Courtesy of
Courtesy of

The Pride of Baltimore II is back in the Inner Harbor. The tall ship set sail on June 7 for colder waters in the Great Lakes.

The vessel sailed north up the Atlantic Coast past New England, around the bend of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, all the way down the St. Lawrence River and into the five Great Lakes.

The 8,000-nautical mile journey was an ambassador’s mission to promote nautical education and Baltimore as the birthplace of the The Star-Spangled Banner. The crew stayed busy manning the ship, led by Captains Jan Miles and Jordan Smith, in an oftentimes isolating, but highly rewarding journey, ship cook Phillip Keenan told Colin Campbell from the Sun.

“When you’re at sea, there’s no real sense of linear time, so it’s a routine and you get into the routine, and before you know it, a week’s gone by, and you’re someplace else,” he said.

After months of visiting ports, welcoming thousands of visitors aboard and even racing other tall ships around all five of the lakes, the ship sailed right back up through Canada and back down the East Coast. On their way, the crew encountered a nor’easter that forced them to moor in New Bedford, Mass., Capt. Miles wrote in an online captain’s log.

“To suggest that the ship’s company is comfortable with this decision would be an understatement,” Miles wrote of the decision to wait out the storm.

The ship then took on the final 250 miles of the Atlantic this past week, returning safely on Thursday.

Pride of Baltimore Executive Director Rick Scott said the vessel’s successful voyage means a great deal to the city.

“The Pride of Baltimore is a symbol of the innovation and entrepreneurship that’s right here in Baltimore,” Scott says. “Whenever we voyage outside of Baltimore, it’s just a wonderful opportunity to present positive messages of Baltimore, of Maryland, wherever we travel and represent the people of Maryland in distant ports.”

The Pride II arrived yesterday to plenty of fanfare, including a cannon salute at Port McHenry with a welcoming party nearby and crowds waiting around the harbor.

The Pride of #Baltimore Heading into #FellsPoint @FellsPoint_Main @PrideofBalt @SailBaltimore Beautiful!

— Downtown Diane (@downtowndiane) October 6, 2016

As for the timing, the ship’s arrival just before Fleet Week was a mere coincidence, Scott says. They actually got back just in time for a Friday business development charter meeting hosted by the Maryland Port Administration in the Inner Harbor.

Those who want to check out the newly returned 28-year-old vessel can do this upcoming week. Fleet Week events kick off tomorrow in the Inner Harbor.

For more information on the Pride of Baltimore’s rich history, click here.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...