The schooner Bowdoin was designed and built in 1921 in Maine under the direction of naval officer and explorer Donald MacMillan. She is the only American schooner built specifically for Arctic exploration, and has sailed above the Arctic circle 29 times. Though named for Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin is owned by the Maine Maritime Academy, where it is used in the sail training program. The Bowdoin is the official sailing vessel of the state of Maine and is a registered national landmark.
Author Kathryn Beales explores the first one hundred years of the Bowdoin’s life at sea, covering its inception as a vessel that could withstand the rigors of Arctic exploration, fascinating stories of it many trips north, its commissioning by the U.S. Navy during World War II—and its subsequent decommissioning and sale as a hulk—its restoration to sailing status in 1968, and its final home at Maine Maritime. The vessel continues to sail and make exploratory trips to the Arctic. Her last open-sea voyage was to Nova Scotia in 2014.
K. A. Beals is an educational writer and college writing instructor at Maine Maritime Academy. The author holds a BFA from Windham College, an MEd from the University Of Vermont, and is completing a PhD in Maritime Literature. She lives in Castine, Maine.