Maryland Day Weekend Annapolis Visit & Season Debut

PRIDE II in Annapolis

Photo: Pride II in Annapolis, courtesy of John Lee

Date: Sunday, March 21, 2021

Location: Annapolis, Maryland

Activity: Maryland Day Commemoration Weekend

The weekend is nearly cloudless and windless due to a strong and stable high-pressure air mass overhead, escorted in by a wet and windy gale last Thursday and Friday.

Pride of Baltimore II transited down to Annapolis yesterday. A day with light wind from the north. Fortunate for the first setting of sail for this year by the newly formed crew that have been up-rigging since early February. The first setting of sail is always an experience of numerous discoveries that must get adjusted to attain a “proper fit” for the rest of the season. Thus, a light wind day is perfect for the first sail setting.

Maryland commemorates its forming every year on March 25. In recent years, Four Rivers Heritage Area has been organizing a weekend-long Maryland Day commemoration event. This year, the weekend chosen precedes Maryland Day. With the worldwide pandemic, many participants have created virtual programming for the event. Pride of Baltimore II is able to be a more tangible participant through being seen directly while moored in Annapolis. However, she is not open to deck visitors. With a shoreside War of 1812 history display set up alongside, there is a lot of information to read while also admiring the ship close up.

From Annapolis City Dock about one hundred feet away, one is able to get a very nice profile view of the port side of the ship. From about a half-mile away, at the top of Main Street near Church Circle, one is able to admire Pride’s clearly tall and square topsail schooner rig complete with tightly furled, very white sails. And also view the Chesapeake Bay beyond, all the way to Kent Island’s western shore on the far eastern side of the bay.

Yesterday’s transit from Baltimore and arrival was captured on film by a number of folks, starting with dawn’s early light near Fort McHenry. With all sail finally set, Pride sailed right into Annapolis Harbor just before noon, firing cannon salutes as the crew took in sail. Many folks were on shore to observe as well as hear Pride’s arrival. All afternoon after secure to the dock, as the crew tidied up the ship and set up the shoreside history display, folks walked up and asked questions or gave good cheer to Pride’s presence.

Pride, Inc.’s relatively new social media tradition of Coffee with the Captain every Saturday at 9 AM local time was maintained even while Pride was moving down the bay toward Annapolis. After providing a “what has been happening aboard for the week” update to the tuned-in audience, we introduced National Park Ranger Kate Marks Hardy as the featured guest. Ranger Kate described the new partnership between the National Park Service Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail and Pride of Baltimore, Inc., providing the ship as the roving ambassador to that trail. As the sailing ambassador for the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, Pride will be visiting Chesapeake Bay ports and partnering with local heritage areas for weekend events. The ports Pride is able to visit in addition to Baltimore and Annapolis are in no particular order, St. Mary’s City, Solomons, Cambridge, St. Michael’s, Chestertown, Georgetown (on the Sassafras River), and Havre de Grace. Visits to these ports will be spread out over the length of this year’s sailing season.

The voyages to and away from these ports will also present opportunities for guest crew to join Pride’s crew and assist with sailing Pride. In addition, we expect there to be guest crew opportunities to sail and work with the crew to Bermuda and to New England.

There is a curious beneficial twist with the pandemic and port visits without public deck tours. The crew are able to do ship maintenance and the public are able to observe the care that is given to Pride. Without a pandemic, the public would be aboard and the crew would not be doing maintenance. With public aboard, the crew would be sharing stories of what their lives are like sailing Pride, as well facts about the type of vessel Pride is, and, of course, the wonderful story of the defense of Baltimore and the penning of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” All the regular maintenance Pride requires would therefore be scheduled for times outside of having the public tour her deck. Working aloft caring for Pride’s traditional sailing rigging could be a risk to the public walking underneath the aloft work — for instance, dripping tar. Nor could cosmetic maintenance be ongoing — for instance, wet paint or varnish. Or even sanding with all the dust that is caused when prepping for re-coating. Thus maintenance is relegated to time that includes time needed to get Pride to her next scheduled port, squeezed between voyaging and public events. Being able to do maintenance during public viewing from ashore, with crew answering public questions that the shoreside history display does not answer, provides a chance to keep up with routine and cosmetic maintenance that sometimes falls behind when time between ports and events is not enough to both do maintenance as well voyage the ship.

Stay diligent everyone!

Captain Jan C. Miles

Pride of Baltimore and National Park Service Partnership Will Bring Pride of Baltimore II to More Families Around the Chesapeake Bay

Pride of Baltimore II off Fort McHenry, March 24, 2020, courtesy of Jeffrey G. Katz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2020

Contact: Erica Denner, 410.539.1151
erica@pride2.org

BALTIMORE, MD – Pride of Baltimore, Inc. (Pride, Inc.) is proud to announce a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) that will enhance the experience for visitors at select Chesapeake Bay ports along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (Trail). While Pride, Inc. has worked collaboratively with the NPS in the past — first as an officially designated Chesapeake Bay Gateway and then on interpretive programming at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine — a recently signed cooperative agreement with the Trail will expand that collaborative programming to sites throughout the Chesapeake.

“We are very much looking forward to working in partnership with the National Park Service and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail in 2021. The free programming that will be available to underserved communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay along the Trail will strengthen our efforts to be more accessible to everyone,” said Jeffrey Buchheit, executive director of Pride, Inc. “We can think of no better partner than the National Park Service and we hope to work with them for years to come.”

“We are excited to launch this relationship and collaboration with Pride, Inc. to more meaningfully engage with families along the Trail,” said Shaun Eyring, acting superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Hampton National Historic Site, and the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. “Together we will develop new interpretive programs and a traveling exhibit to connect with underserved communities and expand recreational opportunities throughout the Bay.”

The tall ship Pride of Baltimore II (Pride II) will serve as a sailing Trail ambassador that will engage visitors in the history of the people and places in the Chesapeake during the War of 1812. The experience will assist in building a foundation for future stewards of the Trail, as well as of the natural and cultural resources of the Bay. Visitors will be able to tour Pride II dockside and enjoy the full experience of a free day sail on Maryland’s world-renowned tall ship.

Pride of Baltimore II is uniquely suited to serve as a Trail ambassador since it is the only historically evocative reproduction of a War of 1812-era privateer that homeports on the Bay. Capturing public imagination through unique worldwide voyages of discovery, Pride II honors Maryland seafarers of all eras and, wherever she sails, shares the innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and patriotism that forged and continues to define Maryland’s maritime identity.

A full schedule of port visits will be available in early 2021 at pride2.org.

About Pride of Baltimore II

Baltimore Clippers, sleek, fast, and maneuverable vessels, gained fame as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships provoked the Royal Navy to attack Baltimore in 1814. Francis Scott Key, seeing the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after the 25-hour British bombardment, was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Pride of Baltimore II, like her predecessor, Pride of Baltimore, is a historically evocative reproduction of one of the most famous of these privateers, Chasseur. For more than four decades, these modern-day prides of Baltimore have promoted historical maritime education, fostered economic development and tourism, and represented the people of Maryland in ports throughout the world. Since her commissioning in 1988, Pride II has sailed over 275,000 nautical miles and visited more than 200 ports in 40 countries.

To learn more about Pride of Baltimore II, please visit pride2.org

About the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail is a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. The trail traces American and British troop movements, introduces visitors to communities affected by the war, and highlights the Chesapeake region’s distinctive landscapes and waterways. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle for Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem. Congress established the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in 2008. The trail is one of 19 national historic trails administered by the National Park Service and one of 30 trails in the National Trails System. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/stsp.

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Honoring a Cornerstone of Pride of Baltimore

Photo: Fred Hecklinger carving the nameboard of Pride of Baltimore II.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Fred Hecklinger, 84, passed this week. He was a critical third of the three leaders that formed the International Historic Watercraft Society to design and build the 1812 War Baltimore Clipper Privateer reproduction Pride of Baltimore for the City of Baltimore back in 1976. Melbourne Smith was the society founder and master builder; Tom Gilmer was the naval architect and historian; Fred was the foreman of construction.

One of the younger members of the building team, Peter Boudreau, 20 years old at the time, shared with me this week that Fred filled the role of foreman of the construction, but was often referred to as “Chief Psychologist”.

I think it fair to say Fred continued this psychologist role for Pride of Baltimore all through her sailing life, and even for the second vessel.

On a number of occasions, Fred would be a relief captain for some of the winter-time voyage legs around Florida and northeast Caribbean during the early years of the first Pride. Covering times when the full-time replacement was not available to pick up directly from the departing full-time captain. Relief work as captain can be tricky for all hands. By all accounts, crew morale was kept high and high-functioning through the “way of Fred” as captain.

Fred joined the second vessel’s construction team, led by Pete Boudreau, having become a master builder himself with Lady Maryland recently completed, to carve Pride of Baltimore II’s name into her stern, as he had for the first. Again, always sharing sagely, and sometimes with his wry humor, his extensive encyclopedia of “age of sail” knowledge and experience mixed with his classic yachting and modern ocean racing background.

Residing in Annapolis, Fred would pay a visit aboard Pride of Baltimore II every time she made a port call there. His acute observation skills, developed through his professional sailing life since age 15, generated wonderfully engaging conversations merging his observations and queries about the nature of the second vessel with our own discoveries and solutions. Peppered throughout with compliments for our diligence of care for her while inserting his own solutions derived from his vast experience. Every one of the crew participating always experienced personal pride from Fred’s recognition of their efforts to preserve and contribute to the high standard the ship is admired for.

When not sailing professionally, Fred was a marine surveyor, particularly in demand by those responsible for wood-built vessels.

Fred is known far and wide around the Chesapeake Bay outside of the Pride of Baltimore legacy that was started by the City back during the mid-1970s. In addition to being foreman for the building of the first Pride, Fred filled a key role in the founding of the Eastport Yacht Club. In 1965, Fred helped establish Chesapeake Appreciation Days. He also was involved with a number of museums: the Maryland Center for History and Culture (formerly the Maryland Historical Society), Annapolis Maritime Museum, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Fred is also a published author of marine subject magazine articles.

I will miss Fred’s wry humor.

Signed,

Jan C. Miles
Senior Captain

An Agent of Change: A Letter from Our Board Chair

June 30, 2020

Dear Friends of Pride,

When I was a kid, my father, a cabdriver, drove me all over Baltimore City to teach me lessons during the time we spent together. He would educate me about communities and warn me about communities I should not go to alone. One such area was the Inner Harbor, where he warned me that, as a young black man, I could find myself in trouble even if it was not my fault. My father said he hoped that someday I could help change that for other young black and brown people. That it was our Inner Harbor, too.

One of the first places my father took me that I can remember in the harbor was aboard Pride of Baltimore II. I loved the water and I loved “pirate ships.” When I told a crew member that it was a cool pirate ship, he corrected me, that it was a privateer, which he explained was like a legal pirate ship. It turns out that this particular crew member was the captain, and he gave me a tour of the ship. He told me the story of Chasseur, a Baltimore Clipper from the War of 1812, which was the inspiration for the design of both Pride and Pride II. That captain could not have known that 30 years later, that 8-year-old kid would become the first black chair of the board of directors of Pride. Nor could he have known (well, maybe he had a hunch) that he would still be the captain of Pride II today. Thank you, Captain Miles, for taking the time to make sure my first impression of Pride was a welcoming one.

As the first black chair of the board of Pride, Inc., which manages the ship built as Maryland’s goodwill ambassador and a symbol of hope, investment, history, and tourism, I knew I must be more than just a symbol of change. I was called upon to be an agent of change. When I became chair in 2018, Pride was in turmoil, having missed the sailing season for the first time ever due to a lack of funding. People told me that everyone would understand if we could not lead Pride back to success because it had been mired in difficulty before my arrival and some had lost hope in it. But they didn’t understand that as a black man, since I was a child, I have always known that my failures are amplified in our society. I couldn’t fail. Nor did our board believe the best days of Pride were behind it.

Our first action was to grow the board because, while we were dealing with our financial troubles, we lost focus on our diversity. We added women, minorities, young people, and new accomplished leaders of different backgrounds and experience. We prioritized connecting the organization back to the myriad communities it serves in Baltimore and across the state. In that vein, we received a Baltimore National Heritage Area grant to get underrepresented communities out on the water for free ($10,000 awarded for 2020 and that program will now take place in 2021). This year, we would have launched an education program to tell the history of the privateer industry, both the good and the bad, and get more kids within the Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County Public Schools systems aboard. I am proud that we pulled off such a historic turnaround and ended the 2019 sailing season with money to invest in expanding our outreach in 2020. While COVID-19 ended many of our initiatives for this year, it has not and will not deter the energy and progress of Pride of Baltimore, Inc., the organization.

So, how do we make Pride of Baltimore II an agent of change? For starters, we plan to work proactively on helping the broader tall ships community acknowledge that many in the black community see it as an industry/sport for whites and not everyone else. Even though my personal experiences have helped me feel that this assumption isn’t true, not all experiences are the same and our actions to be more inclusive speak louder than our words.

I will be asking our board to prioritize finding additional ways to make Pride of Baltimore II an agent of change. This will not be doled out to a committee. It will be addressed thoughtfully by the full board of directors with all of our committees working in concert toward that common goal. We will look to ensure more opportunities for diversity in hiring of crew, staff, vendors, and consultants. We will find more funding for programs that facilitate access for minority communities so that they, too, feel welcomed in the harbors we visit and aboard Pride of Baltimore II. And we will work tirelessly to raise more money to educate communities about job opportunities in sailing and port communities. I will also ask the board to direct our staff to focus more of our grant writing to fund programs that will support underserved communities’ access to our education programs for free. The board, staff, and crew will undertake continual diversity, inclusion, and bias training to ensure that we improve the culture of our organization now and going forward. We will then take our action plan to the entire tall ship community and be an agent of change there, too.

There is a lot of listening, planning, and action to be done over the next few months for Pride to return in 2021, not stronger just for our home city and state, but as a thought and cultural leader for systemic change. Silence is not an option, and listening without action is unacceptable.

If we are truly committed, we need each and every one of you as friends of Pride to support the board, staff, and crew. We want your time, stories, input, and donations to help put these plans into action. I will be joining Captain Miles for a “Coffee with the Captain” in the near future. I welcome your thoughtful attendance and questions.

Fairer winds,

Jay

Jayson T. Williams
Chair of the Board of Directors
Pride of Baltimore. Inc.

Long-term “Pandemic 2020” Layup

Photo: A tradition in recent years, the crew gathered for a quick end-of-season photo. From left to right: Chief Mate Jeff Crosby, Phil Keenan, Joe Byington, Shevawn Innes, David Stolz, Chad Lossing, James Rogers, Blake Lowry, Captain Jan Miles.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Today is the last day of layup work by Pride’s 2020 liveaboard seasonal sailing crew. At the end of this day, when layup preparation is complete, the liveaboard crew will be heading toward futures not clear, except that they know where they will be sleeping ashore.

The process of protecting the ship for this long-term layup is without much mystery. Every winter layup includes covering the ship to protect her from direct sunlight and precipitation. The ship was already in winter layup when the decision for continuing into a long-term layup was forced for the rest of that year of 2018. A never-before layup spanning more than a full calendar year. A lot was learned after that layup about what happens to the ship for any layup that includes summer months.

Passive ventilating, under the well-ventilated design of the sun and rain blocking ship’s cover that we use every winter between active sailing seasons, is not adequate during summer layup months for preventing mold buildup down below nor plank seams opening up more than they do during short winter layups. During the summer, unlike during winter months, the average wind speed is much reduced and the humidity is much increased. While the ship’s cover protects from direct sunlight and precipitation, the low-velocity summer winds are not enough to stir air down below, as do winter winds flowing through the cover over deck openings. The lesson we learned is that it requires artificial wind under the cover and inside the ship to reduce the chance of growing mold down below. So, this time around for this summer layup, there are numerous fans moving air on deck, down below, and even in the bilges.

To reduce plank seam opening through this extended summer layup ahead of the normal winter layup, there will be regular wetting of deck and topside plank seams. Two to three times a week, we think. This will be a significantly time-consuming activity. Likely each wet down will take a couple of hours.

Knowing well in advance the decision to lay up the ship for this pandemic year, extra time was taken to cover Pride’s big lower masts with extra coats of protecting oil, plus a “holding coat” of glossy/reflective varnish. The crew also soaked additional tar on the exposed parts of the wire standing rigging that is covered with tarred marlin. The ten-foot-tall (long) tops of the lower masts, the doublings, as we call them because of the overlap between lower end of topmasts and upper end of lower masts (hence the term doubling), are painted black and apt to get pretty hot from the sun. This leads to the growth of small checks in the painted surface through the increased heat. The black painted areas at the top of the big lower masts have been given “shade” from the sun by a covering system that provides an air space between the shade cover and the black painted mast doublings. The shade is installed in a fashion estimated to be robust for the significant wind speeds that can occur at the height of the doublings.

We also hang a sun-blocking skirt between ship’s cover and the waterline on the starboard side every layup. This became important during the shorter length wintertime layups because of the orientation of the ship. She is moored pointed east. All winter long, her starboard side was receiving daily doses of direct sunlight and we observed seams opening in some parts of her topside planking over the relatively short winter. The skirting reduced the amount of opening to nearly no opening at all. Except for occasions of a full summer layup. A fair amount of compensating caulking and replacement seam compound above the waterline was required before sailing after the first full year of layup. This time round, we hope periodic wetting will be effective at reducing, if not preventing, seams from opening, such as we observed during the last summertime layup.

Last time (in 2018), the long-term layup was due to an unforeseen extreme budget shortfall that not only laid the ship up, but laid off all the senior marine staff and nearly all of the full-time company staff. This time, the layup cause is the global pandemic. With state legislature support for a span of five years that started late 2018 and an active staff since early 2019 raising funds and earning grants, as well as developing direct ship use income, there are funds for keeping the company running through the rest of this year. However, not enough to keep the ship sailing. Thus the staff will be able to continue to make plans for next year’s campaigning of the ship. Meanwhile, the company will also keep key senior marine staff employed for assisting with planning while also caring for and maintaining the ship. Hence this layup will include ship maintenance as well as increased attention to preservation while we all await sailing again next year.

Maintenance that will occur between the bit of sailing done this year and the plan for a full season next year will include a number of unessential desires. Like replacing the galley counter around the galley sink due to the accumulation of water contamination of the end grain of galley counter wood. There will also be some detailed cosmetic care in the galley. This layup will also provide some time that is hard to set aside during winter layups between fully active sailing seasons for making replacement blocks rather than purchasing new. “Shipkeeper” Chief Mate Jeff Crosby’s highly skilled carpentry will be put to use creating jigs for standardizing the making of block-shell pieces that can be assembled into shells of blocks. It will be a relatively simple matter of shifting sheaves and sheave-pins to the newly assembled shells. Leaving future sailing crew to re-strop new blocks when it is time to replace the old shells. (Easy for me to say … eh?)

Meanwhile, I hope all the departing crew and you readers of these logs remain diligent.

Signed,

Jan C. Miles
Senior Captain

To Sail Another Day

PRIDE II on a shakedown sail

Photo: Pride II sailing with a full hat of wind near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Sandy Point Light, May 12, 2020, courtesy of Susan Hale.

May 20, 2020

To protect lives, we are tying up Pride of Baltimore II for the rest of 2020.

Before I get into the tying-up bit … an interesting reality was realized by all crew on the way to this tie-up.

For the first time ever, crew physical soreness and exhaustion was felt greatly and simultaneously by all during the four-day shakedown cruise last week. Torso soreness for everyone, as well as arm and hand, along with hand blisters all around. I cannot recall such inclusiveness of exhaustion and soreness throughout the whole crew for any past beginning of a sailing season. However, this year is unique for all the world, as well for Pride and her crew. Rig-up was completed by mid-March, in plenty of time for long-planned shipboard public events surrounding Maryland Day. But canceled near the eve of those plans to protect lives from the risk of infection. We were able to get a couple of crew-only shakedown sails done before recreational boating was stopped, soon after Maryland Day, for more than five weeks. Pride crew shifted into maintenance. Got a lot done. The type of projects that are planned for winter lay-ups, but priorities seem to regularly shift such projects to the bottom of the to-do list by higher priority projects. One very good example during this spring was a complete cleaning and preparing and painting of the two 3304 Caterpillar engines Pride has. But guess what? As hard working as the crew were at maintenance projects for the more than five week-long tied-up period, there are muscles not used that normally get used during an up-rig. So, with the four days of shakedown cruising coming right after more than five weeks of not doing any up-rig, being as up-rig was fully completed, nor any sailing, like freshly ripped out of the bars kidnapped crew taken by a press gang of long ago, we crew went for an intense four days of back to back day sailing. So, while willing we were, we were without a clue to how lots of muscles normally tuned up through up-rig hence ready for back to back day sailing had become untuned. For me, the mere persistence to balance myself regarding vessel motion created quite a bit of torso muscle groaning under my breath at the end of each day. A bit less day by day. But still, end of last week and a full day off Saturday was so very well received by all hands. As good as the sailing was, and with good reason to feel very accomplished for handling Pride really well under sail day after day last week with none of the usual turn-on-the-engines for whatever kind of reason, it is very sad to have to downrig now, but the crew are nicely tuned up for the downrigging and laying over the top of the ship her protective covering till next spring.

Now back to tying-up Pride for the rest of this year.

Part of the funding that assists with campaigning Maryland’s world renowned star-spangled sailing icon comes from interested general public and businesses contributing in return for the opportunity to sail aboard. Being that the best protection of lives from possible infection is significant interpersoanl distancing that will not be easy to provide while sailing aboard, such direct sailing experience income will be all but impossible to generate this year. Not only this, all of the anticipated income-producing events previously scheduled for March and April were canceled. And so it comes to pass that Pride will be tied up for the rest of this year. Carefully protected for the period ahead till sailing again in 2021. To be completely frank, it is quietly very disappointing for all of us to be tying up Pride for the rest of this year. While understandable, it is also not completely unfamiliar. Except that this tying up comes so very soon after opening her up again from last winter as if a butterfly from her protective cocoon. But like everyone across the nation and around the world, COVID-19 is a threat to us all doing anything that means mingling closely. To protect those that might want to sail aboard Pride during this medical emergency, being that protective distancing measures cannot be accommodated aboard Pride, means no direct user income, that in a regular season can mean upwards of 10%-15% of the annual budget to the non-profit company Pride of Baltimore, Inc. Such loss of potential income means the whole year’s costs will not actually be met. Tying up means reduced expenses. Tying up sooner than later also means having the fiscal ability for being ready and able to start up again in 2021.

Disappointing for sure. No differently for the whole nation and the whole planet. But certainly a clear way to protect lives in the meanwhile.

I extend sincere compliments to the seasonal crew for their diligence in all things they attend to on behalf of the ship. Downrigging her in a proper fashion and covering her for the long period of protection is no small nor simple job. Once accomplished, they go their own way. In normal circumstances, often to another sailing vessel.

Signed,
Jan C. Miles, Senior Captain