Fleet Week New York ~ A Spectacular Spectacle

Pride II behind the Mexican Navy Sail Training Vessel Cuauhtémoc.

Every year the U.S. Navy is welcome to New York Harbor for Fleet Week. “Grey Ships” parade in and visit New York Harbor for several days. This year, in partnership with New York City’s own Operation Sail (OpSail) and to mark the Bicentennial Year of the start of the War of 1812 with England, Fleet Week was kicked off by two maritime parades. The first an international fleet of sail training vessels escorted by American sailing vessels. The second an international fleet of naval ships. The first fleet went up the Hudson River and turned around at the George Washington Bridge and proceeded down the Hudson River. The second fleet waited an hour and then proceeded up the Hudson River meeting the first fleet at the Aircraft Carrier INTREPID. As the two fleets passed each other the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and other naval air craft flew overhead up the Hudson River.

The wind was light so presented no headaches to the sailing vessels. While cloudy and a bit hazy the visibility was pretty good across the width of the river. All in all the spectacle was spectacular!

Crew enjoying the Parade. 1st Mate Sarah, 2nd Mate John and Deckhand Brandon. Lady Liberty and the Colombian Navy Sail Training Vessel Gloria provide a splendid backdrop.

PRIDE had a number of passengers who booked passage for the parade. Meanwhile PRIDE also had the Guest Crew from Baltimore sailing all of the way to Greenport, NY out at the tip of Long Island. Everyone helped the crew set all the sail. So PRIDE was one of the very few parading vessels that had most of the available sail up. Plus PRIDE had her cannons to pay proper respect to the hosting port of New York. Two guns for the World Financial Center and two guns for the dignitaries and special guests waiting at the Aircraft Carrier INTREPID. And just one more gun for the young kids aboard the Schooner MYSTIC WHALER. The kids were surprised but wanted another shot. The escorting USCG and New York Harbor Police requested no more gun shots. So be it. The guns shots were truly loud and all aboard PRIDE got a big kick out of them.

Now PRIDE is back inside North Cove Marina at the World Financial Center and everything is put away. All crew are now off on personal itineraries for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we get underway soon after 8 AM and head up the East River for the sail through Long Island Sound towards Greenport.

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II

Baltimore to New York ~ Roll with It

It was a misty and rolly transit to New York Harbor’s North Cove Marina this time. PRIDE has made the voyage from Baltimore to New York Harbor at near the same time of year a number of occasions.  At least two times the transit was very fast under sail. This time it was slow and under power. Goes to show how wildly different the voyage can from one year to another.

The situation this year was a stalled low off the New Jersey Coast due to the jet stream formation above. Instead of the fast portion of the Jet Stream it was a slow portion of the Jet Stream that was not dragging the New Jersey Low off shore. As a result, the weather forecast last week was a fresh NE wind off of New Jersey. Not the type of sailing that you take PRIDE into when you need her to go towards the NE!

So…what do you do when it is best not go where you are supposed to go? You do something else for as long as possible hoping the weather will pass by in time to for you to catch up with your voyage plan. In our case we did not depart Baltimore till evening time Saturday…instead of departing in the morning. And when we did depart we went straight to the Eastern Shore south of Rock Hall and anchored around 11 pm. No sailing was lost because there was no wind. So a lot of logistics were taken care of.

After a good nights rest and because the NE wind that was off shore was going to reach the Chesapeake Bay we sailed around all day Sunday and went back to anchor in the same spot. Lots of good sail handling was practiced by the crew…as well some emergency drill practice through launching the small rubber boat for an errand ashore at Kent Island Narrows and recovery of small boat…all under sail.

After dinner and while everyone was resting I spotted a revised weather forecast that indicated we might best get underway rather than wait for Monday. By departing at midnight Sunday it might just be possible to live up to the original voyage plan arriving New York Harbor Tuesday afternoon rather than early Wednesday morning. So after hauling back the anchor at midnight we motored PRIDE up the Chesapeake Bay and through the C&D Canal and down the Delaware Bay to the Atlantic. Sure enough, the Atlantic was a bit roiled up with the previous 2 days of NE wind, but there was no actual wind Monday evening…so with a lot of rolling PRIDE motored on.

This morning we made New York Harbor as originally hoped for. Everyone is very happy not to be rolling around for a while. The Big Apple beckons to all once the work day is over.

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II