At anchor off the US Naval Academy, Annapolis

October 4, 2009

Wx: Wind West Force 1, Clear, Full Moon

Pride II just had the kind of sailing day that gets people hooked. The kind of sail that stands as a benchmark for measuring a whole seasons worth of sailing days. We boarded passengers at Broadway Pier in Baltimore and set sail just off Fells Point, the very place Pride II’s sister Baltimore Clippers were built. With the breeze West Northwest and fresh, we sailed out the Patapsco River under the Foretop’s, T’Gallant, a pair of heads’ls and the Stuns’l, eventually cracking on everything else before we reached the mouth of the Magothy River, and charging her up to 10.7 knots. A few tufts of fair weather cumulus speckled the glitter on the Bay. The day was warm, perfect Chesapeake Autumn, even as we hardened up on the wind sailing through the Bay Bridge and taking in the stuns’l.

Standing in toward the mouth of the Severn River the freshening breeze had us wetting the deck to leeward and shortening sail. Gaff tops’l in, T’gallant in. Still, with time to spare before our scheduled arrival in Annapolis at 1600, we threaded through the Sunday afternoon yacht races, and reached Pride II south to Thomas Point Light. In doing so we sailed the most recognizable mobile icon of the Bay past the most notable stationary one. Our total passage from Fells Point to Thomas Point was under three hours – an average speed of over 9 knots. Even the multi-hull sailboats were having trouble keeping up!

Eventually, reluctantly, we took in sail and prepared to come alongside in Annapolis. We had a short while to tie up and disembark our passengers, among them Tiffany Smith, a familiar face along the Baltimore waterfront who has volunteered and served as winter-maintenance crew for the past two and a half years. This was her first day of sailing aboard Pride II, ever. “I can see why you guys do this,” she said while she stuck around to help furl and stow before we went to anchor off the Naval Academy. And while she wouldn’t buy it when I tried to sell her the line that every day we were out of Baltimore was just like this one, she was right. One day in a hundred of charging Pride II along in all her power, all her incredible grace might just be enough keep us all going. But we’ll sure hope for more.

Signed,
Jamie Trost, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II


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