In August, 2007 there was a group of recovering people from various 12-step fellowships who wanted to have some sober fun. We chartered a 115-foot schooner, The Schooner Stephen Taber, and went on a week-long sailing trip among the many islands of the Penobscot Bay in Maine, some of the most beautiful sailing waters in the world.  


          "It was a spiritually and emotionally healing experience beyond all expectations."      

            Debby,  Reading, PA


          It was so much fun that we did it again in 2008!  Our guests were from PA, MA, AZ, CT, WA, MN! Our second trip was equally successful! Although we had taken off a few years in between, we resumed Serenity Sail III in 2014. We were surprised to find that we had a waiting list for the trip. As a result, the decision was made to charter a second schooner for Serenity Sail IV, in 2015. Captain Noah Barnes of the Schooner Stephen Taber and Captain Garth Wells of the Schooner Lewis R French invite you aboard on Sunday, August 9, 2015.

                "This was my first time on a sailboat and almost backed out a few days before the trip. When the plane lifted off the ground to bring me home the following Saturday, I burst into tears. I just didn't want to leave."   Barb G, Pennsylvania


          So what is it about all this that makes it so great from the perspective of someone living a spiritual program of recovery working the 12 Steps? It has to do with giving yourself the chance to see the world differently for a week and to recognize the similarities between sailing a boat properly and working a good recovery program(as you will discover, there are many).


          What was the adventure?

  • Viewing the Milky Way like you've never seen it before
  • Traveling where the wind and tide take you
  • Having all four sails full and salt spray in the air, and the sturdy deck of a majestic schooner underfoot. (no one got seasick)
  • Seeing lobstermen hauling and setting traps
  • Spotting colonies of harbor and fur seals sunning themselves and cavorting in the water
  • Looking for whales and porpoises
  • Exploring uninhabited islands, fishing villages, and artist colonies
  • A sense of the unexpected: you never know who might drop by to visit
  • Listening to the Captain sing a haunting version of "Summertime" by lantern light.

          The schooners of the Maine Windjammer Association are known for their superb galley fare. The chef was also sensitive to the needs of the guests in OA recovery, providing substitutions necessary to maintain abstinence. And for those of you who don't like to cook, the notion of someone else cooking for you for an entire week is most appealing!

          As is typical with schooners, cabins are cozy(meaning quite small), but there is room to dress, stow your gear, and get a good night's sleep. Each cabin has the charm of varnished wood, sinks with running water,  electric lights, and reading lights at the head of each bed.

          If you are a seasoned sailor, or want to learn a little about being a sailor, aboard these schooners  you are always welcome to help and become part of the crew.  The anchor must be raised, the sails hoisted; lines coiled, made fast or slacked as the schooners tack up the bay.  Bring a sketchpad or a journal even if you've never kept one, as you'll find there's something about sailing along the coast of Maine that makes everyone a little contemplative. This is not a cruise; there is no shuffleboard on the Lido deck, nor do you have to dress for dinner at the captain's table. This trip is often referred to as "rustic luxury". If you enjoy camping, this trip is tailor-made for you. If you don't enjoy camping, you still  can find this trip very enjoyable. Cruises are fun;  sailing is fun And there is something awe-inspiring about sailing on these majestic vessels, the two oldest schooners in the fleet.  You see it on the faces of the people on shore who are waving and taking photos as they pass by. 


          "This was a life-changing experience."  Carl, Reading, PA


          Mornings begin with coffee and tea being served on deck at 6:30. At 7:30 those of you who choose to, will gather for meditation before breakfast. A variety of 12 step meetings (AA,Al-Anon CODA, OA, etc.) are held later in the day.  There will also be workshops/lectures incorporated throughout the week.  Bring your instrument if you play one. Music is an integral part of the schooner experience. Even if you're not the sort to sing along,  you'll find there is something special about hearing the strains of a sea chanty in the background as you study the stars or drift off to sleep in your cabin. We will be sailing in tandem throughout the week and "rafting up" together each evening when we drop anchor for the night.


          "It was awesome...absolutely the most adventuresome thing I have done in ages. It was spiritually uplifting, being that close to nature."   Joan H., Wernersville, PA


          Above all, the atmosphere on board is relaxed and unstructured. There is no "cruise director" with a long list of scheduled activities. If you're the gregarious type, you'll find plenty of group activities to join. If you prefer spending your time in quieter pursuits, you'll relish the peacefulness of shipboard life. Each evening the boats drop anchor in a harbor. Usually there is a short tour of the harbor town the next morning before we sail.  Please note: the French and the Taber  are  non-smoking vessels. You may smoke when you're ashore and the crew can take you for a row in the evening after we anchor if you want to smoke again.



  • Who-Captain Noah Barnes and Captain Garth Wells, their crew and a two boatsloads of recovering people.
  • When: Boarding is Sunday, August 9th. We set sail Monday August 10th and return Saturday, August 15th. 
  • Where:  sailing in the Penobscot Bay
  • Why: It's so much fun we have to do it again and again and again!
  • How much:  A  $350 non-refundable deposit due by November 30,2014. Balance of $650 is due six weeks before the date of the trip. Price includes all meals with the exception of Sunday dinner. Price does not include travel or crew gratuity.  Credit Cards accepted. Call Jane at the Taber at 1-800-999-7352  or Jenny at the French at 1-800-469-4635for reservations.

          "You have a week of....a chance to think. Not worrying about what you're wearing, what you look like, what you're eating, where you're going and you're always surrounded by something beautiful." Captain Ellen Barnes, Schooner Stephen Taber.


Contact Barb G at :  or 484-797-4059 for any questions


                                         FAIR WINDS!!!