By Carol McCracken
She was sitting at one of the picnic tables teaching children how to tie nautical knots. There was a strong southerly wind at her back making it almost impossible to keep her hair from blowing across her face. “I love a big breeze,” said Charlotte Boymer, 19, grinning. Estimates were that the wind was blowing about 17 knots. About a dozen small boats darted in and out of the white caps giving young sailors a taste of Maine sailing at its best.
The occasion was the SailMaine’s second annual Open House. Those wishing to learn more about its upcoming summer camp program (June 22nd) or wishing to take a free sail just for the heck of it had their chance today. And according to Jeff Cumings, director of the program, many more took advantage of the opportunity. Figures were incomplete at the time of this writing, but clearly SailMaine saw a huge jump in those participating this year. A concentrated effort to publicize the event by SailMaine may have contributed to its overwhelming success this year.
Meanwhile, Charlotte, a floater for the Open House, took snatches of time as she could to talk about her love of sailing. Now 19, she learned to sail through the program at SailMaine itself. She was in the SailMaine junior program for 3 years and went on the junior racing team at Portland Yacht Club. Currently, she attends St. Mary’s College where she’s majoring in political science and public policy. “I spend all my time at the library and the water,” she said laughing. “I’m on the school’s offshore sailing team. It’s vital to me to be on the water every day. If I’m not, I just don’t feel like myself.”
Charlotte, who is an engaging young woman, plans to return to the area to continue her studies at law school when she graduates St. Mary’s College. Someday, she’d like to work with non-profits in a legal capacity. In the meantime, she’s living with her grandmother on the Eastern Promenade for the summer and working at SailMaine on the waterfront. “This is home base for me,” she said, looking around at the crowd at SailMaine.