We are based in Lincolnville Beach, Maine. It is a special place where the mountains drop to the sea. We have two beautiful beaches in front of our store and our sailboat Thorfinn is moored in the anchorage. Penobscot Bay is our home and the body of water that we utilize for day sailing. In the Bay there are several hundred of miles of coast, islands, wildlife, and coastal communities. The possibilities for adventure and exploration are limitless.
Our philosophy at Thorfinn is to provide outstanding sailing programs that allow our participants to be actively involved in the experience. We provide as much instruction as desired.
We work on a custom basis and we design a day sail around the goals of the group (6 participants max). We require a minimum sailing time of 2 hours, but beyond that the possibilities are endless. Our boat, Thorfinn, is a high-performance Presto 30 and we are very clear with potential participants that our style of sailing is not sedate (unless the wind is very light). We are about getting out and going. We can quickly engage our crew and get them steering, trimming the sails, and helping out in general. Thorfinn is very responsive. If the wind is up and we are sailing close to the wind the boat does heel (tip). Similar to a sea kayak we feel every puff, wave and weather nuance. While we may not be for everyone, we are for a lot of people. What participants have to be prepared for is a certain degree of perceived risk. There is a difference between perceived risk and actual risk. Some degree of anxiety can make you feel alive. We will not, however, attempt to throw you into a panic attack. While we are very clear about our style, the fact is that most people adjust to the motion of the boat quickly and our sails are very controlled. It is not our goal to provide an undesired experience. Individuals, families, and groups are all appropriate. We will take out young children if the weather and parents are in joint agreement.
Where we go and what we do largely depends on the weather and the desired goals. We can simply bomb around the bay for a few hours, or for an extended amount of time we can sail, park the boat on an island beach for a picnic, and then sail home. For a full day sail we can crank the miles and push from before dawn until after dusk. For instruction, we either teach underway while we travel or do circles while we do drills (sailing like most sports is learned through repetition and review).
One amazing aspect of the Maine coast are our island communities. We can access them easily. Participants have the option to go ashore to explore or even out to eat. We can sail you to an island restaurant, even for dinner, and then sail home. If you live on one of the islands in the bay we can start and end from your home harbor. Night sailing is also a possibility. Some people do not like too many options so we can simply design a day sail that fits you and your group.
Once participants contact us and we have agreed on a day program (day, time, food, route etc.) then we send you some general info. On the day of your sail we meet at the store, do paperwork and payment, ensure that you have what you need. We then walk over to the dock, hop on the boat and take off. Unless there is no wind (which is rare), we will be sailing in minutes.
For longer sails (4 plus hours), we can pull ashore and/or anchor for lunch. We have an excellent foodie resource just up the road (DOTs) and we can pick up lunch for you. Most of our time, however, is spent sailing. Thorfinn is an awesome sailboat– fast, fun, and playful.
Either myself (Thor Emory) or Wendy Jordan will be your captain/instructor/facilitator. Our style is easy-going, fun, adaptable, and professional. Our background is in outdoor education and we have been leading groups in the outdoors for a long time. We take safety very seriously. Personally, I have been dismasted at sea while single-handing, hit by both lightening on an island and by an icefall avalanche on Mount Rainier, and experienced many crazy situations in the outdoors. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the natural environment and I know that even if you are doing everything “right”- things happen. Our role is to minimize risk and maximize enjoyment. We do that by being prepared, ensuring that the boat is in great condition and that we have the right gear, screening our participants and most importantly by considering all of the variables that come into play (weather, condition of the group, status of the boat, goals of the group, contingency planning…). We lump these variables into what is called “expedition planning”.
Besides safety, our real strengths are: our ability to get people involved, facilitate sailing skills and push people to an achievable goal. Thorfinn is not about floating around and doing the minimum. We are about getting after it. We leave space for enjoyment and reflection but we also like to, as my friends in British Columbia put it- “Give ‘ER”. If people look a little tired after one of our programs then we feel good.
Contact us if you are considering going sailing. We are psyched to help brainstorm an amazing experience and will provide plenty of information. In addition to the recommended gear bring your sense of humor, an open mind, and the motivation to participate. Do not feel intimidated if you are a novice. Most of our participants have not sailed before. We just advise that we may push you to the periphery of your comfort zone in elevated conditions. We are a unique program that operates a fun boat in a fantastic environment. You will have a great experience.
After your day sail you might become motivated to experience an expedition! I hope that you join us at Thorfinn Expeditions.
Owner and Lead Instructor