Vessels in the Midcoast windjammer fleet converged on Rockland Harbor July 16, as they have done annually for the last six years or so.

The Windjammer Parade provides an opportunity for guests on board the schooners to get a closeup look at other large sailing vessels, while those on shore can get closer to them while they are under sail than is usually possible.

Capt. Mike McHenry of the Angelique called the experience “a great relaxing vacation, the best way to see the coast of Maine.”

While the boats of the Midcoast fleet are often collectively known as schooners, the Angelique is a gaff topsail ketch, its forward mast being the larger of the two.

The Angelique has 95 feet of deck length and 130 feet at the waterline, is more than 23 feet wide, draws 11 feet of depth and carries more than 5,000 square feet of sail.

The steel-hulled craft was built in 1980 for the windjammer trade and carries up to 31 passengers and seven crew members.

On July 16, the Angelique left its home port of Camden shortly before 11 a.m. Among the passengers on board were an extended family of nine adults from Kansas, Missouri and Colorado. Their trip had been arranged by two people who had recently married and thought a sailing vacation would be a good way to introduce their children. While personal issues kept the newlyweds from making the journey to Maine, their offspring kept to the plan, many of them sailing for the first time as the Angelique made its way to meet the rest of the fleet in Rockland.

After the Windjammer Parade, those aboard the Angelique were scheduled to spend four more days aboard the sailing vessel, touring Penobscot Bay as the winds directed.

As the boat got under way, Sarah Swan worked in the galley, preparing chowder, salad and other fixings for a lunch that was served on deck as the Angelique sailed south.

Swan began working on the Angelique as assistant cook four years ago.

“I look out of my window and see different coastlines,” Swan said. “It’s a great experience.”

Passengers on the Angelique, as on all of the windjammers, are invited to help raise and lower sails and are also welcome to just sit and watch.

Although fog covered the bay when the Angelique passed Curtis Island, by the time the ketch reached Rockland the ceiling had lifted and many other sails were in view.

Passenger Jane Tyler of Cohassett, Mass., said she usually cruises during race week when the fleet meets up and sails among the islands of Penobscot Bay. She said she was enjoying the Windjammer Parade because of all the spectators on the Rockland Breakwater and Lighthouse.

“It’s so pretty, even in the fog,” Tyler said. “It’s nice for people who are visiting the area and staying in the hotels to see these vessels.”

By 2 p.m. most of the fleet was in sight of the breakwater, along with dozens of smaller sailboats and motorboats. The wind was steady and strong and the tide was rising. Some spectators on the breakwater got their feet wet as the tide reached its highest point, but that didn’t seem to dampen any spirits.

To learn more about the topsail ketch Angelique, visit the Web site at sailangelique.com.

Information about other members of the Maine Windjammer Association can be found at sailmainecoast.com.

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.