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A Grand Entry Under Full Sail

At 0900 hours Bermuda local time (ADT) PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II took aboard a Bermuda Harbor Pilot while sailing and with the pilot taking the helm and me directing the crew, PRIDE sailed all the way into St. George’s Harbor. With a fresh breeze of about 15-18 knots from the SSW PRIDE made a powerful figure sailing through the narrow St. George’s Cut and then into St. George’s Bay. Visitors walking the pier past PRIDE have spoken loudly and proudly of having seen the entry and taken photos of her arrival. So often the weather does not permit a sailing vessel to enter a port the way it was done many years ago, in a day when there were no mechanical engines to depend on when the wind was not just perfect for harbor entry. Doing so with PRIDE is fun and safe and educational to those aboard as well those looking on…showing that such behavior is more than just beautiful.

Last night’s sail to Bermuda was quite fast at a nearly steady 10 knots. The breeze had freshened steadily all day yesterday and eventually last evening I called for a reef to be put in the mainsail and the jib-topsail to be struck. Even with the reduction of sail PRIDE continued make about 10 knots. Maybe there is a lesson there about not continuing to carry sail as the wind increases. Before reefing I had been closely monitoring the strains upon the traditional rigging holding the topmast and the jib-boom as well sensing the amount of heel. There was no water on deck…but a lot of heel not only represents discomfort and struggle to walk the deck and down below but also represents the amount of strain the lighter rigging of the smaller spars comes under. Speed is usually a good thing and we certainly were getting good speed. But I finally judged that we had no particularly good reason to allow any additional strain to come onto PRIDE and her crew if the wind were to increase further so I ordered the reduction in sail. PRIDE stood up more to the wind and everyone aboard was more comfortable…plus the strain was less on certain rigging…and PRIDE did not slow down!

Jan C. Miles, Captain Pride of Baltimore II