Fourth of July Fireworks!

The Pride of Baltimore IIJuly 4, 2014
by Dave Chappell


On July 4, 2014, Fantasea, with a crew of four, navigated to Baltimore Harbor, docked at a marina, enjoyed the fireworks and returned the following day. The crew included Fleet Captain Tom Richardson, Fantasea’s owner Elaine Story, Commodore Dave, Chappell, Rear Commodore for Operations, Tamera Sheil, and her husband, Felix Sheil.

The 4th began will gale warnings and for a while, the winds looked like they might force a cancellation.  After around 10 AM, however, skipper Tom Richardson determined that it was safe, and Fantasea headed out into the Bay into the still blustery winds.  The winds were from the north at 10 knots gusting to 14, which slowed the boat down, but did provide an entertaining ride with a lot of spray washing over the cockpit.

As Fantasea entered the Patapsco, the sun came out of the clouds and the shore sheltered the boat from the winds, making the ride much more pleasant.  A large cruise ship past to starboard not more than two hundred yards distant, as Fantasea motored just outside the shipping channel on the way to Fort McHenry.  Fort McHenry was beautiful in the afternoon sun, and the crew had a good view of the Pride of Baltimore II as Fantasea passed by her.  Old Glory

When Fantasea got to Anchorage Marina, southeast of Fells Point, the wind picked up again, 4 knots gusting to 8 from the south.  Fantasea was one of the largest boats in the marina, and it took Tom Richardson a while to get the boat into the slip and docked.  Along the way, power boaters took time from their dockside parties, to offer advice on how to proceed (something about ‘bow thrusters’).

Once docked, the crew relaxed for a few minutes, and set off to find a restaurant for dinner.  Unfortunately for the crew, thousands of other diners had the same idea.  Finally, the crew found a place with a suitable, nautical flavor, the Wharf Rat at Fells Point.  After a dinner of fish and chips or crab cake sandwiches, the crew walked back to boat. Courtesy of Elaine Story, the crew enjoyed cake before the fireworks.  After the fireworks, which were intended to celebrate the end of the War of 1812, the crew settled down for conversation and sleep.

The winds were much calmer the following morning and the sun more consistently shined.  The crew sailed out of the Patapsco River, but around noon the winds died down even more.  The crew motored just outside of the shipping channel until Fantasea passed under the Bay Bridge.  For an hour or so, Tamera and Felix Sheil endeavored to catch the wind.  Subsequently, the crew returned Fantasea to her berth in Mill Creek and the end of an enjoyable voyage.

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