O’ Say Can You See!September 12, 2009
Wind West North West Force 3, Light Rain
Maneuvers, Maneuvers! Twelve tacks and two wears/gybes in the course of two Day Sails. Pride IIwas a making victory laps off Fort McHenry to mark the 195th Anniversary of the Battle for Baltimore. As nemesis to British shipping during the War of 1812, the Baltimore Clippers that were Pride II’sancestors infuriated the Crown enough that an attack on Baltimore was ordered in 1814 to clear out that “Nest of Pirates.” Only Fort McHenry’s guns on the Patapsco River and the militia dug in at Hempstead Hill (now Patterson Park) stood between the two pronged English attack and the shipyards of Fells Point, where the Baltimore Clippers were built.
Through perseverance and grit, the Fort withstood 25 hours of artillery bombardment and kept the British ships at bay. When those ships finally sailed away, the sight of the American Flag above the Fort inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would become our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” So today, in appreciation of the brave men and women who stood strong, we exchanged salutes with the 18-pounders of Fort McHenry’s newly rebuilt Water Battery. Long may that “most splendid and magnificent ensign” wave over the Fort and over Pride II.
Jamie Trost, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II