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Mar 22, 2011, 09:59 AM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
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Moving the Constellation

It was a dark and stormy morning as I drove over the Patapsco River on the Francis Scott Key bridge near Baltimore. Lightening was flashing, big rain drops smacked the windshield, and the wind made crossing the bridge very interesting.

It was just getting light when I parked near the graving dock and took a photo of Constellation through the rain. Inside the building I joined some other folks - mostly volunteers - in some breakfast before going aboard the ship.

A cherry picker hoisted us up to a gun port through which we climbed, or, in my case, clambered, aboard.

The dock's gate had been pumped out, lifting it from it's notch, and was being towed aside by two tugs. With that done, the Vane Brothers tug Alexander Duff and Smith Shipyard's tug Captain Steve entered the dock. They moved the submarine Torsk out to another pier - Constellation was going home first.

With the Duff in place and the Steve ready to assist, the lines were cast off and Constellation was backed out of the big graving dock.

Out side the dock the ship was turned, headed towards Baltimore, and off we went, at about 6 knots, in the diminishing rain and chilly wind.

Being on the ship underway was a treat. I watched her bow wave thinking how rare it was to see one on a 159 year old sailing warship. The harbor was rather calm despite the breeze, and there wasn't much movement to be felt except when the tug changed her position or speed.

Near the inner harbor, the ship was turned again near the Domino Sugar plant to go in stern first. Usually she'd be turned at the end of her dock as part of the public show, but the fluky winds in the closer quarters by her dock would have made it a bit iffy.

The ship was slipped safely into her berth, lines made fast, and the gangway brought aboard. Then it was a run down to the Duff and head back to Sparrows Point to get the sub - or in my case, get my car and go home.

Historic Ships in Baltimore Go see them!

The build log for my model of this ship
My Website
Last edited by JerryTodd; Apr 04, 2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: corrections
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Mar 22, 2011, 10:57 AM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
Great report and photos, Thanks Jerry!

In the photo "Turning ship at Domino Sugar" there are 2 spars on the deck, port side, with a lot of eyebolts. What are they?
Last edited by Brooks; Mar 22, 2011 at 11:33 AM.
Mar 22, 2011, 01:03 PM
Capt.Crash's Avatar
Very cool...thanks for the ride.
Mar 22, 2011, 01:19 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Brooks
In the photo "Turning ship at Domino Sugar" there are 2 spars on the deck, port side, with a lot of eyebolts. What are they?
T'gallant yards for the fore and main. The eyebolts are for the jackstays. There's no plan to send them aloft for the foreseeable future - there's higher priorities.

On the other side of the ship lays the flying jibboom, BTW. left side of deck in "Passed under the bridge."
I think it's actually the jib boom and the flying jib boom is mounted in it's place on the bowsprit - see how small the spar is compared to the hole in the cap?
Last edited by JerryTodd; Mar 22, 2011 at 04:01 PM.
Mar 22, 2011, 02:10 PM
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windwarrior6682's Avatar
Tnanks for the report. I wish I was there.
Mar 22, 2011, 02:41 PM
meatbomber's Avatar
must have been an uncredible experience being on the ship underway !! too bad these ships can`t be kept in a seaworthy state able to move under sail.
Mar 22, 2011, 06:25 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
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Moving Constellation

This space intentionally left blank
Last edited by JerryTodd; Mar 23, 2011 at 03:11 PM.
Mar 22, 2011, 09:20 PM
Taking care of the pond.
"Great report and photos, Thanks Jerry!"

Mar 22, 2011, 11:04 PM
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matthew954's Avatar
I have to say I was listening to my soundtrack to Gettysburg while I was looking at those pics. The track Fife and Gun fits her so well. I first saw her when I was a kid on a field trip to the Inner Harbor Aquarium. But that was when they closed her from public view. She interested me more than USS Torsk. Now that shes been rebuilt, I have to go see her as well as CSS Hunley. Great pictures, I can only imagine what it must have felt like riding aboard her.
Mar 22, 2011, 11:21 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
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Interestingly, Constellation's history isn't made up of battles. She rescued sailors from several shipwrecks, receiving the thanks of their countries in return. She interdicted slavers freeing their human cargoes. She carried famine relief to Ireland. She transported arts and exhibitions to expositions. She trained men who would become Naval officers, some of which served into WWII. She's a war ship with a history of saving and preserving lives.

She's also the pinnacle of sailing warship technology - the last to be designed and built to operate under sail alone.
Last edited by JerryTodd; Mar 23, 2011 at 03:26 PM.
Mar 23, 2011, 01:41 PM
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captmsr's Avatar
It's easy to see from some of the pics why they added the bridge deck. Add pivot guns, more rigging, sails and ships boats.

Nice pics.
Mar 23, 2011, 09:20 PM
Retired for now
What a wonderful day you must have had Jerry. The pictures are super and so are the videos although I wish they were longer. Someday I'm going to go see that ship and the Constitution up in Boston and the whaling ship in Mystic. I'm sure I could spend several days on any of those ships with no problem at all. Thanks for the trip Jerry. It was fun. Pete
Mar 24, 2011, 07:38 AM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
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It was an excellent weekend actually. I spent Friday-Sunday on horseback training the guys and some new horses, then chasing Rebs through the woods near Harrisburg PA.

The vids are from my digital camera - I was concerned with using up the space on the SD card and not being able to catch something later. (I took more than two, but those two are the longest). I tried to video the ship rolling a bit, but it stopped by the time the camera came on.
Mar 24, 2011, 11:51 AM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
Every major harbor ought to have it's own square rigger.
Mar 24, 2011, 01:15 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
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I think that's very nearly the case in the US.
I can think of; San Diego, San Fransisco, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Galveston, Mystic, for sure...
Savannah used to have the Regina Maris,

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