CAPTAIN'S LOG: 200 Years Plus 3 Days After the Creation of the Star-Spangled Banner

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pride of Baltimore II’s crew and Captains are in post-SPECTACULAR “stand-down” mode for a couple of days. Well earned for at least the fact that all the planning for the ship for the bicentennial commemorations of the creation of the Star Spangled Banner was performed as divined, on schedule, and with ‘to be counted on’ great style…a worldwide renowned legacy spanning nearly four decades.

The Pride of Baltimore Legacy — History, Renaissance & Future

History

One of the very key results of the 1812 War was the sudden worldwide comprehension of a peculiar maritime prowess demonstrated by Baltimore shipyards located in Fell’s Point. This prowess for creating fast and maneuverable Baltimore Schooners used as Baltimore Privateers during the 1812 War were very irritating to the British, hence created an additional and very strong motivator for the British to come destroy the Fell’s Points shipyards. Instead leaving behind a proud and relieved citizen soldiery with their singularly successful defense of Baltimore and a long lived celebratory song that later became our nation’s anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

What also occurred as result of the Baltimore Schooner success was the creation of an American maritime icon renowned worldwide, hence copied, but banned from future construction by edict from our nation’s government. The Baltimore Schooner was just too fast and maneuverable to be permitted to exist. There would be no way to police their activities. So the remarkable Baltimore Schooner Privateers of the 1812 War disappeared.

Renaissance

Baltimore City rediscovered the Baltimore Schooner history in 1975 and immediately commissioned a replica to mark the modern rebuilding and revitalizing of the Inner Harbor. What was conceived to be a very beautiful and wholly evocative but stationary maritime history display turned into a “sailing ambassador” for Baltimore. The power to capture the imaginations of everyone and all that saw Pride of Baltimore was beyond all anticipation. Every year the Pride sailed further. All around our nation’s coasts as well away to foreign lands…even all the way back to the land of our past enemy of the 1812 War…now our long time friend, the United Kingdom. The worldwide awareness for the beautiful schooner provided tremendous “pride” to all of Baltimore and it turned out to many, many more. Her tragic loss in a violent squall moved many to suggest, nay, to insist that a replacement be built. And so it came to be. Now that vessel, Pride of Baltimore II, is a quarter of a century old and was the key host vessel to all the visiting vessels to the Bicentennial of the creation of our nation’s anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. The citizens of Baltimore & Maryland continue today to be represented by a faithful representation of what was originally created by their Chesapeake Bay forebears and copied by other maritime centers, The Baltimore Schooner configured as an 1812 War Baltimore Privateer. Built right in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as was the first Pride, today’s Pride has sailed around a quarter of a million nautical miles and visited more than 40 nations spanning the Northern Hemisphere from Eastern Europe to East Asia, and of course all four coasts of our United States.

Her physical strength, her condition, her crews from all across the country, remain as strong and able today as they did for the second Pride’s maiden voyage a quarter of a century ago. There is every reason to think a lot more than yet another quarter of a century can be counted on by the Maryland Citizen’s Sailing Ambassador and Renaissance of the World Renowned Baltimore Schooner Privateer, Pride of Baltimore II.

Future

What will be the future of Pride of Baltimore II?

Our Pride is the most world renowned American sailing vessel sailing today. We Marylanders are blessed with a rediscovered worldwide admiring repute for imagination and gumption (just like our Chesapeake Bay forebears of over two centuries ago that  created the Baltimore Schooner) for our Baltimore City’s Inner Harbor renaissance (copied by many maritime cities around the world) and for our continuing support for sending forth our sailing ambassador about the globe paying respects and salutations to all ports and countries she voyages to. The “face” we Marylanders and Baltimoreans receive from the world through the continuing voyages of “Our Pride” has also become the “pride” of all Americans due to international admiration for our worldwide voyaging and  uniquely “American” creation re-represented from our past & breathtakingly faithfully sailed today, for all to see.

Now that our bicentenary commemorations are complete…will we still want to support our Pride to the rest of our country & internationally & overseas? Do we still want to celebrate our Pride’s departures for long voyages in anticipation of reading about her warm receptions to her destinations? Do we still look giddily forward to those grand welcome home arrivals of our beautiful and worldwide renowned sailing ambassador?

We Fell’s Pointers, we Baltimoreans, we Marylanders have a most unique representative that spans much more than who we are today. Our sailing Pride reminds us of our City’s citizen’s uniquely creative and entrepreneurial acts in the youngest years as a nation. Our sailing Pride reminds us of our City’s citizen’s roles in the successful defense of our city in a war about international rights and respect that marked the beginning of two centuries through which our nation became a world player and evolved into a world leader. Our sailing Pride reminds us of our modern revitalization and renaissance successes that are held as a model worldwide. Our sailing Pride reminds ourselves and the wide world of our character of boldness and singular imagination for entrepreneurial notions through her continuing voyages.

Will we Marylanders and Baltimoreans continue to desire to proudly share our sailing ambassador of our history, our achievements and our aspirations? I say how could we not? What would we say to ourselves, much less anyone else, if we were to discontinue being represented by such a worldwide recognized iconic American symbol that has origins nowhere else in our country or the world? We are justifiably proud of our heritage and our sailing ambassador just as we are proud of our Inner Harbor that we continue to maintain and upgrade to our own benefit and joy, as well to all of our visitors from near and far.

We will reap continued pride within ourselves and from the wide world by continuing to be able to point to where our sailing Pride has been and to where she is going for as long as she remains actively voyaging with a warm and friendly hello from us Marylanders. Our Pride legacy stretches now nearly four decades. This Pride legacy is now a part of our identity. We must continue this worldwide renowned legacy. It is part of who we are. And who we are is linked to how our nation evolved to what it is today. And to how we view the future;one of vitality, imagination, boldness gumption…personal pride. We must keep our Pride sailing in perpetuity.

Pass the word around…support your PRIDE!

Jan C. Miles

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Pride in the People

September 15, 2014

Pride of Baltimore II, alongside at Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor

Wx: East Force 1, 2/8 Celebratory Cumulus, the rest of the sky a Bicentennial Blue

Today’s dawn ushers in a whole new century of our storied national anthem, and a well-worn Pride II crew has seen to it that the ship and the city have marked the anniversary with style and passion. Some ships have already left, the guns and jets are silent now, crowds of visitors still swarm the harbor. But yesterday’s crescendo has washed over and while we bask in the success and import of “Spectacular,” the typical snap and bustle aboard is slightly leaden with fatigue. And no surprise– during the 25 hours actual hours of the Battle of Baltimore anniversary, crew and ship were in full action themselves. With a rotation of watches and captains, plus lots of work from shore side office staff, we scarcely stopped moving, and never stopped commemorating the incredible events of 200 years ago.

As the guns of Fort McHenry thundered out Saturday morning,we sailed alongside a British-flagged Lynx and waved a truce flag over our Francis Scott Key impersonator as he plead his case across the rail for Royal Marines to unhand Doctor Beanes. When the historically timed “re-enactment rain” came down (nearly to the minute, according to the 1814 accounts), we rigged awnings, waited for the sky to clear, then sailed in sleek silence under the roaring military muscle of the Blue Angels. As the town turned electric for the prelude to the fireworks, Pride paraded through the harbor to blast off a national broadcast with three guns. When the “bombs” of the pyrotechnics bust over Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor, 100 viewers joined us on deck. Then, once the dust settled, irrepressibly enthusiastic Ranger Vince Vaise from the Fort narrated a midnight retracing of the final desperate British assault on the batteries up the Ferry Branch of the Patapsco.

From three to six am things fell silent, just as they did in 1814. But the crisp morning ushered in a new flurry of action. The culminating moment of the weekend would feature Baltimore’s 1812 historic triumvirate – the Maryland Historical Society’s hand-sewn replica of the Star-Spangled Banner would be hoisted over the Fort while Pride II stood in the offing as Key’s truce ship President and a collected squadron of Tall Ships around her represented the invading British.

With Pride II booked full of enthusiastic passengers and logistics of the ship movements rattling in my mind, Captain Miles and I decided it would work smoothest if he sailed the ship and I marshaled the squadron from a vantage ashore. To foster that plan along, Ranger Vaise welcomed me, along with my wife and parents, to survey the scene from the commanding perch of the Fort’s Bastion 5. Equipped with a handheld VHF and copies of the pages of notes and schematics I’d issued to the ships, we set off for the Fort’s dock in Pride II’s rescue boat. The physical bustle and tangible excitement at the Fort stewed with amazement – this was it, the very morning, the day when the focus of so much 1812 education, programming, efforts, and toiling over months and years was about to float in the September breeze for Baltimore and the world to see.

Ships trickled out from downtown. The inbound cruise ship Carnival Pride cleared the channel into South Locust Point and left the harbor to historic craft. US Armed Forces, and Sailors and Marines from our 1812 adversaries come allies Canada and England, took up position around dignitaries from local, state, and national government in the Parade Ground within the walls. Sun glinted off the black barrels of replica and modern armaments as they stood silently ready for a barrage of salutes. The cool northeast breeze streamed the Fort’s Storm Flag in anticipation.

The pieces started moving. Ranger Vaise, radiating excitement even through a veil of exhaustion, orchestrated the unfurling and preparation of the replica Garrison Flag. The ships slid over glittering water into position under a mantle of low cumulus. As the events of the battle were narrated, a crowd began to gather on the bastion around me, watching the ships. At first I was irritated – with eleven ships and two pulling boats to coordinate, I’d envisioned relative solitude to lay out my notes and coordinate via radio. Having a crowd to eavesdrop and chime in on the necessary communications might offer more than a slight nuisance.

But as the ceremony in the Fort and formation beyond the ramparts continued shaping up, I noticed there were nearly as many people on the bastion with me as in the parade ground. They whispered questions: What’s that ship? Where are they from? What are they all doing? And I had time, as the squadron deftly arrayed themselves across the river, to answer all the questions. Between radio calls to shift and tighten up the line, I could tell the people, these mesmerized appreciators of history, what they were seeing and how much it looked like what Major George Armistead saw 200 years ago that very minute. I wasn’t alone, and was happy for it. I was surrounded by people who, like me, felt deeply moved by this instance, the commemoration of America’s emergence from a divisive and trying, nearly adolescent, conflict into maturity.

The Army Old Guard fired a salvo. When the smoke cleared and the guns fell silent, the ramparts were teeming with people. A last salute from a replica 24lb gun, and the fifing of “Yankee Doodle” lifted the hand-sewn replica aloft. Lynx and Sultana swapped their British ensigns for American. Salutes and cheers echoed from the ships. Through the smoke,their rigs etched a striking visage of history.

By 0940, Pride II was on station off the water battery and the ships processed in, saluting both her and the Fort. Pride II’s Key impersonator was standing at the rail, cheering in the new era of the Star-Spangled Banner. Up on the ramparts, the crowd around me pressed in,asking more eager questions whenever I wasn’t hailing the passing ships on radio to thank them for their part in this historic event. It got so crowed that we were forced off the bricks and (to the chagrin of the Rangers) onto the grass that sprouted from the earthworks. Like most forts of her era, Fort McHenry is mostly earthwork – largely composed of dirt, held together by brick sheathing. Throughout the 214 years of the Fort’s existence, the bricks have been renewed, but the earth inside is still the same.

And then I realized the truth of the week – that we at Pride, the Fort, and Maryland Historical Society had helped, but history had repeated itself organically. Two-hundred years ago, this week was won by the citizens of Baltimore unexpectedly repulsing the British attack. And as Fort, Flag, and Fighting Sail recreated the events of 1814 on a brilliantly sunny morning, it was we citizens of today’s Baltimore that stood on the very earthworks our counterparts defended two centuries ago. Our feet connected us to the timeline of history, the living earth of the Fort, the very foundation of our “Land of the free,” our “Home of the Brave.”

Captain Jamie Trost

PRESS RELEASE: Pride of Baltimore II to Lend Tall Ship Fleet in Star-Spangled Reenactment Sail

Contact: Kate Cwiek, PR & Marketing Manager
kate@pride2.org, Office: 410-539-1170, Cell: 240-643-0316

 

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II TO LEAD TALL SHIP FLEET
IN STAR-SPANGLED REENACTMENT SAIL

Tall Ships to Reenact the Bombardment of Fort McHenry on Sunday, September 14th,
the 200th Anniversary of our National Anthem

 

BALTIMORE, MD (September 12, 2014) — On Sunday, September 14 between 7:30 AM and 10:30 AM Pride of Baltimore II will lead a squadron of 10 traditional sailing vessels through the waters where, 200 years ago to the day, Francis Scott Key witnessed both the intense bombardment and the triumphant raising of the 42 x 30 foot Star-Spangled Banner over the Fort. Participating vessels in the real-time reenactment sail include the Adventurer, Celebration, Elf, Farewell, Kalmar Nyckle, Lady Maryland, Lynx, Pride of Baltimore II, Sigsbee and Sultana.

Pride of Baltimore II will portray President, the vessel Francis Scott Key sailed aboard to negotiate for the release of Dr. William Beanes from British custody. A Francis Scott Key impersonator will be aboard Pride, and will be standing on the rail to proclaim Victory as the ships process between the Fort and the vessel. At the start of the sail the Fort will be flying a 25 x 17’ “Storm Flag,” as it did prior to 9:00 AM on September 14th, 1813. At 9:00 AM, the highlight of the event will be the changing of the smaller “Storm Flag” for the larger 42 x 30’ “Garrison Flag.”

It was the ingenuity of the Fells Point shipyards and the success of Baltimore privateers, like the Pride of Baltimore II, that inspired the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1814. When Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying after the all-night bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Sunday, September 14
“Star-Spangled” (Reenactment) Sail
7:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Pride captains have expertise in the maritime War of 1812 and are available for live interviews. Some of the participating vessels may still have space aboard for media. Contact Kate Cwiek: 240-643-0316 if interested in coming aboard. Pride will depart from the Baltimore Marine Center Boatel & Yard (1800 S. Clinton Street, Baltimore, MD 21224) at 7:30 AM.

About the Pride of Baltimore

The Pride of Baltimore’s mission is to promote historical maritime education, foster economic development and tourism, and represent the people of Maryland in every port she visits. Pride of Baltimore II is a reconstruction of an early 19th century Baltimore Clipper. These sleek, fast, and maneuverable vessels became famous as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships inspired the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1814. When Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying after the all-night bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Since her commissioning in October of 1988, Pride has traveled over 250,000 nautical miles, visited 40 countries, and docked in over 200 ports of call. For more information on Pride’s sailing schedule, education initiatives, or membership program, please visit www.pride2.org.

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MEDIA ALERT: Media Opportunities Aboard Pride of Baltimore II During Star-Spangled Spectacular

Contact: Kate Cwiek, PR & Marketing Manager
kate@pride2.org, Office: 410-539-1170, Cell: 240-643-0316

 

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES ABOARD PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II
DURING STAR-SPANGLED SPECTACULAR
(SEPTEMBER 10 – 16, 2014)

Opportunities for welcoming tall ships, battle sails, captain interviews, aerial photography, and more!

 

BALTIMORE, MD (September 9, 2014) — It was the ingenuity of the Fells Point shipyards and the success of Baltimore privateers, like the Pride of Baltimore II, that inspired the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1814. When Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying after the all-night bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Star-Spangled Spectacular is a festival in Baltimore, September 10-16, celebrating the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem. Tall ships, Navy gray hulls and the Blue Angels will come to the Inner Harbor, and there will be live musical performances, living history demonstrations, and once in a lifetime opportunities aboard Pride. Pride captains have expertise in the maritime War of 1812 and are available for live interviews.

Wednesday, September 10

Visiting Ships Welcome Sail
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Baltimore Marine Center at Lighthouse Point
2775 Lighthouse Point East, Baltimore, MD 21224
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Cover the grand arrival of visiting ships to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor during a two-hour sail. No other tall ship will be offering sails during this time.

Visiting Ships Welcome Sail
2 PM – 4 PM
Baltimore Marine Center at Lighthouse Point
2775 Lighthouse Point East, Baltimore, MD 21224
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Cover the grand arrival of visiting ships to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor during a two-hour sail. No other tall ship will be offering sails during this time.

Thursday, September 11

Deck Tours
11 AM – 5 PM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: unlimited

Pitch: A deck tour is the ultimate way to explore Pride’s deck, learn about past and present life aboard topsail schooner privateers, and interact with her passionate and knowledgeable crew. Pride captains have expertise in the maritime War of 1812 and are available for live interviews.

Friday, September 12

Deck Tours
11 AM – 1 PM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: unlimited

Pitch: A deck tour is the ultimate way to explore Pride’s deck, learn about past and present life aboard topsail schooner privateers, and interact with her passionate and knowledgeable crew. Pride captains have expertise in the maritime War of 1812 and are available for live interviews.

Saturday, September 13

“Joining the Battle” Sail
8 AM – 10 AM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Francis Scott Key and Pride of Baltimore II will sail out under a flag of truce to meet the British Fleet off Fort McHenry. This real-time tour will mark the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Baltimore. Privateer Lynx will anchor and exchange salutes with Fort McHenry, as Pride delivers Key to negotiate for the return of Dr. Beanes.

Star-Spangled Concert Kick-off Sail
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Baltimore Marine Center Boatel & Yard
1800 S. Clinton Street, Baltimore, MD 21224
Media Spots Available: 10

Pitch: View visiting ships from the water. Sail between Dominos Sugar and Constellation Pier, and then tie to a holding station off Pier 6 between 7:45 PM and 8:15 PM at the launch of the National Broadcast. This is an opportunity to come aboard and see the harbor from a different perspective.

Star-Spangled Fireworks Reception
8:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Baltimore Marine Center Boatel & Yard
1800 S. Clinton Street, Baltimore, MD 21224
Media Spots Available: 10

Pitch: Come aboard for a two-hour dockside opportunity aboard Pride for a waterfront view of Grucci’s pyrotechnic fireworks that are to be the glittering highlight of Star-Spangled Spectacular, marking the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem. On-site parking available.

Sunday, September 14

“Lost in the Fog” Sail
12 AM – 2 PM
Baltimore Marine Center Boatel & Yard
1800 S. Clinton Street, Baltimore, MD 21224
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: With Captain Trost and Captain Miles, Rangers Vince Vaise, and Jim Bailey from Fort McHenry aboard as special guest interpreters, this real-time tour will have Pride motoring along the “Ferry Branch” of the Patapsco River, tracing the final British attempt to take the Fort under cover of darkness.

“Star-Spangled” (Reenactment) Sail
7:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Baltimore Marine Center Boatel & Yard
1800 S. Clinton Street, Baltimore, MD 21224
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Experience the grandeur of the Star-Spangled Banner hoisted over Fort McHenry from the same waters where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write our National Anthem. Today, in the company of 10 other traditional ships, we will sail to the waters where Key witnessed both the intense bombardment and the triumphant raising of the 42 x 30 foot flag over the Fort.

Blue Angels Air Show Day Sail
2 PM – 4 PM
Vane Brothers
2100 Frankfurst Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21226
Media Spots Available: 2

Pitch: Come aboard for one of the most awe-inspiring and patriotic events taking place during Spectacular – a two-hour sail while the Blue Angels soar overhead performing multiple acts above the waters of Fort McHenry.

Star-Spangled Evening Sail
6 PM – 8 PM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Weather depending, could be perfect lighting at sunset to view Pride and visiting ships. Can come aboard for the two-hour sail.

Monday, September 15

“Tour the Tall Ships” Sail
8 AM – 10 PM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Come aboard America’s Star-Spangled Ambassador and get an up close and personal view of the visiting vessels as only you can do from the water. Pride will take you through a guided tour of the Harbor, pointing out each of the ships.

Free Deck Tours
11 AM – 5 PM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Pitch: A deck tour is the ultimate way to explore Pride’s deck, learn about past and present life aboard topsail schooner privateers, and interact with her passionate and knowledgeable crew.

Star-Spangled Evening Sail
6 PM – 8 PM
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Weather depending, could be perfect lighting at sunset to view Pride and visiting ships. Can come aboard for the two-hour sail.

Tuesday, September 16

Tall Ship Departure Sail
10 AM – 12 PM (subject to change)
Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor
301 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Media Spots Available: 4

Pitch: Experience the departure of tall ships from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor during an exclusive two-hour sail aboard Pride. Vessels will depart with Pride leading the way. Arial and on-board photography opportunities available.

About the Pride of Baltimore

The Pride of Baltimore’s mission is to promote historical maritime education, foster economic development and tourism, and represent the people of Maryland in every port she visits. Pride of Baltimore II is a reconstruction of an early 19th century Baltimore Clipper. These sleek, fast, and maneuverable vessels became famous as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships inspired the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1814. When Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying after the all-night bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

2014 is the first year in many that Pride will remain in local waters – traveling to as many Maryland ports as possible throughout the Star-Spangled Summer of 2014, celebrating the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem. Since her commissioning in October of 1988, Pride has traveled over 250,000 nautical miles, visited 40 countries, and docked in over 200 ports of call. For more information on Pride’s sailing schedule, education initiatives, or membership program, please visit www.pride2.org

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CAPTAIN'S LOG: Ready or Not, We're Ready

 

Friday 5 September 2014
Pride of Baltimore II alongside Lighthouse Point, deep into “Spectacular” preparations
Wx: Hideously hot, wind SE F 3

 

Since her return from the Battle of Caulks Field Re-enactment events last weekend in Chestertown, Pride II and her crew have been chock-a-block in readying ship and crew for the coming week. As Baltimore’s only War of 1812 ship, Pride II will find herself central in the commemorations of the Battle of Baltimore and the birth of our National Anthem. Though alliterative marketers have dubbed this week’s event Star-Spangled “Spectacular,” two hundred years ago a city hunkering down for invasion and siege would more likely have featured anxiety, stress, and fatigue.

In the few ship movements of our busy week, we found ourselves at Fort McHenry Wednesday afternoon. Our visit was largely logistic – Ranger Vince Vaise and I were trying to finalize some details for our collaborative “Dawn’s Early Light/Star-Spangled Sail” programming on Sunday the 14th. But Ranger Vaise took the time give me a sneak preview of the new Exhibit featuring Major George Armistead. Set up within the Major’s Headquarters in the Fort, it features a bronze statue of Armistead himself, shoulders anxiously locked and channeling weighty concerns to hands planted firmly next to a screen set into the table he leans on. The screen activates to show frantic hands of the officers of the Fort pouring over charts, tables, muster lists, and ammunition stores while speculating over the movements of the advancing British.

flag-on-board

As his likeness simultaneously stares downward at the table and outward to you, the visitor, Armistead’s concerns are expressed though an inner monologue – there wasn’t enough ammunition, twenty percent of the men had malaria, the Fort’s magazine was a vulnerable target, food was scarce and no one knew how long it might have to last. Like anyone thick in preparations, he wanted more time, wanted the certainty of readiness.

The urgency of the Fort was not different. The enormous VIP tent was already being set up, ceremonial flags (presumably gifts for the slew of dignitaries) were being run up and down quickly to be certified as flown over the Fort’s storied flag pole, at 4:30 in the afternoon, a hoarse but energetic Ranger Vaise was just being handed a bagged lunch from a fellow Ranger who was concerned he’d forget to eat at all. Not wanting to distract, or neglect our own busy schedule, we left the Fort staff to their own preparations and took Pride II back to wrap up some of our own.

None of us are hunkering down for a live firefight, but that doesn’t mean those of us in Baltimore’s 1812 Historical community aren’t serious about maximizing this once in a life time anniversary. Pride II’s crew has been attending to prepping the ship – provisioning the galley in advance of the traffic hassles the crowds are likely to bring, suiting everyone up with clean laundry for all of the public interactions, and maintaining the Pride Memorial in Rash Field (this week should honor and remember all those who served, and died, in the name of Baltimore). The crew are malaria free, the powder we are loading aboard is all for salutes, not earnest shots, and we’ll keep feeding the crew with no worries of shortage. But I think our industry this week and next will connect us with Armistead and his men in an eternal network of efforts for our Star-Spangled City.

Like Armistead, we’ll never feel as ready as we want to be. As we gear up to sail out and commemorate the British landing at North Point this weekend, I think, again like Armistead, that we are as ready as we need to be.

 

Come test us, and join in this historic event.