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Verbrugge waves to the camera from aloft, 2023.

Voyage to Lunenburg

Pictured above: Willem Verbrugge waves to the camera from aloft, 2023.

Willem Verbrugge’s relationship with Pride II is special. He first came aboard in the summer of 2019 looking forward to being a part of our crew as a goodwill ambassador. He has now sailed with Pride II as guest crew half a dozen times on the Chesapeake, East Coast, and Great Lakes. During his voyages Willem kept a personal log. Here are his entries from his voyage from Baltimore, Maryland, up the coast to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

I reported to Pride’s winter berth, dockside on Clinton Street in Baltimore. The regular permanent crew of 12 was busy with all the last minute activities and supplies to go on board. Right away all guest crew jumped in and helped and that is the way it was all during the trip.

Around 1700 EDT we left for a short stay in the inner harbor for a farewell event on the pier next to Constellation where some members of the Fort McHenry Fife and Drum Corps welcomed us. The executive director of Pride and staff, introduced the crew to the politicians, partners, and sponsors who all had kind words for the Pride to again be the ambassador for Baltimore and Maryland and promote all things good. Once we left the pier on the way out the Patapsco river, we gave a cannon salute.

Many vessels escorted us out towards Fort McHenry. We had to go back to our Clinton Street berth till around midnight to wait for the proper tide and currents going up the Chesapeake Bay into the C&D canal and Delaware Bay. That night the guest crew members received from the second mate a detailed orientation about the do’s and don’ts and safety procedures. As soon as we left the dock the watches started. A watch (12 to 4), B watch (4 to 8), and C watch (8 to 12) every 12 hours. This trip I was on the B watch.

At around daybreak I was on watch and enjoyed the first and one of the many sunrises this time in the upper Chesapeake Bay into the C&D canal. Once on the ocean we were able to set some sail, however on the way up the Atlantic Coast we had to motor sail a lot, because the wind was on our nose and we had a schedule to follow. What is there to do on a watch? Well, number one, a crew of 4 or 5 will have to keep the vessel on course and yes indeed with help of a permanent crew member I was asked to take the helm on every watch for an hour and keep Pride on course.

Afterwards back home again knowing that I did sail a vessel with or without the almost 10,000 square feet of sail on the ocean is one of the most exhilarating experiences I ever had. How do you keep course without any land in sight for 360 degrees? You make use of the clouds, stars, and moon, AND you need to get a feel for the vessel so that the bowsprit does not travel toward port or starboard on the horizon. Only keep an eye on the needle of the compass to confirm the heading ordered. During a watch you are asked to do a boat check. Bilges in every compartment need to be checked for water. Check the air in the small boat. Check oil pressure and temperature for both engines and document the amps and volts on the battery bank. Check generator and watermaker. Check all the halyards to be free and on the right pins on the pin rails. All details to be recorded in a log.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

At 1100 EDT we were on the Delaware Bay motoring through smooth water and no wind. While in the Delaware Bay the captain mustered us and informed us about the course to be taken on the ocean and what each one of us including crew and guest will need to do in case of fire and man overboard.

Friday, June 7, 2019

0800 EDT 30 nautical miles east of Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey, and 30 nautical miles south of Jones Beach, Long Island. Doing 6+ knots and rolling with 4 to 5 foot swells (and loving it).

Saturday, June 8, 2019

0600 EDT We did not stay close to Long Island, but the captain made the choice for the Cape Cod Canal to get further north before heading east across the Gulf of Maine towards Nova Scotia. The forecast did indicate better winds to raise the sails next week. We were anchored Saturday afternoon and evening at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

0800 EDT After a good night sleep for all of the crew, we were mustered and the captain explained to us what we had done, why we were anchored and what the plan is for the next few days. Before we weighed anchor (all by hand amazing to see) the first mate ordered all of us to swab, clean and wipe varnished areas on the deck in detail. We had favorable southwesterly winds between 10 and 15 knots. All sails were set. That is what sailing on “The Pride” is all about. Sails include mainsail, foresail, forestaysail, jib, jib topsail, main gaff topsail, square fore topsail, square top gallant, and studding-sail. Around 15 knots of wind and we were doing 8+ knots of speed heeling around 5 degrees. Far into the ocean no land in sight, around 1700 hour we had some visitors around Pride. Whales and dolphins/porpoises gave us a nice show.

Monday, June 10, 2019

0600 EDT Sailing just the way we like it at a speed of 6-8 knots, location 80 miles WSW of Cape Sable Nova Scotia, Canada.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

1600 ADT Arrived in Lunenburg. One day earlier than scheduled. We had sailed with all sails up from Sunday at noon till Monday noon about 170 nautical miles calm seas and speed from 6 to 8 knots to almost 9 knots south easterly winds 10 to 15 knots.

The welcome in Lunenburg, with a couple of cannon salutes by Pride, was very friendly by the locals and our friends on the sailing vessels Picton Castle and Bluenose II. All sails had to be packed or furled correctly. This is when the guest crew was invited to climb up the rig and help pack the sail on the top yard (cross bar).

Yes of course I did and had the time of my life, clipped in, enjoying the view while helping pack the sail. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is a lovely town, like Annapolis and Chestertown but on steroids. Settled around 1750 by the Swiss, Germans, and French being carpenters, masons and to become shipwrights to build many a fishing boat It is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

That means, just like Brugge in Belgium and part of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and more places around the globe, the local, state and federal governments, partnering with UNESCO (a United Nation agency) will preserve and legally protect and restore it, if needed, the way it was built many years ago. After a few more days in Lunenburg I flew back to Baltimore with memories of a life time.