A Symbol of Baltimore’s
Roots, Accomplishments, and ‘Things Yet To Be Done’
Proceeds benefit Chesapeake restoration projects and its maritime heritage

Contact: Laura Rodini laura@pride2.org

Pride II's construction in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, 1987, Sun photo by George Cook
Pride II’s construction in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, 1987, Sun photo by George Cook

BALTIMORE, December 7, 2015 — On a cool day in May, 1987, nearly 500 people gathered in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to witness the keel-laying ceremony of the tall ship Pride II, commissioned after the original Pride of Baltimore sank in a squall off the coast of Puerto Rico. The city rallied around the construction of a new ship, with then-Mayor Clarence ‘Du’ Burns designating Pride II as “The city’s ship… that belongs to the people of the city. It shows our roots, our accomplishments and our sense of things yet to be done.”

Twenty-seven years later, the same tropical hardwood that was used in the construction of Pride II has been made available for a special project benefiting Chesapeake restoration projects and its maritime heritage. Pride, Inc. is partnering with the Oyster Recovery Partnership to offer a limited number of oyster knives crafted from the bullet wood that was shaped into the keel of Pride II (pictured).

Given the historic nature and limited supply of this wood, the Pride II oyster knives are being crafted in an extremely small quantity. The knives can be pre-ordered through the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s website. Orders placed by December 18 will ship in time for the holiday season. Click here for complete details.

About The Historic Project

Click on the Image Above To Watch the Knife-Making Process
Click on the Image Above To Watch the Knife-Making Process

“Throughout her storied history, hundreds of thousands of people have come aboard, gone for a sail or participated in an educational program on Pride of Baltimore II,” says Rick Scott, Executive Director. “Now, through this innovative project spearheaded by the Oyster Recovery Partnership, you can own a keepsake piece of Pride II herself — and support environmental efforts and Pride II at the same time.”

Each knife handle is carved from timbers of bullet wood and mahogany, used in framing Pride II‘s hull and as trim on deck structures. The wood has been preserved in climate-controlled conditions since Pride II was completed in 1988.

The knife blade is a 3-inch stainless steel blade, a famous American oyster knife design known for being sturdy, versatile and dependable. It is one of the earliest known types used to “split the rock.”

Each laser-engraved knife comes with a certificate of authenticity and matching number from 001 to 500.

The Importance of Oysters to Chesapeake Life

Oyster Recovery Partnership divers help rehabilitate reefs on Maryland’s Harris Creek, the largest oyster restoration project on the East Coast.
Oyster Recovery Partnership divers help rehabilitate reefs on Maryland’s Harris Creek, the largest oyster restoration project on the East Coast.

Oysters play a vital role in improving Chesapeake Bay water quality by creating a habitat for a multitude of marine life, including the Blue Crab and Striped Bass.

The Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) was established to help manage and implement Maryland’s oyster restoration efforts. Over the last 21 years, the nonprofit has planted more than 5.9 billion oysters on 2,200 acres of oyster reefs in Maryland, including the largest man-made oyster reef in the country. ORP manages the region’s oyster shell recycling program and supports other sustainable fisheries management efforts.

“Our intent through this project was to design a classic historical symbol of Chesapeake Bay culture that is practical for everyday use,” said Oyster Recovery Partnership Executive Director Stephan Abel. “This is also a way for the Oyster Recovery Partnership and Pride of Baltimore II to salute Maryland’s oyster heritage while we continue our work to preserve the traditions of the Bay.”

About The Pride of Baltimore

For nearly four decades, Pride of Baltimore and Pride of Baltimore II have represented the people of Baltimore in ports throughout the world, spreading a positive message of Baltimore and extending the hand of friendship globally. Since her commissioning in 1988, Pride II has traveled more than 250,000 nautical miles and visited 40 countries in 200 ports. Pride II has become one of the best-known U.S. sailing vessels in the world, capturing the imagination of millions of people.

For more information, contact Laura Rodini at laura@pride2.org.