, they set sail back to Gloucester. Bob’s father was very worried waiting for some news of the sailboat. He was afraid to tell Bob’s mother that no one had seen the boat or heard from them in days. Rumor was that the boat was lost at sea with all hands. Then on the horizon one day a battered sailboat the “Skilagalee” was seen haggard but in full sail entering Gloucester harbor. Ben Pine was grateful to Bob, offering him one of his sailboats. Bob had to regretfully refuse the offer, because he could not afford the expense of having his own sailboat.

Special delivery from Truro Chocolatier Chequessett coming in hot aboard the Schooner Istar and headed to The Cave on Main Street

I’ve been here now 10 years. I’ve been getting this wicked cool chocolate bar delivered by schooner for the past 7 or 8 years. The captain of the schooner “Istar” is good friends with this chocolatier. They leave Truro today to head up for the schooner festival here in Gloucester. I have a ton of chocolate arriving that way tonight or tomorrow.

The chocolate company is called Chequessett, based out of Truro, Ma.

Hope this finds you & fan well.

My best, Laura

ALight on MARS: The Boston Sculptors Gallery Comes to Starfield

August 2021:  Since July, The Manship Artists Residency has been honoring some of its earliest “residents” — i.e., the fireflies — with a Year of Light. This celebration will continue through the Fall and into next year with special programming designed to draw attention to the magic and wonder of fireflies, as well as ways we can help their local populations flourish. As part of this effort, members of the Boston Sculptors Gallery have been invited to install site-specific work that uses light in some way on the Manship Artists Residency grounds. 

It was Paul Manship, the sculptor of the Prometheus Fountain, who first recognized the importance of the luminescent beetles with which he shared his summer residence and estate. In fact, he named his property Starfield in honor of the fireflies that were there when he arrived, and he made sure they had a habitat in which they could thrive. Manship waited until the end of July to mow his meadow so that the fireflies would have a chance to go through their life cycles and so that he would have the pleasure of walking through a field of fireflies twinkling all around him just like the stars above — he preserved for himself and his guests a veritable “Starfield.”

Although the nightly dance of the fireflies will have passed when the exhibition opens on September 25th, sixteen members of the Boston Sculptors Gallery will directly and/or indirectly remind us of their presence (and their absence) with their light-inspired work. In addition to work that closely relates to the fireflies and the radiance of their courtship dance, some of the site-specific sculptures reference the history of this environmentally significant site and/or our need to conserve resources and employ alternative energy solutions. For example, Jessica Strauss’s floating “Big Dipper” constellation in Canneys Quarry employs solar technology for its light source while reminding us how Paul Manship chose this spot because it was a “dark place” where he could revel in the nightly display in the sky above. This month-long exhibition was juried and curated by Belinda Rathbone and Cynthia Roth.

The exhibition organizers have created an outdoor sculpture path which the public can follow as they explore the grounds and discover the new work created specifically for this show. The resourceful and clever use of historic and natural features on the site by members of the Boston Sculptors Gallery will offer even those who are well-familiar with the property a unique and exciting experience. 

There will be an artist reception the second weekend of the exhibition, on Saturday, October 2, with a rain date the following Sunday. Complementary programming will expand on themes addressed by the sculpture itself –  there will be opportunities for night-sky viewings with the Gloucester Area Astronomy Club and the MIT Sidewalk Astronomers Club; a talk by entomologist Avalon Owens on the impact of artificial light on fireflies; a night of virtual and live dance — co-produced with New Media + Cyber artist Will Pappenheimer, Sarah Slifer Swift, and MAGMA; as well as a participatory, community-based public performance piece called Light in Flight developed by public artist Mags Harries. The latter event will be videotaped for broad distribution and will feature teams of bike riders from the neighborhoods of Gloucester and Rockport decked out in helmets decorated with light fixtures that mimic the flashing of the fireflies. 

The Manship Artists Residency’s firefly-related programming and events are supported by The Manship Artists’ Prometheus Circle of donors and with grants from Applied Materials and New England Biolabs Foundations, as well as by the Local Cultural Councils of Gloucester, Rockport, Hamilton-Wenham and Beverly; programs of and funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council

About the Exhibition:

ALight on MARS – The Boston Sculptors Gallery at Starfield

OPEN WEEKENDS only with self-guided tours 

Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, October 24

Gloucester, MA 01930

Free admission with timed-entry ticket required

For more information and to reserve your spot, visit

ALight on MARS events:

  • Saturday, September 26 — The premier of two dance performance pieces – one virtual and one live — including Prism,  a performance piece for movement, sound, and light with dancers Sarah Slifer Swift and Molly Tupper; music by Steve Lacey and lighting design by Josh Lentini. New Media and Cyber Artist Will Pappenheimer presents his newest augmented reality piece which references Paul Manship’s sculpture and which he created with digital captures of dancer Sarah Slifer Swift. Rain Date: Sunday, September 27.
  • Saturday, October 2 — Opening reception with the Artists and the MIT Sidewalk Astronomers Club. Rain Date: Sunday, October 3.
  • Wednesday, October 13 — Dark-Night Sky Viewing with the Gloucester Area Astronomy Club
  • Saturday, October 16 — Light in Flight — A participatory, community-based public performance on light-decorated bicycles developed by public artist and Manship Artists Founding Board Member Mags Harries. Rain Date: Sunday, October 17.
  • Thursday, October 21 — Virtual Online Talk. Entomologist Avalon Owens shares her findings about the impact of artificial light on fireflies
  • Saturday, October 23 — Closing celebration. Rain Date: Sunday, October 24.

Reservations required through the website. Space is limited due to CoViD and parking. 

Manship maintains strict CoViD protocols. All visitors who are not vaccinated must wear a mask at all times. Those who are vaccinated must maintain social distance from others and are asked to wear masks to protect yourself and others. These standards are subject to change without notice. Manship follows the strictest COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the CDC, and WHO and thanks you in advance for your following these safety measures.

About the Manship Artists Residency

The site of the Manship Artists Residency was once the summer retreat of Paul Manship, the sculptor of the Prometheus Fountain at Rockefeller Center. Many of the same opportunities and qualities that attracted Manship to Cape Ann are available to those who come here today seeking an escape into a restorative natural setting to spark their inner muse. The core mission of the Manship Artists Residency, an international, interdisciplinary artist residency, is to support our innovators and thinkers by offering them an inspiring environment in which to imagine and create the future.

Schooner Festival 2021 Begins with Schooner Challenge

It was a beautiful night on the harbor for the Schooner Challenge 2021. This friendly competition is an obstacle course to challenge the crews (including guests) in their skills. Here we see the Lewis H. Story, Redbird, Thomas E. Lannon, Ardelle and Tyrone. Gorgeous in the harbor with a calm sea and setting sun.


September 3, 2021


The Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation presents the Cape Ann Big Band in the last free Friday evening concert on Meetinghouse Green at the corner of Middle and Church Street, September 10th at 6:00 p.m.

The nine-event summer series free-will donations go to each evening’s featured local non-profit partner. Donations from the September 10th concert go to the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation for the ongoing preservation of the 1806 Meetinghouse. Delicious seafood will be offered by the Causeway restaurant.

The Cape Ann Big Band features performances that are built on a repertoire without borders. Their high-energy concerts have audiences on their feet dancing to Jazz, Swing, New Orleans Street Bands, Soul, and Rock n’ Roll. Concertgoers will appreciate familiar standards from the “Golden Age” of Swing, Pop, and popular show tunes. Add in a vocalist drawn from their diverse group of talented musicians, and you can count on a memorable evening with something for everyone.

The 2021 summer music series is dedicated in memory of Harry Hintlian for his encouragement, generosity, and for making the Meetinghouse a net zero building. For more information, a full schedule of upcoming concerts, and to sign up for the GMF newsletter, visit


The Cape Ann Big Band is a local favorite and prides itself on its deep connections to the Cape Ann community. The band traces its origins to 2010 when local musician and director Carlos Menezes, Jr. teamed up with talented colleagues to talk about forming a band and within a week signed on the full 17-piece ensemble.

Music on Meetinghouse Green, now in its sixth season, features nine free Friday evening concerts with great music, favorite foods from local vendors, and benefits a different North Shore non-profit organization each week through free-will donations from the audience. Concert goers bring lawn chairs and blankets to spread out across the spacious green. Performances are handicapped accessible, parking on the Green is limited to persons with disabilities only.

Founded in 2015, the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is dedicated to preserving the landmark building as a civic hub, entertainment venue, and community center. In addition to its work to preserve the historic 1806 Meetinghouse, GMF is currently raising funds to restore Meetinghouse Green to provide a safe and more flexible outdoor concert and event venue.

Thanks to our Sponsors all the series’ expenses, such as for the musicians, are pre-paid. 100% of the free-will donations go to our non-profit community partners.

Platinum              John & Janis Bell, J.J. & Jackie Bell, Cape Ann Savings Bank, J. Linzee Coolidge,
Scobie Ward

Gold                      BOMCO, Michael & Mary Ann Bresnan, Landesign, Inc.

Silver                     Anonymous, Tom Burger & Andrée Robert, JoeAnn Hart & Gordon Baird, Pat Johnson & Jeff Henderson, Susan McKain & Ken Steiner, Charles Nazarian, John & Sandra Ronan

Bronze                  Jerry Ackerman, Karen Bell, Pamela Bynum & Henry Ferrara, Peter Calkins & Susan Casey, Frederick Cowan, Richard Gardner, Rev. Janet Parsons, Dick Prouty, Joe & Maggie Rosa, Peter & Kathleen Van Demark, Kathleen Williams, Sarah Willwerth-Dyer & Michael Dyer



Gloucester Schooner Festival Schedule (I’ll leave this at the top of the blog through the weekend for your reference)


Thursday, Sept 2

  • SCHOONER CHALLENGE – 6:00 to 7:30pm – Gloucester Harbor

Join our local Schooner Captains as they participate in a friendly competition putting their seamanship to the test over an “obstacle” course. Passengers will be given their own set of tasks to win the coveted Rum Bottle Award. Visiting schooners already arrived will join the event. The public is invited to purchase tickets aboard participating schooners. Check various schooner websites for ticketing details.Festival Schedule

Friday, Sept 3

  • All Day – The SCHOONERS ARRIVE – Gloucester Harbor with shoreside viewing

Historic Gloucester Harbor sets the scene for the arrival of over 2 dozen schooners throughout the day and. Spend the day viewing these wonderful vessels filling our harbor. Details of schooner arrival times will be provided as possible via social media.

  • 6:00 to 10:00pm – Gloucester Block Party – Main Street, Gloucester

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and local businesses roll out the red carpet on Main Street for Gloucester Schooner Festival with a street party!  Shopping, food, entertainment, and fun are on the agenda all evening.More Info

Saturday, Sept 4

  • Maritime Heritage Day – 10:00am to 4:00pm – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop

The heart of land-based activities is Maritime Heritage Day! Maritime Gloucester opens its campus for a day of maritime heritage, live demonstrations, schooner sails, family fun, and food. Plan your day at Maritime Gloucester to be part of this historic year. See the full Maritime Heritage Day schedule  View MHD Schedule

  • International Dory Committee Exhibition – 9:00 to 11:00am – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop – 


We are excited to have the International Dory Race Committee be part of our 37th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival in 2021. As we celebrate the 101st anniversary of the International Fisherman’s Race, we honor the heritage of the International Dory Races that coincided with the IFR since 1923.  At 9:00am, the committee will run an exhibition race from Maritime Gloucester Pier toward the historic Tarr & Wonson Paint Factory and back.  At 10:00am, visiting schooner crews will join for a second round of exhibition races. Solomon Jacobs Park will be a great viewing location.

  • Schooner Viewing and Deck Tours! – 10:00am to 4:00pm –

               THREE Locations: 

  • Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop
  • Schooner Floats – I4C2 parking lot, 65 Rogers St
  • *NEW THIS YEAR!* Ocean Alliance – 32 Horton Street, Rocky Neck

Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, we are again able to provide a visitor-based dockside experience that puts the public on schooners for deck tours.  Public viewing will take place at Maritime Gloucester’s pier and at I4C2. This is a free option for the public, but donations for Gloucester Schooner Festival are appreciated to support this experience. 

  • Gertrude L. Thebaud Pennant Viewing – 10:00am to 4:00pm – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop


For the first time in over 50 years, the Gertrude L. Thebaud Pennant will be displayed live at Maritime Gloucester’s Gorton’s Seafoods Gallery. This 25ft by 11ft pennant was proudly flown on the Gertrude L. Thebaud and is a site to behold in pure scale.  After a small amount of work, we are once more able to hang this priceless piece of history for a limited time for public viewing. 

  • Schooner Tour by Water – times TBD (check back!) – Gloucester Harbor Tours, Solomon Jacobs Park 

Gloucester Harbor Tours teams up with Gloucester Schooner Festival to provide a narrated tour of the Schooners at the dock and on their moorings.  This water-based tour will give ticketed customers a chance to hear about local maritime history and view these vessels from a unique perspective.  This is a fun way for groups to experience the Gloucester Schooner Festival.

  • 6:30 to 10:30pm – Concert on Stacy Boulevard

Live music and light effects light up the night overlooking the harbor on Stacy Boulevard.

​More Info

  • 7:00 to 9:30pm –  Boat Parade of Lights – Annisquam River and Inner Harbor

Open to all who wish to decorate their boat and enter, this is a fantastic visual display starting in the Annisquam River and ending in the Smith’s Cove area of the harborMore Info

  • 9:15 – FIREWORKS!

The night sky lights up with the annual fireworks display over Stage Fort Park.  Get on a schooner charter, watch from your boat, or enjoy from nearly anywhere in the city, this spectacle is a great way to enjoy Schooner Festival.More Info

Sunday, Sept 5

  • Parade of Sail – 10:00am to 12:00pm – Gloucester Harbor, Stacey Boulevard and Eastern Point viewing

The entire fleet of schooners joins together for a Parade of Sail not to be missed!  Whether you get aboard a schooner or watch from the shore, this is a memorable experience for all. Prime viewing areas are Stacy Boulevard, Stage Fort Park, and Eastern Point.  On the Boulevard, our Festival Chair Daisy Nell Collinson, Michael Costello, and Maritime Gloucester Historian Justin Demetri will provide live commentary. Schooners proceed from the Inner Harbor, past the Fisherman’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the race starting area off Eastern Point. 

  • 11:00 am to 1:30pm – Shuttle Bus to Eastern Point Light

Catch the CATA shuttle from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Ave) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free of charge, courtesy of Cape Ann Transportation AuthorityMore Info

  • Mayor’s Cup Race – 1:00pm to 4:00pm – Massachusetts Bay off Gloucester

The Premier Event – The Mayor’s Races!  This year’s schooners match up in small, medium, and large categories for a reach-reach competition viewing for the Esperanto Cup, The Ned Cameron Trophy, and The Betty Ramsey Award. 

Monday, Sept 6 – Labor Day​

Rain Date for Heritage Day or Race. Maritime Gloucester open from 10 to 4pm

View From Maritime Gloucester

The skies seemed especially welcoming for the schooners, their crews and captains as Maritime Gloucester prepares for the Schooner Festival! As we prepared to livestream from Maritime Gloucester, I took a minute to take some shots of the view from the upstairs room. Details on the schedule available here.

Connor and his West Parish 5th grade class are selling calendar chances for the month of October!

May be an image of child, standing and indoor
May be an image of text

Kate writes:

Ok…who could say no to this face! Connor and his West Parish 5th grade class are selling calendar chances for the month of October! $10 gets you 31 chances to win! Please let me know if you would like to purchase one (or more)! All proceeds go towards 5th grade yearbooks, the 5th grade play, Nature’s Classroom (hopefully), the 5th grade picnic and other 5th grade events!! Cash or Venmo. I will post my venmo in the comments. Thank you!!

Kate’s Venmo-