Hello fellow adventurers and virtual crew members!
Captain John Smith here reporting on the run to Baltimore and subsequent shore excursions. The weather has not been cooperating very well lately and the crew has not ventured out much. However, there is still plenty to share about the run to Baltimore.
Upon leaving Annapolis, on Thursday September 24th, the crew went further up the Severn River to explore and anchor out in Little Round Bay. The next morning the wind picked up considerably, greater than 15 mph, so the crew scratched crossing the bay to the east side and decided instead to work their way up the west coast and find a calm place to anchor out a few days to let the weather pass.
The crew motored up to Whitehall Bay, Whitehall Creek, and eventually anchored in Ridout Creek. The crew swung on the anchor until Monday morning. The wind continued to blow greater than 20 mph most of the weekend, but the wind began to weaken Sunday evening.
On Monday, September 28th, the weather conditions were favorable to make the run up to Baltimore. The water was calm which made for a smooth ride into the Inner Harbor at Baltimore. The crew passed another interpretive buoy upon entering the harbor. The Patapsco buoy discusses my explorations of these waters back on June 12, 1608. My current crew docked at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Marina, C Dock, Berth 16.
While checking in, the skipper discovered that the Orioles were scheduled to play later in the evening, so a short walk up to the ballpark resulted in two tickets to the game. The skipper was a big O’s fan back in the late 60’s when Earl Weaver was the skipper, Frank Robinson stealing bases, Brooks Robinson playing 3rd, and Jim Palmer throwing blazing fastballs.
The game was a blast. This was the 7th big league stadium that the skipper has attended and he has to admit it was by far the best experience. One interesting surprise occurred during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. The crowd yelled in unison “O” at the line “O can you see.” Since it was unexpected it startled the crew due the volume.
Bird Land had enjoyable crowd entertainment between each half inning. The skipper’s favorite was the O’s rendition of the dot race that most stadiums run. Baltimore used red, green, and yellow hotdogs named ketchup. relish, and mustard. The race track is through the city of Baltimore and ends at Camden Yards.
The entertainment also included an unscheduled streaker. The guy broke onto the field just beyond third base and was taken down by crowd control with ease. After they got him cuffed the police escorted him off of the field. With his hands behind his back he jumped into the air and did a little heal click. Hope he thinks it was still funny when he gets booked.
On Tuesday morning the skipper took a 16 mile bike ride around the harbor. The crew then rode out two miles to Fort McHenry and the Visitor Center, the birth place of the Star Spangled Banner. You may recall the Fort was the back drop for Francis Scott Keys inspiration for writing our national anthem. The Visitor Center had a good exhibit on the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore.
One tidbit of info that the skipper learned is that the British Navy stayed about two miles from the Fort. Turns out that the cannons at the Fort only had a range of 1.5 miles.
Unfortunately for the British Navy, their big guns were not much better. The rockets were good for 1.75 miles and the mortars had a range of 2 miles. After 25 hours of non-stop pounding (1,500 – 1,800 shells and rockets), the British only had one direct hit on the Fort that resulted in two deaths.
The British sailed away about 7:00 a.m. on September 14. The British Navy sailed for New Orleans where on January 8, 1815 Major General Andrew Jackson soundly defeated the British in the last battle of the War of 1812.
On Wednesday, the skipper took another bike route in the morning for a 22 mile ride through the city park system.
In between rain showers, the crew has managed to get out some and view the sights around the inner harbor. These include the Pride of Baltimore memorial, World Trade Center memorial, Federal Hill, and the USS Constellation.
On Saturday morning the rain let up so the skipper made a tour of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum. The Babe was born in a row house just a few blocks from Camden Yards. There is a statue of the Babe just outside the ballpark. Then one can follow the trail of 60 baseballs painted on the sidewalk to the Birthplace Museum.
Keeping with the Star Spangled theme, the museum addressed how the National Anthem became the standard opening of sporting events in America. A short film tells the story.
On September 5, 1918 game one of the World Series was played. The series would match the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Woodrow Wilson asked the military band to play the Star Spangled Banner during the 7th inning stretch. The third baseman for the Red Sox was Fred Thomas, who was on furlough from the Navy. When he heard the opening notes of the music he faced the flag, snapped to attention, and saluted. The other players took note, removed their hats, and covered their hearts with their hats/right hands. The crowd slowly began to rise and also started to sing along with the music.
During game two, the Cubs also played the Anthem during the 7th inning stretch. When the series moved to Boston for game three, the Red Sox moved the Anthem to the pre-game festivities and a tradition was born.
So you may be asking yourself, “This is a good story, but what is the connection to the Babe Ruth Museum?” Well in 1918 the Babe was a pitcher for the Red Sox and he was the pitcher on the mound in game one in Chicago during the 7th inning stretch. As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”
The only good news with the weather is that it looks like the hurricane, Joaquin, will take a north east track and miss the east coast. Still Waters II is secure in the harbor, and the crew will sit out a few more days and wait for a better weather window before pushing further north.
The current plan is to shove off Monday morning and spend a few days exploring the north end of the Chesapeake Bay.