Message from a Mate

Mid Day Local August 3, 2009

We bade farewell to Pugwash, Nova Scotia early yesterday morning, carrying a full boatload of locals to Summerside, PEI. What began as a quiet and calm motor sail culminated in a dramatic pass under full sail by the downtown pier, and a crisp striking of sail in front of the assembled crowd. After debarking all guests, we were off again, setting all sail and heaving a communal sigh as we pointed PRIDE towards Gaspe. Now it’s just us, with our Executive Director Linda Christenson aboard, and fellow sailor Christina Schallenberg, most recently from the Schooner ROSEWAY. Although leaving Pugwash meant saying goodbye to all our friends aboard the other vessels, it’s just as good to know that our lady is back on her own mission now. And when she sails into Gaspe tomorrow, you can bet that heads will be turning and eyes will be fixed on PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.

Matt Oates, 2nd Mate aboard Pride of Baltimore II

Bound for Sydney, NS

Departing Port Hawkesbury, NS
Bound for Sydney, NS
45Degrees 27.7 minutes North X 060Degrees 59.4 minutes West

The month continues to speed by us as we transition out of the “large festival” mode and get to savor some smaller, quieter towns around Nova Scotia and Quebec. As I write, we’re pushing out of Chedabucto Bay, bound for Sydney, NS. Our last stop of Port Hawkesbury showed us a small town filled with infinitely kind and polite people. I’m sure they won’t be a singular case as we make our way first east to the bigger town of Sydney then west to the smaller towns of Pictou, Pugwash then north to Gaspe and finally west again to big city of Montreal!

Matt Oates, 2nd Mate aboard Pride of Baltimore II

TSAC Race #3 – Closing in on Charleston

The first vessel of the fleet has crossed the finish line. PETER VON DANZIG crossed just moments after the 1400 UTC schedule of radio call-ins to Race Control aboard MIRCEA, the Romanian Training Vessel.

The rest of the leaders of the fleet, mostly Class D vessels with PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II tagging closely behind, are near and far spread behind the first finisher. FAZISI is not far from the finish. Behind her some distance and sailing along the coast is RONA II. Fanned out in a circle behind her nearly equidistant from the finish are PRIDE, well to the north near the coast, with XSAAR and URANIA nearly forming an arc to the south from PRIDE.

Today’s 1st and 2nd in Class and 1st and 2nd in Fleet are TECLA and JOLIE BRISE of Class B. Their ranking today goes to demonstrate how well sailed those vessels are as well just how slim the lead has been for PRIDE. Tomorrow is another day and the weather is proving a bit fickle in terms of producing what the forecasters suggested might happen. While this is frustrating to PRIDE because she is not gliding along with a fair breeze to the finish…rather she is tacking her way around the coastal shoals looking to get out of the current and stay in the off-shore breeze…maybe the other competitors are having as much frustration. Well, we will all find out tomorrow when the daily position report results are transmitted.

The most interesting thing to observe is EAGLE. She has gone and produced the longest distance between position reports for the second day in a row. This time she came back from being in the far south to being pretty far north. She may not be pointing very high, but she is surely sailing pretty fast! Meanwhile CAPITAN MIRANDA remains the most westerly Class A. She has done very well I think. I doubt any fickle weather will please her at this time. Way to the north of the fleet “the fox” EUROPA has managed to sail 40 miles in the direction of the finish. I hope the northerly winds suggested for her area come to pass for her. Certainly the NW winds forecast for today have not materialized.

In spite of the fickleness of the wind, the weather is clear. Hot and muggy with the wind from land. There have been heat advisories ashore posting 100 F temperatures when accounting for the humidity. Weather forecasts suggest the weather will become “more seasonable” with the crossing of the cold front. I cannot wait!

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II

Outbound on the Chesapeake Bay

May 18, 2009
Chesapeake Bay, near Smith Point

As PRIDE II leaves Baltimore and heads outside the bay for the first time this season I am filled with many conflicting emotions.  How does the old saying go: “If you love something let go and see if it returns.”  I have never been sure what that means but it does inspire some thoughts about our departure. Baltimore is a great town and it treats us well but unfortunately it is time to go.  Everywhere we go in Maryland we receive the warmest of welcomes and support for the vessel which makes it so hard to leave.  The summer months in the Chesapeake are filled with people and events that I will be sad to miss over the next four months.  However as we pass some of our friends still tied to Pier Five or at anchor on the Severn River that will spend more time here in the Chesapeake, the may we call home, I’m not jealous.  I am filled with excitement thinking about all the ports we will be headed to this season.  Soon we will be joining a spectacular fleet of vessels filled with some amazing sailors all with stories of there own.  And any day now we will surrounded by an admiring public filled with questions and deep respect for the boat and the crew that delivers her around the world.  I can’t wait.  Right now we have up the four lowers and the tops’l, we are running down wind with a comfortable breeze and the sky is clear.  Even the weather seems to be hastening our departure as we speed down the bay at 8 knots. These conflicting emotions are hard to express.  I have been out of Baltimore for barely 12 hours and I am as sad as a man can be thinking about all I have left behind.   However, at the same time I can hardly contain my excitement as we get ready to exit the Chesapeake and start another PRIDE II season abroad.  Will I miss Maryland, Baltimore and the Chesapeake with its comfortable surrounding and all my friends?  Yes.  Am I a bit worried about what is in store for the boat and the crew outside the safety of the bay? Yes.  Am I thrilled to be underway and ready for another season of glory aboard the best looking boat in the fleet?  Yes!  Is it this set of conflicting motivations and emotions that make this job so much fun? Absolutely.

~ Michael J. Fiorentino, Chief Mate