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Modern mariner phones home to Maine schoolhouse

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At any given time, there are half a dozen Adams School parents on ships the world over. Two dads are on their research vessel in the Bahamas. Morgan’s dad is chief mate on a grain carrier; Liam and Amelia’s dad is on a product tanker between California and Alaska; Drake and India’s dad works on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Others work at the Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) in town, teaching another generation of captains and engineers. And a dozen of Mac’s crewmates on the West Taurus are MMA graduates who call Downeast Maine home.

A Vermont native, Mac attended the MMA hoping to be a naval aviator, then fell in love with ships. He spent eight years in the Coast Guard – “between my sophomore and junior years” – and worked on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil for the past eight. He’s a licensed Second Mate. On the West Taurus, he is the dynamic positioning officer.

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This region had an industrial heartbeat 150 years ago. Bangor, Maine, The Lumber Capital of the World in the age of sail, is 15 miles up the Penobscot River from Castine. Down the bay, Stonington quarries and numerous coastal brickyards supplied Eastern cities with brownstone homes and granite statehouses. Fish canneries, ropewalks, and boatyards flourished.

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