ROCKLAND — Surrounded by fellow windjammer captains, crew and friends, Captains Doug and Linda Lee recently received an award from the Maine Windjammer Association honoring their combined 100 years of windjamming experience.
Offering their highest honor — the Lifetime Appreciation Award — captains and crew of the Maine Windjammer Association fleet applauded the Lees for decades of dedication and shared wisdom, while recognizing their joint role in building the windjammer industry in Maine.
Presenting the award, Captain Barry King of the schooner Mary Day acknowledged Doug Lee’s ability to solve any problem, build and fix absolutely any piece of windjammer equipment or system and the courage and tenacity to build the industry as the founding member of the Maine Windjammer Association.
Linda Lee, one of the first female windjammer captains in Maine, was recognized for empowering female crew members to achieve their dreams and become licensed captains. In addition, Linda, also a founding member of the Maine Windjammer Association, introduced scratch cooking to the windjammer experience.
The award also recognized the Lees’ ability to raise a family aboard while building and sailing windjammers throughout Maine waters for more than five decades, setting the example for other captains who came behind them.
Doug and Linda Lee’s mutual fascination with windjammers started at a young age. Their careers spanned the rebuilding and sailing of the historic schooner Isaac H. Evans, first launched in 1886, and then the design, building and sailing of the schooner Heritage, launched in 1983.
In addition, in partnership with fellow windjammer captain John Foss of the schooner American Eagle, the Lees bought and built up the North End Shipyard in Rockland to specialize in servicing the entire windjammer fleet.
The Lees recently sold the Heritage to Ben Welzenbach and Sean Grimes, both licensed windjammer captains and crew aboard the Schooner Heritage for the past seven years.
“We’ve had other opportunities to sell the schooner Heritage,” Doug Lee told his fellow windjammer captains. “But we couldn’t imagine better stewards of the ship which we designed, built and sailed than Ben and Sean, who will carry on the Heritage’s legacy capably and proficiently.”