press & testimonials

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Read blue yonder sail charters testimonials

We have gathered some feedback in the last five years as a charter business. Read what people have to say below! 

“Amazing Day Sail on a beautiful boat on a beautiful Bay”

Tammy Norie is a amazing wooden boat. Anyone with the basic appreciation for sailing craft and the art of sailing, will find this vessel a true joy. To boot, Penobscot Bay may be the most amazing coastline anywhere in the world, from the long history, to the rugged mountains, to the people and communities the dot the islands. 

Tammy's recognizable red sails lends to many friendly interactions with other sea goers, as the captain and crew are truly members of the Penobscot Bay community and know many who work and enjoy the sea.

Captain Joel Rowland is a professional on board. He is an expert in both the sailing and navigation of a fine wooden vessel and a has detailed knowledge of the many sights and exciting places to visit. Additionally, Captain Rowland is personable and encourages the enjoyment of the experience. He'll let you skipper and teach you basics of seamanship, if you want to learn. But if you'd rather just relax and enjoy the breeze in your face, you can do that too.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants a true Maine coast experience. 

(Lucas B of Los Angeles, CA, July 2014)

“Beautiful Fox Islands sail”

This was by far the best sailboat charter I have been on. Gorgeous views of the Fox Islands and many more in beautiful Penobscot Bay. Not only did I enjoy my trip but also learned a bit from the well established Captain Joel. A delight to cruise with him. 

(Halcyon23 of Portland, ME, August 2014)

“Sailing Penobscot Bay”

We sailed with Captain Joel for a week from Rockland to Stonington and back. The boat had plenty of room and was a blast to sail. The captain certainly knows his stuff and the waters having run Outward Bound sailing courses in them for many years. We learned more about sailing in 1 week than we did in 5 years on our own boat. And when we were tired of learning, we just relaxed on the deck with some stowaway ipa's and watched brimstone island come into view. Amazing trip.

(Brumall of Brunswick, July 2014)

“Capt. Joel and Tammy Norie provide an unforgettable Maine sailing experience.”

A few friends and I decided to contact Blue Yonder when visiting North Haven Island in September, and upon our first steps aboard Tammy Norie, I had a feeling that we made a solid choice. Capt. Joel is super friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and a down to earth guy who went out of his way to ensure that we were all comfortable and prepared for our 4 hour or so cruise around the Fox Island Thoroughfare and Penobscot Bay. While motoring during the beginning of the trip, Capt. Joel assumed the role as a historian and guide, pointing out little known facts about the area, as well as navigation tips and nautical terms that we should know while aboard. After about 20mins the wind starting blowing and we raised the sails. The boat started to pick up speed and the trip was taken to the next level. It is hard to explain how beautiful it is sailing around these islands in Maine - the combination of beautiful weather, the dozens of small islands on the horizon, and the graceful power of 50+ year old wooden boat cruising along cant be matched. We all had a great time, learned so much about the area and sailing in general, and we could not have had a better captain. I will without a doubt give Blue Yonder a call next time I plan a trip up to Maine.

(John H of Pittsburgh, PA, September 2014)

“The Way Sailing Should Be!!!”

If you are itching to get out on the water and find yourself in or around North Haven, make sure you give Capt. Joel a call! I had the pleasure of spending a unforgettable afternoon and evening aboard the Tammy Norie! Joel is a responsible and laid back Captain. From the moment you come aboard, it is evident you are safely in the care of a seasoned veteran. He was more than happy to let me take the helm, as we took advantage of great wind and sailed past the rugged Sparkplug/Goose Rock Lighthouse and over to explore Seal Bay in Vinalhaven. As we sailed back to the harbor, the views of Isle Au Haut and even Stonington off in the distance, were only topped by a gorgeous Maine sunset. On top of snacks and beverages, Joel served up a wide array of local knowledge about the surrounding area and happily answered all of my many questions! You can bet that Blue Yonder Sail Charters will always be on my list of things to do whenever I visit Maine. Thanks again Joel!!!!

(Eric H of Charleston, SC, September 2014)

“An incredible trip we're still talking about nearly a year later!”

My husband and I were fortunate enough to join friends for a summer day sailing with Capt. Joel Rowland on a traditional wooden boat. We couldn't have had a more positive experience. The captain met us at the ferry dock in North Haven, and we immediately boarded the Tammy Norie -- a boat, we soon learned, that Capt. Joel has sailed all over the world. The boat was in perfect condition, comfortable and felt incredibly safe. The captain was calm, thoughtful and highly capable. We sailed through the Fox Islands in Penobscot Bay. The scenery was beautiful, and the captain was extremely knowledgable about the area. I highly recommend Blue Yonder Sail Charters. Our day on the Tammy Norie was the highlight of our trip to Maine.

(Hellokeryn of St. John, USVI, August 2014)

“Take me back! Best day ever!!!”

I can't recommend Capt. Joel, Amy and 1st mate Zephyr enough. Even though it wasn't summertime we had an AMAZING time on the water. We were plenty warm and the boat was SO comfortable! I felt really safe the entire time and can't imagine a trip to Maine without being on the water. It felt really special being able to experience what the Maine Coast is all about, even though I didn't have any sailing experience myself. I felt like I had a private lesson in sailing and learned a TON, but also got to sit back and relax and let Joel handle the tricky parts and logistics. The boat is GORGEOUS with a lot of history and in immaculate condition. I will definitely be back on the boat with Joel next time I plan a visit.

(MaeMae5 of Asheville, NC, October 2014)

“An incredible experience all around!”

My husband and I have sailed a few times with Captain Joel and have made it a family tradition every year. It's an amazing experience that is always different and unique, more so than any other sailing experience we've had on our travels. Joel is a former outward bound sailing instructor so is an expert sailor as much as he is a pleasure to be around. He's been able to cater each trip to our needs, having taken my young son a couple of times as well as having gone just with my husband for a more relaxing sunset cruise. He's a natural on the sea and always makes us feel so comfortable, it often feels like we're sailing with a dear friend :) Plus he makes a mean guacamole! 

All of this on top of the location, can't be beat. If I could have given this experience 10 stars I would have! We can't wait to go again this summer.

(Katie L of Cambridge, MA, July 2014)

“Tammy Norie-the boat, the myth, the legend”

Joel and Amy took my wife and I for an epic sail one afternoon in July. My wife (eight months pregnant at the time) and I could not have had a more pleasurable comfortable and relaxing with just the right amount of excitement! We are looking forward to getting our daughter, who is almost two tears old out for some great sailing aboard Tammy Norie this summer!

(Rick C of Brooklin, ME, July 2014)

“Best Way to Explore the Fox Islands”

Joel is an excellent captain and valued friend. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Joel four years and have twice sailed aboard his meticulously maintained, very comfortable sailboat "Tammy Noire". Both times Joel’s first priority was maintaining the highest degree of safety for his passengers. 

In today's age of digital technology, anyone can navigate with a map. Joel moves beyond the map, showing his guests a privileged window into off-the-beaten-path gems nestled within small islands that brim with rich history. He reaches this respected level by investing himself in the history of sailing and islands' residents, and passionately conveys inspiring learned knowledge to his passengers.

As someone who has lived on and off the Fox Islands the last five years as a commercial fisherman, I can't imagine a better way of exploring Maine's stunning islands and seascape than aboard Tammy Noire with Joel at the helm.

(AdventurousMainer of Portland, ME, August 2014)

“What a TREAT!”

Sailing with Joel on his beautiful wooden sloop is an experience that simply can not be beat. The Fox Islands are like no where else on the east coast, and there is no better way to see them than from the deck of a ship. Captain Joel is quite at home in these waters, and his knowledge of the area and his craft are immediately apparent. I can't recommend a tour highly enough!

(Otto N of South Portland, ME, June 2014)

“Beautiful boat, wonderful people!”

Sailing the Tammy Norie with Joel was maybe the highlight of my most recent Maine trip. Tammy Norie is a gorgeous, classic boat, and with her distinctive burgundy sails she is well recognized in and around Penobscot Bay. If you're going to sail this historic area, you really should experience it in an actual wooden sailboat, not some fiberglass tub. The locals will respect you for it : )

And, as lovely as watching a sunset aboard Tammy Norie can be, simply spending time with Joel is even better. He is a wonderful guide, full of stories about sailing and local lore. He's just a warm, friendly person, and he made us feel at home and at ease. Plus, he's a great sailor and teacher- he literally "showed me the ropes" and got me sailing right off the bat! We also found some seals, and that was neat.

Now, there was a rumor that I kept Joel awake by snoring on the boat. That can't be true because I don't snore, it was someone else, but still Joel was kind enough not to mention it. 

Cheers and Safe Travels,

(Patty Dumpling of Houston TX, August 2014)