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Preparing to Anchor off Annapolis. Courtesy of David Sites.

Anchored In Annapolis – First Captain’s Log of 2024 Sailing Season

Date: Monday, May 6, 2024

Location: Anchored at Annapolis

While the 2024 season did not officially start till Maryland Day Celebration weekend of March 23/24, PRIDE’s first underway period started with a return to Chesapeake Bay from Thunderbolt, Georgia after a winter “on the hard” getting plank replacement done by Pride’s “winter crew”, lead by partner captain and shipwright Jeff Crosby. 

Photo: At anchor off Annapolis, courtesy of David Sites

The big event of the new 2024 season was the very tragic and deeply consequential collapse early March 26 of Baltimore Harbor’s Frances Scott Key Bridge that spanned over the 55-foot dredged commercial ship Fort McHenry Channel. Pride was slated to return to Baltimore on March 26 from the Maryland Day Weekend public tour activities in Annapolis. All marine traffic, both commercial and recreational, meaning all navigation passing under The Key Bridge into and out of Baltimore Harbor was stopped. However, very quickly, one week after the bridge collapse, Federal and local maritime authorities banded together under a special Unified Command, and determined a couple of smaller commercial vessel detours around the collapsed bridge. Pride made her return to Baltimore just as the Eclipse of April 8th was ending. Since then she has been able to fulfill her 2024 sailing itinerary. Both inside and outside of Baltimore Harbor. 

Today, at anchor just off Eastport Yacht Club, is an all-hands day off. Pretty rare to have while Pride is anchored. As can be imagined, Pride spends her non-sailing days at the dock. However, permission to pass through Key Bridge is still restricted. Arrangements must be made well in advance for strictly daylight pass-through. The few days between this just ended three-day guest crew sail on the Bay that began and ended in Annapolis and another sail to Solomons set for this coming Wednesday and Thursday is short enough to make returning to Baltimore somewhat superfluous. Better to keep things simple. Maintaining Pride is always going on whenever the conditions are favorable. Even underway. Doing such while at anchor is straightforward. So, after today’s day off, tomorrow will be a maintenance day plus getting ready for the sail to Solomons.

Meanwhile, an earned day off following an active week mixed with maintenance, is something very well earned by Pride‘s crew. The previous six days provided two oneway motoring transits (maintenance while underway) between Annapolis and Baltimore to execute a late afternoon & evening charter sail in Baltimore last Wednesday, followed by a just completed three days of 15-20 knot wind Guest Crew “voyaging” in the Chesapeake Bay. Two of those days were the recent cold and wet Saturday and Sunday. 

Preparing to Anchor off Annapolis. Courtesy of David Sites.

Each night was at anchor. Friday night was east of Sharp’s Island Light. Near Hills and Mill Points at the south end of Trippe Bay. A comfortable lee from the fresh easterlies provided by the land area between the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers. Reached after a speedy beam to close reach sail southward from Annapolis with only foresail, staysail and square-topsail. A cool and dry East wind. 

Saturday night anchorage was at the mouth of Chester River in the lee of Eastern Neck south of Rock Hall after a wet, hence a somewhat colder, sail northward. Still using Pride’s so called “Day-Sail Combo” of foresail, staysail and square-topsail.

Sailing on the Chesapeake, courtesy of Captain Jan Miles

Pride sails well with this combo. Beam to close reaching with gusts near 20 knots can speed PRIDE along at better than 8 knots. With wind around 10-15 knots Pride can make 5-6 knots. Plenty of speed for covering 30-40 nautical miles along the length of The Bay within the hours of daylight available this time of year. Which enables a full night’s rest for all aboard between active days of handling Pride’s over 400 thousand pounds driven by her “day sail combo” of around 3,500 square feet. In this case, somewhat extra active days, considering they began and ended with handling anchor gear weighing hundreds of pounds. Retrieved via a manual teeter-totter-barrel-windlass crank system dragging Pride and her extensive mast and rigging windage toward the anchor before lifting 850 pounds of anchor at the end of 1” chain weighing roughly 10 pounds per foot of length.


Jan C. Miles, Senior Captain