For Immediate Release
Chimes Begins Her Second Century of Working
The 100 year old National Historic Landmark schooner Victory
Chimes of Rockland, returned to her home port
on May 27 from her longest trip away from the Maine
coast in more than a decade.
good to be home," said Capt. Kip Files.
Chimes spent the 1999/00 winter at the Chesapeake
Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md.
thought it would be appropriate to bring her back
to the bay where she was launched to celebrate
her 100th year," said Files' partner Capt.
Chimes' centennial celebration took place
April 15 at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The
gala celebration was attended by dozens of people
directly associated with the vessel's past. DeGaeta
feels the event allowed people who were a part
of the vessel's history to share that history
with each other.
met people who were descendants of the first owner
and Capt. R. E. Riggin, the designer of the schooner,
J.M.C. Moore, and the man who owned the yard where
she was built in Bethel. Delaware - George K. Phillips.
owners also met a surprise guest. The family of
Capt. William Seaford Stevens brought the 87 year
old seafarer for a visit. Stevens sailed Victory
Chimes when it was known as Edwin and Maud
during its last years in the cargo trade, when
it served as a Merchant vessel during World War
II and later when it made the transition to the
passenger trade just after World War II.
I asked Capt. Stevens what the biggest difference
was from then til now," said Files, "he
replied, 'She's a darn sight cleaner now.'"
points out that the first captain and owner of
the vessel, R.E. Riggin, was a cousin of the family
whose name was given to another Rockland schooner,
the J & E Riggin that shares a dock with the Victory
Chimes in Rockland.
ironic that two such historic Chesapeake Bay vessels
would still be sailing and working off the same
dock Downeast in Maine," said Files.
Chimes was towed back to Rockland by Capt.
Charles G. Mitchell of the tug Jaguar of New
Bedford, Mass. The trip took six days, with a
stop at New York's famous Southstreet Seaport
Museum to promote Maine windjammers.
Maine Windjammer Association asked us to host a
press conference and lobster bake to help promote
Maine Windjamming," said Files. "We had
about 40 writers, ranging from the Associated Press
to the Wall Street Journal. We fed them a lobster
supper and gave them a little taste of Maine. We
also pointed out to them that while the Opsail
tall ship event will be spectacular in New York
Harbor on July 4, we have a tall ship event - with
American built vessels - every week of the summer
in Penobscot Bay. We let them know that we have
the largest concentration of American National
Historic Landmark sailing vessels operating in
the world right here in Maine, and that Rockland
is known as the Windjammer Capital of the World."
Chimes received a special visit by representatives
of the Community Mayors of New York, New Jersey
and Connecticut, while at Southstreet Seaport.
Files and DeGaeta were presented a plaque from
Chief Mayor Raechel Aprea proclaiming Victory
Chimes as "The first American built
tall ship to visit New York Harbor in the new
Chimes has returned to Penobscot Bay to her
summer sailing waters, where she spent most of
the last half of the 20th century.
said, "The people in the Chesapeake Bay love
this vessel, but during two of the most critical
periods of her life, in was Maine owners who came
in to save her. Capt. Frederick "Boyd" Guild
brought her to Maine in 1954. May partner Paul
and I purchase her in 1990 from the corporation
we worked for, Domino's Pizza, to prevent her going
to Japan. We were put in charge of helping a broker
sell the vessel and tried desperately to find a
American buyer. When the Japanese started making
bids, we didn't even thing about it - we made an
offer to keep her here in the United States. Fortunately
we were successful."