From the Chesapeake Bay into the Atlantic – The Voyage Begins
It has been a warm transit thus far for all aboard PRIDE as she made her way from Baltimore toward the Atlantic via the C & D Canal Memorial Day and overnight. But at 0330 in the morning on deck temperature is almost long sleeve. Meanwhile down below remains quite warm.
Departure from Baltimore was warm in two ways. Weather wise it was pretty hot at 90 degrees or higher…with very light wind. Otherwise departure was warm with the best wishes of folks and TV news wishing all aboard a safe and fruitful voyage into the Great Lakes.
With the very light winds PRIDE’s crew set sail to capture all that could be caught even though PRIDE motored slowly out. Joe set off some great cannon salutes to the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point and of course our friends at Fort McHenry…home of the original Star-Spangled Banner.
By lunch time, after motoring along with an escort of some vessels from the Inner Harbor out past the Key Bridge where Frances Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Ft. McHenry by the British Royal Navy, the wind was more settled at a fixed 6-8 knots from the south-southeast and PRIDE started sailing and the engines were turned off. There was a collective sigh from everyone aboard as the ship leaned to the light breeze and in her stately manner cleved her way out of the Potapsco River into the Chesapeake Bay.
The good sailing did not last. For as PRIDE made the Eastern Shore of the Bay she turned north for the head of the Bay and the C & D Canal. This turn north put the wind well behind PRIDE and the heat of the day settled down over all aboard. There was an opportunity for some sail drill though. The topgallant was set and the starboard studding sail boom was run out. In the end time ran out and the studding sail was never set. Up by Pooles Island the wind died again and all sail but for the mains’l was taken in and PRIDE started her push to the sea.
Over night it has been nearly calm motoring down the Delaware Bay save for the wakes of commercial shipping moving up and down the bay. Not a cloud in the sky made for a twinkling night sky as the crew performed routines old and new to them checking and re-checking the status of PRIDE as she was navigated along her way.
The sail to New York promises to start out quietly with 5-10 knots of east wind slowly shifting south. But there will be motion. We can feel the start of it now before reaching the mouth of the Delaware Bay. The quiet Atlantic still posseses motion from left over energy created by past and far off winds. Ashore the weather promises to remain hot. I do not think it will get quite so hot out in the Atlantic…but we will still feel the heat.
Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II