I was on the Schooner Stephen Taber five years ago with my family. I can tell you it is one of the best vacations we have ever had – if not THE BEST! The combination of the ocean air, the incredible food, the ever-entertaining Captain Noah, the camaraderie of the crew and passengers with the Maine coastal scenery is simply unforgettable! The Schooner Stephen Taber is one of the twelve Historic Maine Windjammers operating today. She is almost 150 years old but still going strong thanks to Noah and Jane Barnes, her owners, who have kept her in tip-top shape. Captain Noah has traveled widely and sailed in many parts of the world. He considers the Maine coast home. Noah grew up sailing with his parents, Ellen and Ken Barnes, former owners of the Taber. “Sailing the Maine coast is unparralled. It’s challenging and rewarding and just an intrinsically good experience,” Noah says. “We think the food aesthetic should match our surroundings.” Head chef, Ann Miller, is a culinary genius. Known for making fresh breads, pastries from scratch, serving the freshest of seafood and incorporating farm-raised ingredients, the food (and wine) is key in drawing the group together to create an on-board community. The quality of the Taber’s food is the highest and has been featured in the Boston Globe, The New York Times and the Food Network. A typical menu might feature artisanal cheese, hand-rolled gnocchi, fresh salmon, osso bucco or vegetarian lasagna. “We go a bit crazy with our appetizers,” says Noah. You might find hand-rolled sushi, duck confit blintzes or artichokes with buerre blanc to enjoy with a glass of wine before dinner. As is customary, if you go on the Stepehen Taber, you can expect an all-you-can-eat island Lobster Bake. Noah explains that he doesn’t have a food budget. “We’ll go to just about any length to educate and entertain our guests.”
Come and join me on board the Schooner Stepehen Taber this July. You will be talking about this foodie adventure and the Maine experience long after you arrive home!