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Sailing for the sake of sailing

2 August 2010

Pos: 47 36.6’N x 089 20.8’W
Wx: E F 2
Sailing under everything except T’gallant
Course: Full and By at 035, Speed: 2.5 kts

The festival in Duluth is now officially over, but, as testimony to the extreme interest Duluth has in all things maritime, nearly all the ships are still either in port or in the area! Only Bounty has departed for good, heading north to Thunder Bay, Ontario early this morning. Most of the other vessels are doing daysails to help quench Duluth’s thirst for sailing. Pride of Baltimore II is on a two night overnight passage with no real itinerary or destination – we are due back in Duluth on Wednesday to conduct a few daysails of our own later this week.

Of course, the fact that the ASTA Tallships Challenge Series race number Three starts tomorrow at noon is a big factor in keeping the ships around. This race, the longest, is actually going to see the smallest fleet, and so the big square-riggers and the schooners will be starting together. Pride II will linger around the West end of Superior – simply sailing for the sake of sailing – before starting the race tomorrow. Sadly, our schedule won’t allow us to finish. Due to a shuffling of ports and guest crew we have obligations in Duluth and will be withdrawing early. This is difficult after learning last night that we finished first in race number Two from Tawas Point to Drummond Island. Currently in the series Pride II has a first and a second in class and in fleet.

But Duluth has a tremendous draw to it, and the magnetism is echoed by the its citizens, 7500 of whom walked across our gangway this past weekend, and 129 of whom are signed up to sail with us on Wednesday and Thursday. So we will race as far as we can to the East, then as fast as we can back to Duluth. The crew will sure be familiar with the sights of Western Lake Superior by the time we leave on Friday.

In the meantime, the breeze is moving us no where fast, and once we are clear of the inbound shipping lanes, there will be perfect opportunity for adding a fourth Great Lake to the Pride II swim-call challenge. In 2008, there were some colorful descriptions of how cold the water was when we hove too off the Keweenaw Peninsula. We’ll see how chilly Superior is this time.

All best,
Jamie Trost, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II