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PRIDE II returning to Baltimore under sail

Sailing Home

Photo: Pride II returning to Baltimore under sail, May 14, 2020, courtesy of Eddie Lucas.

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thirty-four years ago this day, Pride of Baltimore was lost. Pride of Baltimore II continues in the memory of the first … Bold statements of historical and contemporary accomplishments and friendly outreach to our nation and to the world by Marylanders.

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Today the crew sailed Pride of Baltimore II into her home port of Baltimore on the last day of a four-day shakedown cruise.  A cruise a bit different than past years’ shakedown sails for crew training. This time around, I added the goal of not using engines at all, except for backing away from the Clinton Street compound and returning. My goal was achieved. The engines were turned off right at the entrance of the North Branch of the Patapsco River that opens between Fort McHenry and Lazaretto Point. The engines did not go on again till Pride was right outside of her Clinton Street compound piers. These last four days have all been sailing days. To anchor and away from anchor.  An experience and a challenge that somewhat harkens back to the days of the Age of Sail.

This morning started with care and attention to shipboard details as we waited for the light southerly breeze to build. Late morning, the mainsail and main-gaff-topsail were set and the main boom tagged to starboard. The jib readied to be set aback to port. Yards with loosened square-topsail backed to port. Foresail brails “singled up” for a quick setting. Fore-staysail to starboard ready to set. With care to Pride’s yawing as the anchor was hauled back, at the point the anchor was going to lift off the bottom, the jib was set aback to port. Pride swung to starboard and with mainsail sheet eased as Pride headed away from the anchorage on a broad reach toward the Patapsco River. Leaving the jib aback so speed was kept low, but shifting the yards to starboard, the anchor was hoisted to the port rail and stowed. The jib was passed. The square-topsail was set. The staysail was set. The foresail was set. The jib-topsail was set. Pride then proceeded along nicely in the 10 knots of wind that had come up.

Pride reached across the bay to the eastern section of the Brewerton Channel (extension). Then steered into the Patapsco and under the Key Bridge. In the main branch of the Patapsco, the wind died out a lot.  As Pride drifted toward Fort McHenry, the foresail was brailed in. Then the jib-topsail lowered and harbor-furled. Soon Pride was turned toward the opening into the North Branch between Fort McHenry and Lazarretto Point. This put the light breeze directly behind the ship. The main-gaff-topsail was struck. Then the mainsail was lowered and stowed. As Pride sailed along under square-topsail, the jib and staysail were lowered and stowed. Last, just as Pride was approaching her Clinton Street compound mooring area, the square-topsail was struck. The engines started and quick work of tying up was executed around 1530.  After an hour of tidying up, all hands were stood down. Everyone feeling pretty good about the cruise.


Jan C. Miles, Senior Captain