Destination Salem Blog

First Annual Downrigging Weekend in Salem

Downrig or Die


Join the Essex county sailing community as we mark the end of the sailing season with Salem's first annual Downrigging Weekend on November 1st and 2nd, 2014. The two-day event features half-price public sails on the schooners THOMAS LANNON, ARDELLE, and FAME and downrigging demonstrations aboard FRIENDSHIP. Join us for a sail and follow-up your stint on the water at Finz Seafood from 7-10PM on Saturday night for drinks, free appetizers, music, raffles and plenty of salty sailing wisdom.

Join us for 6 public sails, 6 live demonstrations, 2 films, 3 Q&A sessions with captains, ship tours and more! Public sails require a reservation and fee, but all other activities are free and open to the public.

Inspired by the SULTANA Downrigging Weekend, the Salem Downrigging Weekend is a celebration of the end of the sailing season, maritime culture, wooden boats and the sailing heritage of the Essex county. The Captains of the FAME, ARDELLE, THOMAS LANNON, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and Essex National Heritage Area are partnering together to offer this weekend of activities - both on land and sea.

Make sail reservations online at


Saturday, November 1

10:30 - 4:30PM.  Public sails aboard FAME, ARDELLE, THOMAS LANNON.
11AM - 4PM.  FRIENDSHIP open for public visitation.
11AM - Live demonstration aboard FRIENDSHIP.
12:30PM - Free screening of the THOMAS LANNON movie, plus Q&A session with Captain.
2:30PM - Live demonstration aboard FRIENDSHIP.
4:30PM - Free screening of the FAME movie, plus Q&A session with Captain.
7PM - 10PM. "Downrig or Die" evening event at Finz Restaurant.


Sunday, November 2

11AM - Splicing workshop aboard FAME.
12PM - ARDELLE downrigging demonstration.
1PM - LANNON downrigging demonstration.
2PM - FRIENDSHIP downrigging demonstration. Q&A session with Captain on the ongoing preservation and maintenance program for FRIENDSHIP.


 All vessels will be docked at Salem Maritime National Historic Site (173 Derby Street) or Pickering Wharf Marina (23 Congress Street).

The free film screenings will be held in St. Joseph Hall, 2nd floor. (160 Derby Street).



Visit for the complete schedule and updated information.

Posted by Kate on 10/24 at 04:16 PM Permalink

Salem Literary Festival Returns

Salem Literary Festival

Salem Massachusetts’ beloved Literary Festival returns from hiatus with creative new programs and dazzling opportunities.

In 2014, the Salem Literary Festival was revived by Salem writer and New York Times bestselling author Brunonia Barry and her organization Readers and Writers, Inc. to continue the tradition of hosting events at historic venues in and around Salem, and to unite authors and book lovers throughout the year. In partnership with popular writer’s website Writer Unboxed, Salem State University, the Salem Athenæum, The House of the Seven Gables, and the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Literary Festival offers events throughout Salem beginning November 6th through November 9th, 2014. For a full schedule, go to

Does your Great American Novel need to meet an agent?

On Friday, November 7th, renowned literary agent Donald Maass will be offering a Festival first – a full-day writing seminar! Maass is a sought-after teacher who has authored several must-have books on the craft of writing. In Writing 21st Century Fiction, held from 9-5 at the Hawthorne Hotel, established and new writers can discover the secrets of writing a great literary AND commercial novel. Maass is founder of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York, which sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers worldwide. He is the author of "Writing the Breakout Novel," "The Fire in Fiction," and "Writing 21st Century Fiction." In this day long seminar, he'll identify the practical tools needed for writing high impact fiction (literary or commercial) that transcends genre, creates realities unique to its authors, conjures characters who feel more “real” than real people, and shows readers the world around them in new way. Admission includes lunch, coffee, and snacks, and the event is co-sponsored by Writer Unboxed. 

It’s like going to twenty book clubs in a single day!

On Saturday November 8th, spend the day in the of company of 20 best selling and critically acclaimed fictions writers who will discuss one of their books and their writing life. Scheduled to appear:

  • Laura Harrington: "Alice Bliss,"
  • B.A. Shapiro: "The Art Forger,"
  • Therese Walsh: "The Moon Sisters,"
  • Randy Susan Meyers: "Accidents of Marriage,"
  • Brunonia Barry: "The Map of True Places,"
  • Dawn Tripp: "Game of Secrets,"
  • Henriette Lazardis Power: "The Clover House,"
  • Julia Glass: "And The Dark Sacred Night,"
  • Katherine Howe: "Conversion,"
  • Anjali Mitter Duva: "Faint Promise of Rain,"
  • William Martin: "The Lincoln Letter,"
  • Suzanne Palmieri: "The Witch of Belladonna Bay,"
  • D.C. Monahan: "The Navigator's Treasure,"
  • Ann Hood: "An Italian Wife,"
  • Catherine McKenzie: "Hidden."

Moderators: Lynne Griffin: "Sea Escape," Jewel Beth Davis: "Jewel - a Memoir," Diane Stern: CBS radio commentator, Wendy Polins: "The Architect of Time," and Sharon Bially: Founder of Book Savvy and author of "Veronica's Nap." This event will be held at The House of the Seven Gables from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a box lunch and a live poetry reading. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

For a full listing of events, see
Tickets are availalbe at Eventbrite

Find Salem Literary Festival on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter

Posted by Kate on 10/20 at 10:54 AM Permalink