Permission to come aboard granted! Join me for my week
aboard Pride of Baltimore II. We begin in port at the beautiful
Inner Harbor of Baltimore. When I arrive, I am introduced to some of
the crew. The crew are the men and women who assist the captain in
sailing and running the ship. They are skilled sailors who have many
other duties (jobs).
Jesse, the Bosun (the person responsible for all
the lines and ropes), gives me a tour of the ship to orient me (help me
to find my way around). Did you get a tour of your school before you
started to help you to find your classroom and the cafeteria? Come
along on my orientation tour!
Erin is the cook on the ship. Here she is cooking in the
galley. The galley is the area of the ship where food is stored and
meals are cooked for the crew. All of the cabinets in the galley have
latches that keep them securely closed while the ship is sailing.
Often the wind blowing in the sails causes the boat to lean to one
side. This is called "heeling."
Can you imagine what a mess it would
be when the ship heeled if everything wasn't fastened down or secured
in some way? There would be stuff bouncing and breaking all over the
place! Everyone washes his or her own dishes when they finish eating.
Some of the crew is just finishing dinner in the salon. The
salon is where the crew eats their meals. There is a large table that
can seat twelve people for a meal. That would probably be a crowd at
your house! Here it is a normal meal for the crew. Can you see the
ridges on the table? They are called fiddles. They keep plates and
other items from sliding around while the ship is sailing. The crew
also uses the salon to "hang out."
There are shelves crammed with
books. The books are mostly about sailing or fictional stories about
sailors. Where does your family hang out in your house? Do you have
This is where I'll be sleeping and storing my gear. As you
can see, my cabin is probably much smaller than your bedroom at home.
My cabin is the same size as some of the crews' - but two of them
share a cabin. This is where they sleep and keep all of their
personal items. Remember that this is where they work and live. They
keep only what can fit in a duffel bag as their possessions. When they
finish a hard day's work, they are already home! Do any of your
parents work at home?
Here we have the engine room. Even though Pride
II is a re-creation of an early 1800's Baltimore Clipper, she has
modern technical equipment for safety. This is the area where engine
repairs and other repairs take place.
I am starting my week on Pride II in Baltimore. But unlike the
other teachers aboard, I'm not going to be telling you about where I
am. I'm going to tell you about what we are going to do. We're
racing to Norfolk, Virginia, as a part of The Great Chesapeake Bay
Transportation in the 1800's
But first, let me give you a little history. In the early
1800's, travel over land was very difficult in this area because there
were few good roads and the winter weather was very harsh. It was
usually easier to travel by boat up and down the coast and the great
rivers than to travel on land with horse and wagon.
The need to
transport cargo fast, and the need to escape enemy ships quickly (the
War of 1812 was going on), were the incentives for building faster
ships. The style of ship that became state-of-the-art for the time
was called a Clipper ship because it could shave (or "clip") hours, if
not days, off a journey. Pride of Baltimore II is a replica
(re-creation) of a Baltimore Clipper ship.
Much cargo was transported between the historical
ports of Baltimore and Norfolk. Much of it was transported in ships
like this, Victory Chimes, which was built 100 years ago. This
competition made for a fierce rivalry between Baltimore and Norfolk.
Both ports wanted to boast of ships that could move valuable cargo the
In modern times, schooners are no longer used to carry
cargo, however, it would seem the rivalry did not entirely end. Here
is Captain Lane Briggs, owner of the schooner Norfolk Rebel,
challenging the crew of Pride of Baltimore II to a down-the-Bay
race from Baltimore to Norfolk. This race restores the historic
rivalry in a friendly manner. There has been a race from Baltimore to
Norfolk for the past ten years.
The annual race raises funds for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation whose mission
is to promote public awareness of the Bay's maritime heritage, and to
encourage the preservation and improvement of the Bay's natural
resources. The race is also an opportunity to foster the skills of
traditional seamanship as an important and fascinating part of the
history of our nation and our region. So, not only do a lot of people
have fun with the race, good causes are served at the same time.
There is a record 42 schooners taking part in the
race this year. The sight of these beautiful sailing vessels
gathered at the docks of Baltimore is truly magnificent. Many of them
are docked at the piers in Fells Point. This is how this historic
seaport must have looked a century ago. Your teacher last week, Carol
Corwell-Martin, told you all about Fells
Point in her log.
On Wednesday afternoon before the race, many of the boats
that will be competing in the race join the Parade of Sail around the
Inner Harbor. Here is the Harvey Gamage, another schooner that
will be joining in the competition. Many onlookers are gathered on
shore to view the splendor of the schooners and to wish us "fair winds
and a following sea." To a sailor, this means a steady breeze in the
right direction with the waves moving with the boat. A sailboat will
get its best speed if the wind is coming from the side and it doesn't
have to fight against waves.
David Briddle, the gunner on Pride II, yells
out "fire in the hole!" as he shoots off cannon shots to bellow our
greetings of hello and thanks to our well-wishers.
There are four different classes of schooners racing
today in the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race. The classes are
determined by the length of the vessels. At a length of 160 feet,
Pride II falls into class AA - 50 feet or more. There will be
winners in all four classes. It's like the way you divide into
different grade levels for Field Day at school, to make the playing
Go to Part 2 of the October 18, 1999 Log