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Lake Erie Astern, Detroit to Port and Canada to the SOUTH!

8 July 2011
Pos: Alongside Port Detroit Dock
Wx: East F 2, Sunny. Hot

Pride of Baltimore II dockside in Detroit

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II now has two Lakes under her belt in 2011. With the Northeasterly filling in on Wednesday evening, we sailed until midnight, then used engines to assist for a few hours so we could make our ETA to Pelee Passage on time. Once through Pelee – a pass formed by the Southernmost point on the Canadian mainland and the Southern most island of Canada – we had enough breeze to reach the Detroit River under sail. Finding our sister Privateer LYNX at anchor off the river mouth, we sailed close under her lee, then took in sail and motored up the river. All told, we were able to sail roughly 170 of the 200nm from Buffalo to the Detroit River.

Along the river, LYNX passed us as we prepared to reset sail for our grand arrival into Detroit. LYNX is heading straight through to Duluth, MN, where we will see them again so we have some catch up to play once we leave Detroit. Before she motored on, LYNX made use of the J.W. WESCOTT II, also called “Mailboat,” to deliver a package of goodwill. As the world’s only ship-to-ship Postal delivery service, the Mailboat is typically used to deliver mail on a pre-arranged basis to passing freighters. In this case it was an assortment of snacks and other things courtesy of Captain LeeAnne Gordon and the crew of LYNX.

Making our grand arrival, we secured at the snug inner slip of the new Detroit Port Authority Facility. This marks another stop where PRIDE II is being used to showcase a waterfront development project. Tucked in between the towering Renaissance Center and the green lawn of Hart Plaza along Detroit’s Riverwalk, PRIDE II has attracted quite a bit of attention and will hopefully be the first of many traditional vessels to make an appearance here.

Today was quite busy, between the public, the logistics and the unforeseen visits. The day started with a thorough hose down of the whole boat – a sure sign of summer arrived last night in the form of the Mayfly hatch. Thousands and thousands of these strange, mouthless insects covered the deck, the sails and the river. Walking across the footbridge from the outer wall had the sound effects of rice crispies. Fortunately, that should be the last of the hatch, and serve as a good omen of warm weather.

Once the ship was cleared of the overnight plague, nearly 1200 visitors crossed the gangway, with some crew working the decks to answer questions and interpret the details of PRIDE II, while others were off handling the laundry and the provisioning and all the other details of being in port. Fortunately logistic support was near brimming from Engineer Andrew Kaiser’s mother, and from last year’s Cook, Amanda Doren, who is living locally and fixing up her own sail boat.

And though we scarcely got here, we’re off again in the morning, with three lakes and two rivers to cover before Duluth. In the meantime, we enjoy Detroit’s hospitality, as well as the novelty of having Ontario to the South of us.

All best,
Captain Jamie Trost and the crew of PRIDE of BALTIMORE II