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.

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® 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 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® 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’s working symbol of the great natural resources and spectacular beauty of the Chesapeake Bay region, and a reminder of America’s 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® 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, “Pride 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—that Maryland is great place to do business.”

Pride II will be reporting back on its progress.