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About Us





Windward Passage is a co-ed program providing  middle and high school students, ages 12-18, with affordable opportunities to experience traditional sailing.  The participants become part of the working crew, learning time-honored skills of seamanship and teamwork, and working with nature to "make the boat go".  While exploring the beautiful coast of Maine, students gain a sense of responsibility, confidence and respect for the boat, the water and each other.



Windward Passage was founded in 2002 with the goal of giving all Maine teens an opportunity to experience the challenge and joy of sailing our incomparable bays in a traditional wooden vessel.   Since our beginning we have sponsored adventures on board the schooners  BOWDOINBRILLIANT and NATHANIEL BOWDITCH and the sloop VELA with hundreds of students participating.  To date, over 90 communities from across Maine have been represented. 

Windward Passage is now in its sixth season teaming with Captain Havilah Hawkins and his 50' gaff headed sloop VELA.  Our partnership has allowed Windward Passage to expand, serving more young people and offering longer, more varied experiences. Sharing the same philosophy and goals, Captain Hawkins has proven to be a perfect match for the Windward Passage program.  His knowledge of and respect for the Maine coast is unsurpassed and he shares it all willingly. A true mentor, his relaxed but effective style instills confidence and appreciation in his students. 

Since 2005, we have been affiliated with SailMaine, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, Maine, allowing all donations to Windward Passage to be tax deductible. We rely on these donations to keep our program going and to ensure that Maine youth will continue to have this experience available.  We are  totally volunteer based, with less than 4% of all funds used for administrative costs.  The other 96% goes directly to putting kids on board.



Pamela Scott, Program Director; Educator; Business Owner

Queene Foster,  International sailor, Author

Thomas Lunde, Creative Designer and Photographer

Catherine "Buzz" Masters, EMT-IA; Artist

Matthew P. Murphy, Editor, WoodenBoat Magazine

Aaron S. Porter, Editor, Professional BoatBuilder Magazine

Nancy Sayre, Educator