A very hot day around Baltimore

Position           39:16.99N 076:36.53W

Date                2200 – Wednesday 8 June 2011 (UTC -4)

 

After a quiet night it was strange to wake up in the middle of the city.  It looked as though it was going to be a hot day and it certainly proved to be with temperatures of 100+ F.  However intrepid sightseers to the fore.

 

Our first stop was to visit the frigate Constellation, preserved and afloat just next to us.

 

 

Constellation represents the last generation of fully sail powered warships.

 

 

It is interesting to compare how similar and how different it is to HMS Victory which was built some 80 years earlier.  The interior of the ship has been beautifully renovated and visitors are able to access all four decks, right down to the keel.

 

This is the gun deck:

 

 

And this the Captain’s stateroom:

 

 

Next it was onto a water ferry for the trip to Fort McHenry for the “Star Spangled Banner Experience”.

 

 

When the British lay siege to Baltimore in 1814 the fleet anchored off Fort McHenry, in the middle distance of the following photograph, and subjected it to a massive bombardment.

 

 

The fort resisted the bombardment and kept the British out of Baltimore.  On the morning after the bombardment the residents of Baltimore looked across the harbour and through the clearing mist to see if the Fort had been taken by the British.

 

 

Seeing the Star Spangled Banner still flying Francis Scott Keyes was moved to write the eponymous words, set to the music of an English drinking song, and the rest, as they say, is history.  The American’s do their patriotic bit really rather well.

 

A return journey on the ferry took us to our other preserved naval ship neighbour the submarine Torsk for a quick tour; Caduceus is in the background.

 

 

A further water taxi ride took us to Fells Point and a walk to the Italian District where we had the luxury of an air conditioned restaurant and an excellent meal.  This definitely was not a day for eating out on the terrace.

 

Our walk back to the dinghy took us part an area of fountains that perform to music.  With a surprisingly liberated attitude, for us H&S plagued Brits, children are encouraged to run through the jets and enjoy themselves and that is what our kiddie did – really you cannot take them anywhere.

 

 

Elizabeth and Celia and assorted youngsters