Among the few vessels on the water in Baltimore on a blustery Friday afternoon was one of the most conspicuous: a topsail schooner that is the floating symbol of the city and one of the most famous tall ships in the world.

The Pride of Baltimore II carried on as usual, a rare sign of normalcy in the waters around the Port of Baltimore, which has for three weeks been defined by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The ship departed its usual mooring on Clinton Street earlier Friday in a fierce westerly wind. It crossed the harbor and tied up again for a few hours to take on passengers at the Port Covington Marina — no easy feat with winds gusting to 35 knots, or about 40 mph.

View post on Facebook

A group booked the Pride of Baltimore II for a private party Friday night. With the wind howling, Capt. Jan Miles planned to keep the sails furled for the short cruise to Broadway Pier. The ship will spend its first weekend since the Key Bridge collapse in its homeport moored at Fort McHenry, giving free tours of the deck Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The summer season that started late, interrupted slightly by the collapse of the Key Bridge, will go on as planned, Miles said in the main cabin.

His ship will need to periodically sail past the bridge — for example this month, when the vessel will be part of The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show — but as long as it is not carrying passengers when it does so, Miles said, he is merely “repositioning as a commercial vessel for commercial work.”

The Pride of Baltimore II arrived Monday afternoon as most of the world was transfixed by a solar eclipse. It had been waiting in Annapolis for word that it could safely pass the wreckage of the Key Bridge.

That happened when the salvage crew working at the bridge cleared a second temporary channel, which had a depth of 14 feet and an overhead clearance of more than 120 feet. The first, smaller, temporary channel was too shallow and too low for the Pride of Baltimore II, which draws more than 12 feet and has a mast 107 feet tall.

The Pride of Baltimore will visit the waters of Havre de Grace in Harford County and Solomons Island in Calvert County this summer. It will also leave the Chesapeake Bay for trips to New England and Bermuda. It has sailed 275,000 nautical miles during its 36 years on the water, including voyages across the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The schooner was launched in April 1988, a replacement for and memorial to the first Pride of Baltimore, which sank in a storm in the Caribbean in 1986. The captain and three crew perished. Both ships are reproductions of 19th century, privateer warships used in the War of 1812, which were known as Baltimore clippers.

Hugo Kugiya is a reporter for the Express Desk and has formerly reported for the Associated Press, Newsday, and the Seattle Times.

More From The Banner