2023 Sunset Seminars

Free Admission To All

7:00 pm

Donations are welcomed for CAYSP (Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program)

7/5/23:  Sailing and Writing: A Half Century of Adventure- Bob and Mary Rubadeau

Bob and Mary Rubadeau have been building an adventurous life of discovery since they first met in their teens during the summer of 1967. Their first date was jumping out of an airplane . . . on purpose. Since then, they have traveled to distant corners of the world by foot, bicycle, and sail – and keep seeking new opportunities to learn important life lessons from the people and places they visit. Their presentation, to include video footage of a 2007 expedition to Cape Horn, will highlight experiences that have inspired their stage performances, books, articles, video productions, and writings. It will also explore the joys of turning sea stories into prose. These veteran lecturers and accomplished presenters will share tales of survival and exploration seasoned with the humor, openness, and humility that develop from traveling the world together as addicted vagabonds.


R. J. (Bob) Rubadeau is an award-winning author, columnist, novelist, journalist, and poet. He has shared his career and adventures as a professional blue-water sailor in the world’s leading sailing periodicals and two award-winning books. Bound For Roque Island: Sailing Maine and the World and Bound for Cape Horn: Skills for Expedition Cruising. He has worked shoreside as a university lecturer, grant writer, newspaper columnist, fundraiser, speech writer, elected politician, professional political strategist, and public policy wonk. Bob lives with his wife, Mary, and a posse of grandkids, dogs, and horses near Durango, Colorado. Each summer, Dog Star, the family’s ninety-three-year-old Phil Rhodes-designed ketch, plies the waters of New England and beyond, crewed by cherished hardcore friends and four generations of this seafaring family.

During forty years as a teacher and administrator, Mary Rubadeau has devoted her professional life to raising the bar for public education. She was named Colorado Superintendent of the Year in 2008 and now chairs the board of trustees at Fort Lewis College, a campus of the University of Colorado in Durango. Mary’s first of many offshore ocean passages was in 1973 aboard the legendary Maxi Ondine. Her back story includes competitive riding at St. Lawrence University, a multi-year backpacking trip around the world, and charter boat operations in the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. She and Bob have been together for fifty-six years and counting. They welcome their children and seven grandchildren aboard Dog Star each summer in Maine.  

7/12/23: Storm Warning - Behind the Scenes  - Joe Sienkiewicz, Ocean Applications Branch (OAB) Chief of the NOAA/NWS Ocean Prediction Center (OPC)

A small group of NOAA National Weather Service marine forecasters from the Ocean Prediction Center in College Park, MD, stand watch 24/7 to issue weather warnings and forecasts for mariners in the Atlantic and Pacific. Their windows on the oceans are multiple screens displaying satellite imagery, weather and wave model output, observations from multiple sources, and, most recently, vessel locations relative to active weather. This talk will explain the technological advances over the last three decades that have improved maritime weather warning and forecast services. These improvements also have helped forecasters better understand the behavior of ocean storms. The presentation will include details about storms such as Sandy and the Halloween "Perfect" Storm and news about advancements expected in the foreseeable future.


Joe Sienkiewicz graduated from the State University of New York Maritime College in 1980 with a B.S. in meteorology and oceanography and a USCG third mate, oceans license. Before attending graduate school, he served five years as a mate and relief captain on New York Harbor tugboats. Joe received an M.S. in atmospheric science from the University of Washington in 1988 and has worked for the NOAA National Weather Service ever since. He has focused on ocean weather and has served as a marine forecaster and science officer. He is now the Ocean Applications Branch (OAB) Chief of the NOAA/NWS Ocean Prediction Center (OPC). The branch provides technical and scientific support for the OPC mission of maritime warning and forecast services for much of the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Joe works remotely and lives with his wife Carolyn and son Ben in Camden.

7/26/23: CIRRUS: A Case Study in Spirit of Tradition Design - Bob Stephens 

Bob Stephens will explore the finer points of designing within the Spirit of Tradition(SoT) genre, which melds the aesthetics of classic or traditional yachts and working craft with the latest in modern technology, naval architecture, and structural design and materials. Bob has helped lead the genre's development since its beginning in the late 1990s — first as chief designer at Brooklin Boat Yard and then as a principal in his and Paul Waring’s partnership, Stephens Waring Design. Using as an example the 68-foot sloop Cirrus, SWD’s latest built design, Bob will discuss what makes a successful SoT yacht. He will explore various routes to the aesthetic cues that meet the bar for the SoT genre and discuss how far designers can stray from classic lines as inspiration. This talk will examine the process that led to the sloop’s creation and show how she embraces modern technology in shape, structure, sailing systems, and interior fit-out. Bob will also share images of Stephens Waring’s body of work by top marine photographers, including Camden’s own Alison Langley.


Bob Stephens has been playing with boat design since age ten. He began his professional design career in 1985 with a catalog of small wooden boats for amateur builders. In 1993, Bob joined Brooklin Boat Yard as a junior designer and worked with Joel White on the Center Harbor 31s, the W-Class 76’ racing yachts, and others. Bob became chief designer there in 1998 and, in 2011, joined his colleague Paul Waring to form the independent firm Stephens Waring Design in Belfast. Bob and Paul have continued their tradition of incorporating luxury, elegance, and high performance in yachts of modern wood and composite construction, defining — and stretching the definition of — the Spirit of Tradition genre. Their sailboats include the 65’ sloop Anna (home-ported in Camden), the 91’ world cruising yawl Bequia, and a series of large daysailers, culminating with the 50’ Ginger. They also design power yachts (from 24-foot classic speedboats to 50-plus-foot express cruisers) and waterborne structures and residences. Bob’s boatbuilding expertise and extensive sailing experience shape his work, best described as “innovation inspired by tradition.”

8/23/23:  Girl Turned Lobsterman -Sadie Samuels

Only 4 percent of the Mainers with commercial lobster fishing licenses are women. Sadie Samuels, who captains the F/V Must Be Nice out of Rockport Harbor, is one of them. Find out how a youngster who once said, “I don’t need friends, I just need a boat,” wound up with a boat of her own and plenty of friends. Sadie, who describes herself as “a little kid who always wanted to go fishing,” learned the trade from her dad, made it her own, and established a retail business selling fresh lobster and prepared foods. This young entrepreneur will explain how she works from sunset to 10 p.m. for months on end, energized by the joys, perils, and vicissitudes of commercial fishing. 


Sadie Samuels, the daughter of a commercial lobster fisherman, liked nothing better than going out on the water with him. Sadie got her student lobster license at seven and secured a commercial license at 14. Three years later, she began studying fine art and printmaking at Humboldt State University in California, returning home every summer to fish and pay for school. Back in Maine after graduation, Sadie continued lobstering and eventually started a retail business to manage fluctuations in the market for fresh lobster. Ever searching for the perfect lobster roll, she began making her own and now sells them at Must Be Nice Lobster in downtown Belfast. Workdays that start before dawn and end long after dusk have not diminished her enthusiasm for her lobstering life.


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