Chronicling Capt. Slocum, in folk song

Jun 11, 2018
Dillon Bustin

Rockland — City resident, folksinger and folk historian Dillon Bustin will present a concert of original songs about solo navigator Joshua Slocum Friday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rockland Sail, Power and Steam Museum, 75 Mechanic St.

The concert is part of a continuing summer series at the museum. Admission is $15, $12 for museum members. No reservations are necessary, and plenty of parking is available at the museum, located next to Snow Marine Park.

Slocum (1844-1909) was a Nova Scotian shipping captain who became a citizen of the United States. Unwilling to make the technological shift from sail power to steam engines, Slocum set off in 1895 from New England on a round-the-world solo cruise in a small sloop named Spray, returning safely three years later. In 1899, Slocum published his adventures in book form, “Sailing Alone Around the World,” which today is recognized as a masterpiece of maritime literature.

With royalties from the book, he purchased a potato farm on Martha’s Vineyard but was incapable of retiring ashore. In 1909, he and Spray were lost at sea, somewhere between Massachusetts and Venezuela. Bustin will sing original songs based closely on Slocum’s writings, telling Slocum’s life story from boyhood in Nova Scotia to his mysterious disappearance in the Caribbean at age 65.

Rockland Folk Arts is an all-volunteer collaborative dedicated to presenting live traditional folk music in Midcoast Maine. The Sail, Power, and Steam Museum is a tax-exempt, 501 (c)(3) educational organization founded by schooner Capt. Jim Sharp. This concert is part of a summer-long series being organized at the museum by the two groups. Concert series details can be found on the Rockland Folk Arts Facebook page.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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