Captain's Log – En Route Toward Great Lakes… Depart Baltimore



As I write this first log of the Great Lakes Campaign of 2016 the wind is blowing blustery northwesterly 20-25 knots with gusts to 35 knots. PRIDE is making around 9 knots with peaks of 10-11 knots during gusts sailing under reduced canvass of just three sails. The double reefed mainsail the full foresail and the full fore-staysail (the first of the ship’s three jibs). One watch is below and off-duty and the other is aloft putting a reef in the square topsail in preparation of possible future use.


PRIDE spent the night at anchor near Baltimore Light after a hectic start to departure day. News media on board at the start and cannon salutes in the midst of setting sail on a lovely clear and somewhat cooler and less muggy day than has been around for several days. The forecast cold front was slightly slower arriving than anticipated. Knowing there would be fresh and favorable winds for today thus the chance to get a lot of mileage accomplished during one daylight day, I saw an opportunity to sail to anchor for the night and provide all aboard with time to adjust and settle in.


This morning with a dawn wake up, the crew and Guest Crew hauled back the anchor and with a favorable westerly wind of moderate strength steadily set sail before breakfast. Full mainsail, foresail and square topsail and all three jibs. With a forecast of strengthening wind left stowed the main-gaff-topsail. After passing under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and passing Annapolis PRIDE was happily making around 9 knots with a mostly westerly wind. Stood the crew into two watches sending one below at 10 AM. Around late morning the promised stronger winds came up as the ship was passing entrances to both the Choptank and Little Choptank Rivers just below Sharp’s Island. The on watch started reducing sail. Struck the jib-topsail. Then the square-fore-topsail. Then the jib. Near lunch time for the off-watch they joined in with double reefing the mainsail.


It is now just after lunch and the ship is passing the mouth of the Patuxant River as the square-topsail is being reefed. Meanwhile the ship is making toward the mouth of the Potomac River and the turn into the Lower Chesapeake Bay at Smith Point Light. Where will we end up tonight? I’ve been thinking of Mobjack Bay. It is my desire to be anchored and stowed by dark…if not sooner. The question will be where to drop the anchor. I would also like a minimum water current location in the lee of some nearby shore. We shall see where we end up and when.

Educating the Next Generation


Over the past two weeks, captains and crew of Pride of Baltimore II joined with rangers at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to teach students about the War of 1812 and the role of Privateers. Students from across Baltimore City schools came aboard to immerse themselves in maritime technology, the ins and outs of the ship, and navigating the Chesapeake Bay. For some students, this was their first time on a boat! With lessons in both American history and Maryland history, it was a thrill for our crew to meet these students and create a one-of-a-kind learning experience for them.

The education program is part of a new partnership between Pride and the National Park Service Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, a 560-mile land and water route that tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay region. It connects historic sites in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and commemorates the events leading up to the Battle of Baltimore, the aftermath of which inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem. This partnership introduces hundreds of students to Maryland’s unique history and is an incredible opportunity to educate the next generation about the history of our great state and its role in shaping a young nation. We hope that this partnership will inspire young minds, instilling pride in their state and pride in their country.

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CAPTAIN'S LOG: Pride in the People

September 15, 2014

Pride of Baltimore II, alongside at Constellation Pier, Inner Harbor

Wx: East Force 1, 2/8 Celebratory Cumulus, the rest of the sky a Bicentennial Blue

Today’s dawn ushers in a whole new century of our storied national anthem, and a well-worn Pride II crew has seen to it that the ship and the city have marked the anniversary with style and passion. Some ships have already left, the guns and jets are silent now, crowds of visitors still swarm the harbor. But yesterday’s crescendo has washed over and while we bask in the success and import of “Spectacular,” the typical snap and bustle aboard is slightly leaden with fatigue. And no surprise– during the 25 hours actual hours of the Battle of Baltimore anniversary, crew and ship were in full action themselves. With a rotation of watches and captains, plus lots of work from shore side office staff, we scarcely stopped moving, and never stopped commemorating the incredible events of 200 years ago.

As the guns of Fort McHenry thundered out Saturday morning,we sailed alongside a British-flagged Lynx and waved a truce flag over our Francis Scott Key impersonator as he plead his case across the rail for Royal Marines to unhand Doctor Beanes. When the historically timed “re-enactment rain” came down (nearly to the minute, according to the 1814 accounts), we rigged awnings, waited for the sky to clear, then sailed in sleek silence under the roaring military muscle of the Blue Angels. As the town turned electric for the prelude to the fireworks, Pride paraded through the harbor to blast off a national broadcast with three guns. When the “bombs” of the pyrotechnics bust over Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor, 100 viewers joined us on deck. Then, once the dust settled, irrepressibly enthusiastic Ranger Vince Vaise from the Fort narrated a midnight retracing of the final desperate British assault on the batteries up the Ferry Branch of the Patapsco.

From three to six am things fell silent, just as they did in 1814. But the crisp morning ushered in a new flurry of action. The culminating moment of the weekend would feature Baltimore’s 1812 historic triumvirate – the Maryland Historical Society’s hand-sewn replica of the Star-Spangled Banner would be hoisted over the Fort while Pride II stood in the offing as Key’s truce ship President and a collected squadron of Tall Ships around her represented the invading British.

With Pride II booked full of enthusiastic passengers and logistics of the ship movements rattling in my mind, Captain Miles and I decided it would work smoothest if he sailed the ship and I marshaled the squadron from a vantage ashore. To foster that plan along, Ranger Vaise welcomed me, along with my wife and parents, to survey the scene from the commanding perch of the Fort’s Bastion 5. Equipped with a handheld VHF and copies of the pages of notes and schematics I’d issued to the ships, we set off for the Fort’s dock in Pride II’s rescue boat. The physical bustle and tangible excitement at the Fort stewed with amazement – this was it, the very morning, the day when the focus of so much 1812 education, programming, efforts, and toiling over months and years was about to float in the September breeze for Baltimore and the world to see.

Ships trickled out from downtown. The inbound cruise ship Carnival Pride cleared the channel into South Locust Point and left the harbor to historic craft. US Armed Forces, and Sailors and Marines from our 1812 adversaries come allies Canada and England, took up position around dignitaries from local, state, and national government in the Parade Ground within the walls. Sun glinted off the black barrels of replica and modern armaments as they stood silently ready for a barrage of salutes. The cool northeast breeze streamed the Fort’s Storm Flag in anticipation.

The pieces started moving. Ranger Vaise, radiating excitement even through a veil of exhaustion, orchestrated the unfurling and preparation of the replica Garrison Flag. The ships slid over glittering water into position under a mantle of low cumulus. As the events of the battle were narrated, a crowd began to gather on the bastion around me, watching the ships. At first I was irritated – with eleven ships and two pulling boats to coordinate, I’d envisioned relative solitude to lay out my notes and coordinate via radio. Having a crowd to eavesdrop and chime in on the necessary communications might offer more than a slight nuisance.

But as the ceremony in the Fort and formation beyond the ramparts continued shaping up, I noticed there were nearly as many people on the bastion with me as in the parade ground. They whispered questions: What’s that ship? Where are they from? What are they all doing? And I had time, as the squadron deftly arrayed themselves across the river, to answer all the questions. Between radio calls to shift and tighten up the line, I could tell the people, these mesmerized appreciators of history, what they were seeing and how much it looked like what Major George Armistead saw 200 years ago that very minute. I wasn’t alone, and was happy for it. I was surrounded by people who, like me, felt deeply moved by this instance, the commemoration of America’s emergence from a divisive and trying, nearly adolescent, conflict into maturity.

The Army Old Guard fired a salvo. When the smoke cleared and the guns fell silent, the ramparts were teeming with people. A last salute from a replica 24lb gun, and the fifing of “Yankee Doodle” lifted the hand-sewn replica aloft. Lynx and Sultana swapped their British ensigns for American. Salutes and cheers echoed from the ships. Through the smoke,their rigs etched a striking visage of history.

By 0940, Pride II was on station off the water battery and the ships processed in, saluting both her and the Fort. Pride II’s Key impersonator was standing at the rail, cheering in the new era of the Star-Spangled Banner. Up on the ramparts, the crowd around me pressed in,asking more eager questions whenever I wasn’t hailing the passing ships on radio to thank them for their part in this historic event. It got so crowed that we were forced off the bricks and (to the chagrin of the Rangers) onto the grass that sprouted from the earthworks. Like most forts of her era, Fort McHenry is mostly earthwork – largely composed of dirt, held together by brick sheathing. Throughout the 214 years of the Fort’s existence, the bricks have been renewed, but the earth inside is still the same.

And then I realized the truth of the week – that we at Pride, the Fort, and Maryland Historical Society had helped, but history had repeated itself organically. Two-hundred years ago, this week was won by the citizens of Baltimore unexpectedly repulsing the British attack. And as Fort, Flag, and Fighting Sail recreated the events of 1814 on a brilliantly sunny morning, it was we citizens of today’s Baltimore that stood on the very earthworks our counterparts defended two centuries ago. Our feet connected us to the timeline of history, the living earth of the Fort, the very foundation of our “Land of the free,” our “Home of the Brave.”

Captain Jamie Trost

CAPTAIN'S LOG: Ready or Not, We're Ready


Friday 5 September 2014
Pride of Baltimore II alongside Lighthouse Point, deep into “Spectacular” preparations
Wx: Hideously hot, wind SE F 3


Since her return from the Battle of Caulks Field Re-enactment events last weekend in Chestertown, Pride II and her crew have been chock-a-block in readying ship and crew for the coming week. As Baltimore’s only War of 1812 ship, Pride II will find herself central in the commemorations of the Battle of Baltimore and the birth of our National Anthem. Though alliterative marketers have dubbed this week’s event Star-Spangled “Spectacular,” two hundred years ago a city hunkering down for invasion and siege would more likely have featured anxiety, stress, and fatigue.

In the few ship movements of our busy week, we found ourselves at Fort McHenry Wednesday afternoon. Our visit was largely logistic – Ranger Vince Vaise and I were trying to finalize some details for our collaborative “Dawn’s Early Light/Star-Spangled Sail” programming on Sunday the 14th. But Ranger Vaise took the time give me a sneak preview of the new Exhibit featuring Major George Armistead. Set up within the Major’s Headquarters in the Fort, it features a bronze statue of Armistead himself, shoulders anxiously locked and channeling weighty concerns to hands planted firmly next to a screen set into the table he leans on. The screen activates to show frantic hands of the officers of the Fort pouring over charts, tables, muster lists, and ammunition stores while speculating over the movements of the advancing British.


As his likeness simultaneously stares downward at the table and outward to you, the visitor, Armistead’s concerns are expressed though an inner monologue – there wasn’t enough ammunition, twenty percent of the men had malaria, the Fort’s magazine was a vulnerable target, food was scarce and no one knew how long it might have to last. Like anyone thick in preparations, he wanted more time, wanted the certainty of readiness.

The urgency of the Fort was not different. The enormous VIP tent was already being set up, ceremonial flags (presumably gifts for the slew of dignitaries) were being run up and down quickly to be certified as flown over the Fort’s storied flag pole, at 4:30 in the afternoon, a hoarse but energetic Ranger Vaise was just being handed a bagged lunch from a fellow Ranger who was concerned he’d forget to eat at all. Not wanting to distract, or neglect our own busy schedule, we left the Fort staff to their own preparations and took Pride II back to wrap up some of our own.

None of us are hunkering down for a live firefight, but that doesn’t mean those of us in Baltimore’s 1812 Historical community aren’t serious about maximizing this once in a life time anniversary. Pride II’s crew has been attending to prepping the ship – provisioning the galley in advance of the traffic hassles the crowds are likely to bring, suiting everyone up with clean laundry for all of the public interactions, and maintaining the Pride Memorial in Rash Field (this week should honor and remember all those who served, and died, in the name of Baltimore). The crew are malaria free, the powder we are loading aboard is all for salutes, not earnest shots, and we’ll keep feeding the crew with no worries of shortage. But I think our industry this week and next will connect us with Armistead and his men in an eternal network of efforts for our Star-Spangled City.

Like Armistead, we’ll never feel as ready as we want to be. As we gear up to sail out and commemorate the British landing at North Point this weekend, I think, again like Armistead, that we are as ready as we need to be.


Come test us, and join in this historic event.



Maritime Day Contest

Maryland Students Challenged to Tell the Story of the “Star-Spangled Banner”
Pride of Baltimore and Port of Baltimore present first annual Maritime Day Contest

BALTIMORE, April 28, 2014 – In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the penning of the national anthem, Pride of Baltimore and the Port of Baltimore have created a contest for Maryland K – 12th grade students, challenging them to help tell the story of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Students have creative freedom to tell the story however they choose –through watercolor paintings, photography, poems, essays, videos, interpretive dances, dioramas, sculptures, and more.

IMG_1764Winners and one guest will be invited to sail aboard Pride on Sunday, May 18th during the National Maritime Day commemoration and wreath laying ceremony. The top projects will also be featured on the Pride of Baltimore website through December 2014.

Projects (or images of projects) can be submitted through the Pride of Baltimore website: or via mail to:

Pride of Baltimore, Inc.
Star-Spangled Student Contest
2700 Lighthouse Point East, Suite 330
Baltimore, MD 21224

The project submission deadline is 5:00 PM on Friday, May 9, 2014. Fifteen winners will be announced on Thursday, May 15th. All K – 12th grade students residing in Maryland are welcome to apply.

The Pride of Baltimore is a reconstruction of an early 19th century Baltimore Clipper. These sleek, fast, and maneuverable vessels became famous as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships inspired the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1812.  When Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying after the all-night bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

2014 is the first year in many that Pride will remain in local waters – traveling to as many Maryland ports as possible throughout the Star-Spangled Summer of 2014, reaching between 50,000 and 100,000 people in her port visits throughout the state. Since her commissioning in October of 1988, Pride has traveled over 250,000 nautical miles, visited 40 countries, and docked in over 200 ports of call. For more information on Pride’s 2014 sailing schedule, education initiatives, or membership program, please visit

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Pride of Baltimore is now offering a series of guided deck tours to their list of opportunities to come aboard! 

2013, Port Dalhausie
2013, Port Dalhausie

A 30-minute guided deck tour is the ultimate way to explore Pride’s deck, learn about past and present life aboard topsail schooner privateers, and interact with the vessel’s passionate and knowledgeable crew. Pride’s well-trained sailors will lead guests through various interpretive stations, including a hands-on demonstration in the Baltimore schooner design as well as an exciting video of Pride in action, bringing to life the traditional sailing experience for privateers in 1812.  Tours are open to adults, children, and groups of all types. Guests are asked to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to their tour for registration.  

Guided deck tours will be offered in various ports Pride will visit in 2014. Tour schedule and ticket information can be found on the Pride website:

The Pride of Baltimore is a reconstruction of an early 19th century Baltimore Clipper. These sleek, fast, and maneuverable vessels became famous as privateers during the War of 1812. Their success in capturing British merchant ships inspired the Royal Navy’s attack on Baltimore in 1812.  When Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying after the all-night bombardment of Fort McHenry, he was inspired to pen the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

2014 is the first year in many that Pride will remain in local waters – traveling to as many Maryland ports as possible throughout the Star-Spangled Summer of 2014, reaching between 50,000 and 100,000 people in her port visits throughout the state. Since her commissioning in October of 1988, Pride has traveled over 250,000 nautical miles, visited 40 countries, and docked in over 200 ports of call. For more information on Pride’s 2014 sailing schedule, education initiatives, or membership program, please visit