Reaching for New England

September 29, 2011

29 September, 2011
Pos: 42 55.2’N x 067 46.0’W
Wx: SxW F5, Seas 3-5′ Overcast

Pride of Baltimore II left Lunenburg yesterday morning after a few great days of revelry with the crews of two great schooners and one outstanding barque. From the time we secured and cleared back into customs on Sunday night, there was a sense of excitement along the Lunenburg waterfront – already a-thrum with commercial fishing fleets, a pair of twin cruising schooners under construction, Picton Castle’s Bosun School in session and the Canadian Icon Bluenose II being refit. With Lynx, Highlander Sea and Pride II added to the mix, you could scarcely turn around without seeing a postcard worthy shot.

To celebrate the good fortune of having a hefty gathering of schooners in town, Captain Dan Mooreland, the talented staff of Windward Isles trading company, and the eager crew of Picton Castle hosted all us visiting Americans to a barbeque on Monday night. This was the single biggest gathering of sailors outside a Tall Ships event I’ve seen in quite awhile, and a great time for all. Many thanks to Captain Mooreland and all the Picton folks for all their hospitality.

Our unexpected and welcome stop, however, had to end. Wednesday morning greeted us with a chill more characteristic of Autumn in Nova Scotia, and we needed make tracks for the US before the wind also turned a more characteristic Southwesterly. Lynx and Highlander Sea had made great show in their departures by sailing off the dock – Lynxeven backed off the dock using her foretops’l – and so there was little choice but to follow suit.

Being rafted to Picton Castle, even with her yards braced up and her davits swung in, presented particular a particular challenge to sailing off. But fortunately, we were able to send an offshore line across the slip to government wharf. The crew pulled Pride II away from Picton Castle by hand, set the stays’l, and then hoisted the foretops’l to the chant of “Thank you Picton!” and we were away. But we weren’t totally gone until we saluted Lunenburg with a proper four guns.

That was yesterday morning at 1000 ADT. Pride II has been sailing since, sometimes slowly, but for the middle part of today, the increasing Southeasterly going Southerly had us holding 12 knots fairly often. But it isn’t just sailing for fun. The wind, as forecast, has already veering and there is little hope of making a landfall anywhere South of Portland, Maine without going into the teeth of a strong breeze. So we’re driving Pride II for all she’s worth toward New England.

All best,
Captain Jamie Trost and the steep heeling crew of Pride of Baltimore II


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