Wednesday 27 June 2012
Pos: 41 10.7’N X 071 17.9’W
Wx: W F 3-4, Seas 2-4′
Pride of Baltimore II Sailing under All Plain Sail at 7-8 knots
Yesterday, I wrote about the various options available for sail combinations aboard Pride of Baltimore II, and narrowed it down to three basic options. Variations among these options mean there are essentially 23 different sail combinations for Pride II to ply the oceans under. That’s more combinations than the ship has bunks. And in two days of sailing from Cape May to Block Island, we’ve run through about a third of them. They have different nicknames, as groups – the “Daysail Combo” of Fores’l, Fore Tops’l, and Stays’l (called such because the ease of use and versatility mean we use is quite a bit on daysails), the self explanatory “Four Lowers,” and similar “Four Lowers and Foretop.” More traditionally, we have “All Plain Sail” which covers everything that’s actually attached to the rig. On top of that we have “The Kites” – T’gallant, Stuns’l and the nearly never used Ringtail.
Fading breezes yesterday afternoon had us set All Plain Sail, plus the T’gallant and carry that plan until around midnight, when we experienced 20-25 knots just forward of the beam. We stripped down to Four Lowers and still charged along through the night at a comfortable 9 knots, with the wind slowly backing to the west. This combination is, as described in yesterday’s blog, Pride II’s most feminine. And while the attribution to masculine and feminine qualities was described yesterday, I realize no real explanation was given. Well, there are at least a dozen to choose from, depending on whom you ask, but only one seems plausible to me. Despite the tradition of referring to all vessels as “she” or “her” in English, the French differentiate, referring to nearly all vessels in the masculine. Except the schooner – La Goélette. Add a few square sails and you get to the “hermaphrodite” tag. If you want to spend countless hours in utter confusion, Google up a discussion board focusing on the term “Hermaphrodite Brig.”
Back aboard Pride II, call her what you will, she’s our girl! And she’s the transformer of tall ships. From our simple Four Lowers sail plan we’ve been building up with the backing and moderating breeze and are carrying All Plain Sail again, this time plus the T’gallant. Lots of changes for a 36 hour run. Lots of blisters, sweat and bruises for the crew. And we haven’t even tacked or worn ship . . . yet.
Captain Jamie Trost and the constantly sail changing crew of Pride of Baltimore II