The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders

Voyage of the USS Constellation
from Baltimore to Annapolis
by Fran Marinaro

Fran posted the following to the TSB board and it looked like something our readers would enjoy, so with permission, here it is

We started the day at 0-dark-15 (0615) by washing the decks and getting things finalized and on deck for the voyage. It’s hard to take pictures in the dark, with a broom in your hand.
All hands stopped long enough for morning Colors and then continued with final preparations including actual assignments. Six of us were given the task of tending dock lines and fenders as the Constellation left her pier.
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(click images to enlarge)
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(click images to enlarge)
We had a send-off ceremony complete with bagpipes (I don’t know why.) and speeches by dignitaries and those who made the trip possible – the Northrop Grumman Corporation and a cast of thousands.
The voyage, by tug not by sail, was lead by a fireboat and escort vessels from several government agencies. click to enlarge
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(click images to enlarge)

Yes, the Constellation was really on her way and the pier was empty BUT I, and several others were still on the pier.

We were given a ride on a National Aquarium research boat to the tug next to the Constellation. We climbed off of the boat to the tug, went up to a deck level with a gun port and then went into the gun port. VERY EXCITING.
As we passed Fort McHenry (Star Spangled Banner – remember?), there was a fly-over by 4 A10 Wart Hogs. We were now on the Chesapeake Bay. click to enlarge
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(click images to enlarge)

Once we got everything stowed there was very little else to do until we got to Annapolis so one of our riggers decided to take a few pictures from the main topsail yard.

As we were approaching the Francis Scott Key Bridge someone asked casually “Will we fit?” click to enlarge
click to enlarge We had just added about 15 feet to the mast height by putting up American Flags up on pig sticks.
We held our breath – bridges always look lower than they are. click to enlarge
click to enlarge One of are escorts was the Pride of Baltimore II, a fast top-sail schooner. (She was the “stunt double” for the Amistad in the movie.)
We passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and turned to starboard to Annapolis.

As we approached Annapolis the line handlers, me and 5 others, reversed the earlier procedure (gun port to tug to research vessel to dock) to wait for the Constellation.

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The ship came in and, except for fenders being out of place, was tied up with no problems.
click to enlarge After we got everything in order there was a welcoming ceremony with the requisite dignitaries followed by an open house on the Constellation with munchies, beer and wine.

I get to do it again for the return trip on Monday.