PRIDE II's Volunteer Project takes on Wings

Pride of Baltimore II’s Volunteer Winter Maintenance took on a new dimension this month when we welcomed Boy Scout Daniel Trazzi into the fold as he works toward earning the rank of Eagle Scout. The following is Daniel’s account of his project and his experience with Pride of Baltimore II.

It was 8:30 on a Saturday morning. The wind chill brought the air to something near freezing. And I was there, with a group of around ten others, to sand spars in a shrink-wrapped tent. My name is Daniel Trazzi and I am working on my service project to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. I am a member of Troop 35, which operates out of the Church of the Redeemer. Our troop is very proud that each of our scouts does a minimum of three service projects on their path to Eagle; often putting in much more than the required hours for each. Our Eagle project is expected to be serious and meaningful. I had looked at several options for my project, but was having some trouble getting it coordinated with the various organizations. My Scoutmaster, Jack Kidd, has a long family history with the Pride of Baltimore organization and he suggested that I think about arranging my service project to benefit the ship,  I was fortunate to make the arrangement and focus my activities on helping Pride of Baltimore II.

The celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 has created an opportunity to bring Pride II to the forefront of the hearts and minds of every person in the city. I have seen her written up in the newspaper and seen her on television, but had never had any firsthand contact with her. With this year being the kick-off to the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and with Pride II being such a symbol of that era, to be a part of helping to get her ready for the festivities, not to mention to experience what it was like to maintain a ship of that era has been a rewarding experience. And not just for me, but also for other scouts that were involved as well. From my perspective, the ability to meet with Captain Miles and Captain Trost provided me with an excellent project opportunity. While it was a no-nonsense environment, the first half of my project was fun. After one day I came away with a feeling of what it was like to keep a ship like Pride II going; I can only imagine what it is like to sail her. We all know about the legacy of the Prides, now I feel like I have new sense of connection to Pride II.

On a cold snowy Saturday, I had 15 people come down to help. Rohan, a crewmember, was a tremendous resource as we worked, teaching us the necessary techniques for the various jobs. I spoke with Thomas Kibbe, an Eagle Scout in our troop and he said: “How different she looks all broken down for the work.  Can’t wait to see her all finished.”

I’m going back this Saturday with another group of Scouts. People have been very supportive, and many have been asking me if they can help. People who have “aged out” of our troop have offered to come back, which is a rarity in our troop. And it is the first time that I am aware of where people are asking if they can come to the project, rather than the organizer having to hunt them down. There is a serious and genuine interest in keeping Pride II alive. And hopefully, by doing this project I can get more people involved in working on Pride II.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Jack Kidd, my Eagle mentor and Scoutmaster: “ Lots of people know about Pride of Baltimore II, but very few people have taken the time to get to really know Pride of Baltimore II.”

-Daniel Trazzi, Boy Scout Troop #35, Baltimore, MD

Trent Hawkins, recent Eagle Scout, sands a spar.
The full workforce.
People working on Chasseur, a smaller ship that is usually kept on the deck.
Charlie Kibbe works on touching up spots on a spar.
If you are interested in getting involved with Pride of Baltimore II, please contact us by calling 410-539-1151 or send an email to pride2@pride2.org.

Winter Maintenance ~ Work is Well Under Way

PRIDE II is under her cocoon of white shrink wrap plastic spread over her wooden frame that bridges her deck fore & aft and rail to rail. Her spars (yards, topmasts, gaffs, boom) are ashore under their own cocoon of white shrink wrap plastic spread over quonset hut shaped wooden re-enforced plastic frame. There is a 6 foot x 8 foot “hobo” hut of white shrink wrap plastic over wooden frame with peaked roof for blocks to be maintained. We have temporary loan of the heated garage of the Maryland Port Administration Operations work site where PRIDE II is moored down South Clinton St. from the Canton area of Baltimore. There are four shipping containers on the premises that are the basis of PRIDE II’s maintenance and spare parts storage and work bench. The maintenance period is half over and it looks to us all like we are getting done what we hoped to get done.

That list of “do’s” included some very different chores. Oiling the ship’s deck and repairing under engine “containment”. Both projects required some dismantling and significant preparation time before the actual work needed doing could actually be done. Oiling the deck required removing hardware from the deck, things like deck prisms, then diligent sanding of the whole deck before the oil could be laid down. The engine containment repair/overhaul required lifting the engines up off their permanent “installed” position motor mounts just to be able to do the needed work to the under engine containment system.

As of mid January the deck received its first four priming coats. It is our goal that we get between two and four more separate covering coats before the 2012 sailing crew come aboard. In the midst of doing this the old dead and falling out deck seam pitch (seam tar) that was removed before the deck sanding will be replaced. Meanwhile the deck hardware will be re-installed. In the engine compartment the PORT side engine is now back on its motor mounts and connected. The STBD engine is expected to be lifted up this week.

Throughout this same period the other normal and annual maintenance is getting done. Spars have been sanded and patch coated three times with varnish where there was 2011 sailing season wear and tear…plus the first full coat sanded and ready for the second full coat. Block maintenance is near complete and ready for being re-stropped/seized into their proper slings of wire or rope, hence ready for actual installation by the sailing crew when they re-rig/rig-up the ship early this spring.

Still to be done are the down below cosmetics. The galley and the saloon area get a significant going over with varnish. Both the focsle and the aft cabin receive some cosmetic repair/maintenance as well.

A new chapter in the tradition of winter maintenance is the Pride Winter Maintenance Volunteer Program. Starting on a mid December Saturday some seventeen PRIDE II enthusiasts joined the winter maintenance crew to help prepare PRIDE II for her 2012 sailing season. Such a turnout of so many PRIDE II enthusiasts willing to work in unheated circumstances was far above anything we were prepared to predict. Since that December day we have had a steady turn out of volunteers that come both week day and Saturdays. The day to day numbers fluctuate with Saturdays bringing the highest attendance. What a boon to the progress of winter maintenance these volunteers have been! On top of this we had our first Eagle Boy Scout Public Support Team … (who are these Scouts?) … come do some PRIDE II maintenance this last Saturday. They did a great job and we look forward to their return next Saturday.

Looking forward to the next half of the winter maintenance period we all wonder what the weather will be like. Thus far winter in Baltimore has been mild. Especially compared to the two preceding winters! Unlike those winters, we have not yet had any snow and the cold snaps have not been very deep or very long lasting when the temperature did drop to below freezing. Thus far this winter, I am reminded of the typically mild winters here in Baltimore. But there can always be a surprise. Yes siree!

For those of you that have been part of our PRIDE II winter maintenance Volunteers, we thank you very much!!! For those that support us in other ways, we thank you very much as well!!! PRIDE is the only “real” American Privateer of the of 1812 War sailing today in the 21st Century. She is also the most well known world wide American sailing vessel. There are well known American “classic” sailing yachts. But PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II is the only representative of America that bridges all classes and types of sailing representations from our country. Your support of PRIDE II has brought this about. It is your support that will keep PRIDE II sailing and representing all that we Marylanders have long been proud of long into the 21st Century!

Jan C. Miles
A Captain with Pride of Baltimore, Inc.