Busy 2019 Great Lakes Tall Ship Festival Schedule

Photo: Pride of Baltimore II at the 2019 Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City, Michigan, July 21, 2019, by Great Lakes Drone Works

Date: Monday, July 22, 2019
Position: Bay City, Michigan

The heat is upon us all. Even here in the Great Lakes port town of Bay City on the Saginaw River. Just about the whole nation is in a significant heatwave. So it‚Äôs a hot festival. ūüėé

Bay City is festival port weekend number four in three weeks, starting with Toronto’s weekend tall ship festival, followed by Buffalo’s, followed by Cleveland’s, now Bay City’s.

There have been two tall ship Races. The first was on Lake Ontario between the first summer weekend festival in Toronto and the second summer weekend festival in Buffalo. Then on western Lake Erie between the third summer weekend festival in Cleveland and the fourth summer weekend festival in Bay City.

The fifth summer weekend festival will be in Green Bay. Followed by the sixth summer weekend festival in Kenosha. The seventh summer weekend festival will be in Midland, Ontario, for a part of the fleet; another part of the fleet will be in Sarnia, Ontario, across the St. Clair River from Port Huron, Michigan. Summer weekend number eight will be in Kingsville, Ontario, on Lake Erie — a small harbor that will only have a small portion of the fleet. Yet a different part of the fleet is skipping the options on weekends number seven and eight (Midland/Sarnia and Kingsville) and instead going to Duluth from Kenosha for a separate and unaligned port festival rendezvous. Most of the port festivals are part of a series under the umbrella of Tall Ships America. This series is called TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE¬ģ Great Lakes 2019.

For the eighth summer weekend, Pride II will go her own separate way and spend a ‚Äúlong weekend‚ÄĚ on Lake Charlevoix, Boyne City, Michigan. Come summer weekend number nine, Pride will be underway, bound for Brockville, Ontario, for summer weekend festival number ten. Those vessels that went to Duluth will have returned in time to rendezvous with the greater fleet for summer weekend number nine in Erie, Pennsylvania. Some of the Erie fleet will meet Pride in Brockville. The tenth summer weekend is Labor Day weekend, the symbolic end of summer, the last formal port call of Pride‚Äôs Great Lakes tour, and the beginning of her voyage toward home. Starting with going down the St. Lawrence River, then on in to the Atlantic and around Nova Scotia to the American East Coast.

Anyone tired yet? More likely confused. ‚ÄėTis a pretty complicated summer.

The hosts of each of these port festivals are very activist minded. There are liaisons for each ship for every day in port. Squads of volunteers for each festival day are tasked with public crowd control and preserving festival security in partnership with individual ship security preserved by ships crews. There is coordination of ship logistics, like pumping out waste water and supplying fuel if needed; assistance with a myriad of ship errands; keeping up with informing ship personnel of parties in their honor; and services such as showers. Of course, coordination with the United States Coast Guard and local marine police forces regarding parades of sail, entry, mooring, and maintaining external security of the assembled vessels is always required.

As can be imagined, festivals are all-day affairs: overnight security of all the venues within festival grounds, daylong management of public interest and safety, daylong availability of emergency services. This list is only the tip of the iceberg of requirements. Leading up to such festivals are years and months and back-to-back days of fundraising and planning.

After the summer is over, a tally from the participating vessels ‚Äúgrading‚ÄĚ of each port will occur. At some point, a port festival will be identified as the one that satisfied vessels the most. There is a great deal of hope in each port to be named the most satisfying by the fleet.

Monday, July 22, as I finish this log up, Pride is the first of the fleet to depart Bay City. The wind is against us in Saginaw Bay. So it is best to get over to Lake Huron and the more open expanse of that lake to see about getting some sailing in … Maybe around mid-afternoon.

Captain Jan C. Miles

Captain's Log – Anchored in Chippewa Bay…

Date: Thursday September 15, 2016

Position: Anchored in Chippewa Bay on the American side of the St. Lawrence River, State of New York

Chippewa Bay. Mentioned in music and other literature. Located within the area of the upper St. Lawrence River described as the Thousand Islands. An exceedingly picturesque area. Homes dating back more than a century built on nearly enumerable islands and islets, some homes within one stride of the river. In the days before income tax, some of the homes were considerable statements of wealth. Singer Castle is just one example ‚ÄĒ very European in its style. Mostly the homes are simple “summer cottages,” ranging in size from one room to sprawling. Boathouses abound. The water level remains nearly constant so a boathouse is a pretty practical idea. Some are very imaginative architectural expressions, nearly castle-like in some instances.

Pride is in a very quiet area separated from the commercial ship channel by Cedar Island. The winds during the transit thus far between Erie and Brockville permitted good sailing and fast sailing in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The transit down the eight locks of the Welland Canal was speedy due to not as many commercial ships transiting as there sometimes can be. So we are ahead of schedule. A great opportunity to find a sheltered and quite anchorage. Today is maintenance day. Soon the ship will be back in the Atlantic with its saltiness. We want to get as much re-coating of the ship as we can to better hold off salt-rooted wear and tear. The crew have the varnish somewhat prepared. Today’s focus is mast and rigging care: tar and slush put on served and unserved wire rigging, coating of the big lower masts with protective wood preserving oil, and paint upon selected areas of the exterior hull.

With a full night’s rest last night and another one coming tonight, based on benign weather and a quite anchorage, there is a great opportunity to care for the ship and get ready for both Tall Ships¬ģ Brockville this coming weekend and the long voyage back home to Baltimore starting next week.


Captain Jan C. Miles

Photo: Thanks to Rebecca Samler, who caught Pride II firing a cannon on Lake Erie after departing Tall Ships¬ģ Erie on September 12, for sharing her photo with us. Click on the photo for a full view.

Pride II Departs for the Great Lakes

Pride of Baltimore II, America’s Star-Spangled Ambassador, proudly announces its departure from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the morning of Tuesday, June 7, 2016, for a four-month voyage along the East Coast to the Great Lakes. The tall ship’s mission is to promote Maryland’s economic interests to ports around the U.S. and Canada, as well as participate in the Tall Ships Challenge¬ģ Great Lakes 2016, which involves several sailing races throughout the summer. This marks the first time Pride II has left the Chesapeake Bay since 2013.


“In addition to participation in tall ship festivals throughout the Great Lakes, Pride IIwill also play an economic development role, ” says Rick Scott, Executive Director. “Through a recent partnership with the state of Maryland, Pride II will promote economic development and tourism for the state during her voyage to the Great Lakes this summer.”


Around 9 am, with her beautiful sails unfurled, Pride II will make a farewell voyage around the Inner Harbor and fire her cannons. The ship will travel past Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, one of several vantage points for both photographers and the general public to bid farewell before Pride II‘s return in early October. Pride II‘s exact departure time will be determined according to the weatheron Tuesday; please call Laura Rodini at 202-669-3065 or email laura@pride2.org for up-to-the minute information.


Optimal Viewing Locations for Media Coverage

Tide Point: View of Pride II approaching/passing by with Fells Point in the background.
Fells Point/Broadway Pier: View of Pride II approaching/passing by with Tide Point in the background.
Fells Point/Thames Street Area: View of Pride II passing by with Domino Sugar and Federal Hill in view.
Federal Hill (on actual hill): Full view of Pride II turning around in the Inner Harbor.

Fort McHenry: View of Pride II approaching/passing by with Key Bridge in background.


WEBSITEPride II will then sail 180 nautical miles south to Norfolk, Virginia, to participate in Norfolk Harborfest, America’s largest, longest-running, free maritime festival taking place from June 9 to 12, 2016. For more information about Norfolk Harborfest,¬†visit this link.


Pride II will voyage north along the east coast, and then enter the St. Lawrence Seaway through a series of locks on her way to the Great Lakes in order to participate in the Tall Ships Challenge¬ģ Great Lakes 2016. “We are excited to take Pride II out of her home waters for the first time in several years,” says Captain Jan Miles. “Pride of Baltimore II is Maryland‚Äôs working symbol of the great natural resources and spectacular beauty of the Chesapeake Bay region, and a reminder of America‚Äôs rich maritime heritage. Pride II has a huge national and international following for her beauty, prowess and marketing ability, and we look forward to showcasing that.”


Pride II will race against other tall ships in each of the five freshwater lakes, making for heart-stopping events that tens of thousands of visitors will witness. Her unique design makes Pride II one of the most beloved and recognizable U.S. sailing vessels in the entire world.


On board Pride II, there will be professional photographers and videographers to capture the spirit of the moments and transmit images back to Pride II’s Baltimore headquarters.


Pride II will make stops in Toronto, Ontario, Fairport Harbor, Ohio, Bay City, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Duluth, Minnesota, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Brockville, Ontario, with the possibility of an additional port to be announced. For more information about the Tall Ships Challenge¬ģ Great Lakes 2016,¬†visit this link.


At each port, Pride II will offer free deck tours and, in some ports, offer day sails for the general public. She will also host business receptions, as Pride II represents Maryland’s economic development interests throughout North America. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to cross her decks this summer.


In January 2016, Pride II announced a public-private partnership with the state of Maryland to promote economic development for the state and the city of Baltimore. Announcing the new partnership, Governor Larry Hogan said, ‚ÄúPride of Baltimore II is a wonderful symbol of the rich maritime heritage of both our state and Baltimore, and the ship generates extremely valuable exposure and goodwill wherever she goes. We are pleased to have a new partnership with the Pride to have her help carry our message across the state, nation and globe‚ÄĒthat Maryland is great place to do business.‚ÄĚ

Pride II will be reporting back on its progress.



PRIDE¬†Pride II¬†is motoring up the Detroit River this morning on her way to Lake Huron. There is significant current to stem. This current comes from Lake Huron being slightly more than 6.5 feet above Lake Erie. This height difference is spread over some 80 miles. As a result, the current speed is between one and two knots ‚Äď not so much that vessels cannot make way under their own power against the current. So there is no need for a lock to go into and stop to wait to fill (or empty if down-bound) to the next water level, as there was for the St Lawrence River between Montreal, The Thousand Islands, and The Welland Canal. But the current does mean making a slower motoring speed as we go up the river.

Yesterday was the second Great Lakes Tall Ship Challenge race. The race was from Cleveland some 35 miles toward the islands at the west end of Lake Erie. While Pride led the fleet across the finish line, she was closely followed by Lynx, which Pride owes handicap time. Being we were not so far ahead of Lynx, she will no doubt receive a first, while Pride receives a second place. No other vessel in the fleet was able to cross the line before the race time limit, although Niagra looked to us in the deeply dark night to have crossed the finish line less than fifteen minutes after the time limit. Why did it take so long for so few vessels in the fleet to actually cross the finish line before the time limit? The wind was rather fickle and changeable due to several rain squalls. Altogether this made it hard to conjure a cohesive wind strategy. Lynx did a great job of putting together a very productive sailing plan and was able to keep close to us and save her handicap time for a first place finish behind Pride, even though we crossed the finish first. I know the crews of these three vessels worked hard and very well to sail their vessels in such changeable and even threateningly squally weather!

This fickle weather has been around since the fast sail Pride had from The Welland Canal to Cleveland last week. It has been raining a lot and the wind has been light and vague since last Wednesday. Notwithstanding the vaguely threatening rain, the Tall Ship Festival went well. Pride had no less than 11,000 persons cross her decks in four days!!!

Next festival is Bay City, Michigan. Three days starting Friday.


Captain Jan Miles


Tuesday, 25 June, 2013

Pos: At anchor in 27 feet of water off Jordan Harbor, Ontario
Wx: SW F 2-3, Overcast with light rain
Pride of Baltimore II cooling her heels, her crew cooling their hands.

Ahead of schedule for her appearance in Port Dalhousie, Ontario, Pride of¬†Baltimore II is once more swinging on her Port Bower, and once more sharing¬†a Canadian anchorage with her sister Privateer Lynx. With Queen Elizabeth’s¬†Way, one of Ontario’s major thoroughfares, running along the shore, this¬†anchorage isn’t quite as quiet as La Malbaie, but we’re getting accustomed¬†to the steady thrum of highway noise.

In case you’re starting to think all this anchoring makes Pride II’s port¬†hook the most exercised thing on the ship, allow me to detail the recent¬†schedule the ship and crew have had. After a jam packed festival in Toronto¬†where our 6,657 visitors were boarding and marveling at the ship right up¬†until an hour before departure, we got underway and immediately assembled to¬†take up our station in a five-mile parade of sail through Toronto Harbor.¬†Once finished, we were off to the races, literally, along with the¬†Norwegian Ship Sorlandet, the Barkentine Peacemaker, and the Schooners Lynx¬†and Unicorn.

At 1930¬†Sunday¬†evening, the first race of the 2013 Great Lakes Tall Ships¬†Challenge started just east of Toronto. Pride II is always eager for the¬†challenge of maximizing performance against the world’s finest traditional¬†vessels, but¬†on Sunday¬†we might have been even more primed – five of us had¬†seen a disappointing Orioles loss live at Rodgers Center on Saturday, and¬†just as we started the parade we heard that the O’s had lost 9-0 to the Blue¬†Jays. It was up to us to keep Baltimore proud this weekend.

All our pre-start strategies were literally rained on by squall that swept¬†out from the heat of Toronto. With a perfect bead on the start line and the¬†timing worked out to cross it right at the gun, we had to shorten sail for¬†the squall, and lagged behind our timing in the lull that followed. The¬†seven minute delay still had us across eight minutes before anyone else in¬†the fleet. We cracked on our kites – the stuns’ls and t’gallant – and bore¬†off toward the first mark off Pickering, Ontario.

Typically, Tall Ships races follow the rhumb line, the shortest distance between two ports. This time, however, the fleet was splitting up for their next port appearances, the overall distance to either port was less than 30 nautical miles, and our appearances were five days away. So, to jazz things up, Tall Ships America sent us around the buoys. The first leg was 14 miles dead down wind, and the next 38 miles nearly dead to weather, and the final mile a close reach.

With her nose first over the start line, Pride II established a lead she¬†never lost. After 13 hours 20 minutes and 3 seconds, we finished ahead of¬†the rest of the fleet. And we need to if there’s any hope of winning. Under¬†the rating system used for Tall Ships Races, Pride II has the least favorable¬†time correction factor in the fleet, and “owes” time to all the other ships.

After finishing a race that included ten sail changes, two wares and eight tacks in less than 14 hours, we stripped Pride II down to easy sail and took communications from the rest of the fleet. Lynx crossed around 1625, and we sailed to the anchorage with her. With the race over it was time for the next phase Рthe 2013 Great Lakes Five Lake Swim Call Challenge! Having missed Lake Ontario in 2011, we wasted no time washing the sweat and grime of the race off of us. One lake down, four to go!

All best,

Captain Jamie Trost and the Fresh Water Cleansed Crew of Pride of Baltimore II

Last Lake

 12 September 2011
Pos: 43 30.5’N x 078 52.7’W
Wx: SWxS F 5

After a hectic late week and weekend in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, respectively, Pride of Baltimore II is underway once more, this time headed down the length of Lake Ontario and entering the 662 nautical miles of the St. Lawrence River. While the big city hustle and the Toronto International Film Festival overshadowed Pride II’s visit, the crew were still able to capitalize on the Orioles being in town to play – and defeat – the Toronto Blue Jays. During our Thursday and Friday stay there, Craig Weeks and company at Toronto Harbourfron Centre were terrific in their support.

Sailing to Hamilton on Saturday morning, Pride II took center stage, even outstripping the HMCS Montreal, a Canadian Frigate for the attentions of the town. We arrived to Hamilton Harbor with an Easterly breeze and threaded our way through a slough of sailing races to grand stand in front of Hamilton’s Marine Discovery Center. Opening at 1530 once the ship was secure and the gangway suitable, we saw 995 people visit by 1900, and then another 2186 between 1100 and 1800 Sunday. Hamiltonians are proud of their history, enthused about all things maritime and even had a pirate themed roller-derby in honor of our visit! Thanks to all the folks who made our visit to the Western-most port on Lake Ontario a great one.

As I write this, Pride II is charging along between 8 and 10 knots under all plain sail, plus the stuns’l and t’gallant. The breeze is forecast to hold and possibly increase while remaining from some Westerly direction, which means it’s a favorable breeze all the way to Montreal, our next port. With such conditions, it looks as if we may not get to add Lake Ontario to our swim call list, but, having sailed off the dock in Hamilton this morning, we may trade that check mark for being able to sail the entire length of the Lake. Here’s hoping.

All best,
Jamie Trost and Montreal bound crew of Pride II