We had a nice voyage thru Long Island Sound, NYC, down the NJ coast, up the Delaware River, across the C&D Canal & finally headed down the Chesapeake. This year, we had considered detouring to visit the City of Baltimore. When I heard from Jack (my brother) & Kerry from CA that they were visiting Baltimore at about the same time, that made our decision easy! Hey, it wouldn’t be a family get-together without Benj, so he flew in for a few days too!
With a good weekly rate at Anchorage Marina, we settled in for a fun, busy 2 week first visit to Baltimore. Anchorage Marina is in the Canton section of Baltimore about a 20 minute walk on the waters edge promenade to Fells Point. Directly next to our marina was Professor Trash Wheel. His job is to gobble up the street trash which floats down the street grates from the city directly into the harbor. The orange booms direct the heaps of trash right into his “mouth”, up a conveyor & into a removable container. During times of heavy rainfall he has to be constantly emptied, but it didn’t rain a drop during our 2 weeks, so no show for us.
The main tourist area, the Inner Harbor, was a bit further, so we usually took an Uber. Benj only had time to visit 2 tourist attractions, so he chose touring the historic ships downtown & then taking a water taxi out of the harbor to Fort McHenry. We toured 2 of the 4 historic ships, including the USS Constellation (the last surviving sailing naval warship, having been built back in 1854) along with the Chesapeake Lightship.
After lunch, a 20 minute water taxi ride brought us out to the historic Fort McHenry. Originally built in 1798 & used in various forms up to WWII, it is more famously known for it’s role during the War of 1812. On September 13, 1814, the fort successfully thwarted an attack by the British navy with superior firepower (including a new style of rockets – versus conventional cannons). The morning of the 14th saw the British navy retreating, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem “Defense of Fort M’Henry”, which eventually became our national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner”. That’s probably all you learned in High School, but there was much, much more including… There was a simultaneous land attack, which almost succeeded.
The flag… you probably learned that “the” famous flag was celebrated by Francis Scott Key as it was still flying. Actually, at dawn, the 17′ x 25′ American “storm flag” was lowered (which took the breath of Francis Scott Key – waiting for perhaps the British flag to be raised in victory). However a larger 30′ x 42′ American “garrison flag” immediately took it’s place – hence the “our flag was still there” actually referred to the new, larger garrison flag which had just been raised. It’s always good to hear, “the rest of the story”, versus the tiny amount we learned from school.
Both before & after Benj’s visit, we toured many sites, including the National Aquarium & The Museum of Industry. The museum was especially interesting, showing the huge influence of Baltimore to manufacturing, inventions & distribution, especially with the B & O Railroad right in town. Right near our marina had been the American Can Company & the National Can Company – the largest can manufacturers in the world.
We celebrated Lori’s birthday at a fabulous B&B named Rachael Dowry (George & Martha Washington ate there when the road was called the Columbia Highway – not sure if they slept there), enjoyed the most fabulous dinner ever at the Charlestown restaurant (number 1 of 1855 on Trip Advisor), bought a cannoli in Little Italy, had “dinner” at Dangerously Delicious Pies & much more. We also enjoyed spending time with Jack & Kerry, including a relaxing harbor cruise on a Krogen 42 trawler.