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Setting Sail for Ports far from Home

After three years in Chesapeake waters, Pride of Baltimore II resumes her voyages of goodwill

On day one of her 2016 voyage, Pride of Baltimore II hunkers down off Gibson Island as a storm approaches from the west.

How long can you stay at home before the urge to get out of the house overwhelms you? That restless feeling also afflicts one of our local treasures: the sailing ship Pride of Baltimore II. This year she is finally escaping her home waters of the Chesapeake Bay, off on the high seas to do what she was built to do: travel afar to represent Maryland and foster friendships and economic relations.
    Since 1988, Pride II has been all over the world as Maryland’s ambassador. But she hadn’t left Chesapeake Bay in three years.
    Then on June 7, she headed south out of Baltimore Harbor for Norfolk, Virginia, for a three-day stay to participate in that city’s Harborfest. On June 13 she left home waters, starting a four-month, 8,000-mile summer sojourn in the Great Lakes. Heading out of Hampton Roads, then up the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Saint Lawrence River, she is expected to make Toronto by June 30.
    As you read this, Pride II has passed Cape Breton Island and turned into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
    Once in the Great Lakes, she’ll join the Tall Ships Great Lakes Challenge, racing in each of the five lakes, from Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior to Toronto on Lake Ontario, and many points in between.
    Earlier this year Gov. Larry Hogan restored state funding to Pride II via a public-private partnership.
    “With our new partnership with the state of Maryland, we are delighted to participate in the festivals as well as promote economic development for the state of Maryland,” Rick Scott, executive director of the Pride II organization, told Bay Weekly.
    “We are excited to take Pride out of her home waters for the first time in several years,” said Captain Jan Miles.
    This might prove to be a tame voyage for Captain Miles. In his 28 years at the helm of the Pride II, he has crossed the Atlantic five times and the Pacific three times.
    “She’s been as far west as China on a trip up the Pearl River and as far east as St. Petersburg in Russia,” he said.
    Track Pride II at www.vesselfinder.com/?mmsi=303615000.


For more on Pride of Baltimore II and a profile of Capt. Miles, a graduate of Annapolis High School, see the 2014 Bay Weekly article, Destined to Sail with Pride, www.bayweekly.com/node/21723.