Baltimore Inner Harbor

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We were expecting Baltimore to have more of an industrial feel, but the Inner Harbor at least has been transformed from a commercial working harbor to a vibrant destination popular with locals and tourist alike. Restaurants, museums, parks and pedestrian walkways ring a harbor that is a constant hub of activity. And within walking distance is M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens NFL team. We were finally back in an NFL town during the season and had an exciting evening watching the Ravens beat the Browns live on Thursday night.

Trip highlights from November 7th through 13th, 2016 in Baltimore follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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The Brazilian Navy training ship Brasil leaving Baltimore after a week-long visit. The crew is lined up on the back deck as tugs pull the vessel off the dock and guide it out of the inner harbor.
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The dusk view to the inner harbor from the outer docks at Baltimore Marine Center Inner Harbor (click image for larger view). Baltimore certainly is a beautiful city. The building with the blue wave is the National Aquarium.
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Power Adapter

It’s common for widely-travelled boats to have an assortment of adapters for different shore power connections, such as the ones we used in Papeete. Winning Drive takes a slightly different approach where the end of their shorepower cable has all four conductors separately pluggable. They can just put different ends onto their shorepower cable. In this particular picture, they have a short pigtail with an adapter in addition to the reconfigurable end.
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Morning Sky

A dramatic morning sky looking southeast from Dirona toward the Baltimore’s commercial shipping area.
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Crane Bolt

In Newport we found a washer on deck below the crane and concluded we likely had a critical crane issue, so haven’t used the crane since. We then found a bolt on deck as we arrived into Baltimore. James took the crane apart today and found the boom extension hydraulic ram mounting bolts were all loose. Two bolts had fallen out, damaging the threads, and the other two were close to falling out. It’s good that we caught it before more damage was done.
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Jennifer setting off to return a package via UPS.
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Phoenix Shot Tower

The Phoenix Shot Tower was the tallest structure in the US from 1828 until 1846 and produced ammunition shot until the turn of the twentieth century. ‘Molten lead was dropped from a platform at the top of the tower, through a sieve-like device, into a vat of cold water at the bottom of the tower to produce both “drop shot” for pistols and rifles and “moulded shot” for larger weapons such as cannons. When hardened, dried, and polished, the shot was sorted into 25-pound bags. The annual production was about 100,000 bags of shot a year, with the capability of doubling that in case of war or other high demand.’ (Wikipedia)
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Tir Na Nog

Dinner overlooking the Inner Harbor at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub. Jennifer’s favourite beer, Kilkenny, is not that common in the US.
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Caught on Film

Our new forward-looking camera caught Spitfire sitting on the foredeck this morning. It was pouring rain much of the time he was out there, but he never seems to care.
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Camden Yards

We’re finally back in an NFL town during the season. Tonight it is Ravens vs Browns. Baltimore does NFL games right. The stadium is beautiful and the fans are serious. Tonight’s game time is not until 8:25pm but by 4pm, the number of fans streaming through the inner harbor towards M&T Stadium already had our attention. The excitement drew us in and we left the boat at 5pm and walked a mile to Camden Yards (baseball’s Oriole Park) to have dinner at Dempsey’s Brew Pub.
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Dempsey’s Brew Pub

Dinner at Dempsey’s Brew Pub at Camden Yards before the Ravens game. Ten minutes after we arrived, there wasn’t a table left as Ravens fans poured in.
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Ravens Walk

The parking lot between Camden Yards and M&T stadium contains the famous Ravens Walk. In the video, we capture the fun along the Ravens Walk heading towards the stadium, including a full marching band, music, food, beer, and tailgating. From inside the stadium, more of the marching band and pre-game celebrations as the stadium transitions from empty to full, the players are announced, and the opening kickoff. We’ve been to a lot of NFL games over the years, but row 13 on the 45-yard line was a first for us. We felt like we were part of the game as the Ravens beat the Browns 28-7.
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Trash Skimmer

The 39-mile Patapsco River reaches saltwater at Baltimore’s inner harbor, carrying all sorts of debris. City trash skimmers work the inner harbor every day to keep it free of garbage and hazards. This one is passing between our bow and shore.
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Our anchor and chain was last galvanized in 2012 at Ace Galvanizing in Seattle. They did a great job, and the anchor and chain made it around the world, particularly the South Pacific where the warm waters are tough on galvanization. Four years and hundreds of anchorings later, the job needs to be done again. One difficulty is finding a galvanizer that’s reasonably close to the boat and is able to fit in the job. But the real challenge is getting 1,154 pounds of steel off the boat and delivered to the galvanizing shop. We finally found a solution here in Baltimore. Pictured with James is the sales manager Derek from Baltimore Galvanizing. Derek came down with a pickup truck to collect the 154lb anchor and 500 feet of 7/16″ chain at 2lb/foot. We loaded the chain into two dock carts and the anchor into a third. This worked out well, but we’re glad the tidal range here is only a few feet. We’d never have been able to get the carts up a steep ramp.
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We use an Ultra anchor swivel to attach the anchor to the chain. The current swivel on the left has been in use since we bought the boat in 2010 and has seen a lot of anchorings. The swivel still is undamaged, but showing significant wear, so we decided to switch to our spare and keep the original as a backup. The new swivel has what looks to be a useful design change. The swivel has a bridge (top right of picture) that connects over the top of the anchor shaft. This will both add strength and, more importantly, prevent the swivel from sliding down the anchor shaft and jamming out of position. This isn’t common, but when it does happen the anchor cannot be retrieved until the swivel is moved back to the end of the anchor shaft.
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Side Light

One of our two side-facing LED floodlights failed, so James replaced it with a spare. The mounting point is a bit difficult to access, so he used the crane and a climbing harness to hoist himself into position. We use the lights to help navigate at night in close quarters—they light up the area for a good two hundred feet on either side of the boat. The picture also shows one of the two aft-facing lights, identical to the side lights, that illuminate the boat deck for loading and unloading the tender or working on deck at night.
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Jennifer returning from a Dunkin’ Donuts run.
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Main Oil Change

Time to change the main engine oil for the seventh time this calendar year.
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Gen Oil Change

The generator also was due for an oil change.
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Gordon Biersch

We rode our bikes to the Harbor East neighbourhood on other side of the inner harbor to have lunch at Gordon Biersch brewery. Baltimore is very bicycle-friendly and we followed a shared bike/pedestrian path the entire way. The day was so sunny and warm that we had lunch in T-shirts on the patio outside and the sidewalks and paths were full of pedestrians, bicyclists and skateboarders. Baltimore is really working out well for us.
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Under Armour

Activewear manufacturer Under Armour is an incredibly popular brand in Baltimore—during lunch people frequently passed wearing Under Armour gear. Under Armour founder Kevin Plank was born near Baltimore and their world headquarters is across the harbor at Locust Point.
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Pier Six

Looking west across the Pier Six Concert Pavilion to downtown Baltimore.
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Katyn Massacre

The forty-four-foot tall Katyn Memorial commemorates the 22,000 estimated Poles executed by Stalin’s secret police at the Katyn forest and other Soviet detainment camps in 1940.
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Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

The Seven Foot Knoll lighthouse was originally constructed in 1855 where the Patapsco River flows into Chesapeake Bay. The light was automated in 1948 and the structure transported to it’s current location at Pier Five in downtown Baltimore and is open to the public as a museum.
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View South

Looking southeast down the Patapsco River from the balcony of the Seven Foot Knoll lighthouse.
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Public Works Museum

Baltimore has some beautiful historic buildings and reminds us of Boston. This is the Baltimore Public Works Museum viewed from the Seven Foot Knoll lighthouse balcony. The museum is housed in a still-operating sewage pumping station built in 1912.
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The Historic Ships in Baltimore Museum is steward of several ships moored along the inner harbor, plus the Seven Foot Knoll lighthouse. This is the USCGC Taney, a high-endurance cutter that is the only surviving ship to have seen action in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
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The lightship 116 Chesapeake was in service from 1930 through 1965 and for much of that time marked the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
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The USS Torsk is a diesel submarine built at the Portsmouth Navy Yard where the USS Albacore was also built. The Torsk was commissioned in 1944 and deployed to the Pacific during World War II and later participated in the 1958 Lebanon Crisis and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The ship was decommissioned in 1968 with an impressive record of over 10,600 career dives.
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Chessie Paddle Boats

Paddle boats in the inner harbor modeled after ‘Chessie’, a legendary sea monster reported to live in Chesapeake Bay. We’d seen these boats as part of the coverage of the Sunday night Ravens home game that we watched while anchored in the Sassafress River, but we’d not seen them in action until today.
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World Trade Center

A sobering memorial in front of the Baltimore World Trade Center to the 69 Maryland residents who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The 22-foot twisted beams are from the 94th to 96th floors of the north of the twin towers. The inscriptions on the marble base depict events in the attack and are arranged so that each year on September 11 the Baltimore World Trade Center building acts as a sundial, highlighting each event at the time of day it occurred.
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USS Constellation

The USS Constellation was commissioned in 1854 and is the second of four US Navy ships with that name. This ship was built from parts salvaged from the original Constellation and was in commission until 1954.
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Ice Rink

We’d been watching the outdoor ice rink being built over the past week and its now up-and-running.
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Michael and Haley

Wilmington, Delaware residents Michael Owen and Haley were in Baltimore for a few days and stopped by for a visit. They’re been following the blog for a while and are quite interested in Nordhavns. Micheal grew up nearby on the Sassafrass River and his parents kept a boat in the marina we’re in. It’s always fun to meet people who are enthusiastic about boating.
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We were enjoying a drink on the back deck when this week’s supermoon appeared between the highrises on the opposite side of the inner harbor.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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4 comments on “Baltimore Inner Harbor
  1. Duane Geisler says:

    Welcome to Baltimore. After reading “The Other Side of the Ice” several years ago, I found your blog and have been following ever since. I’m on Rock Creek which is located at the mouth of the Patapsco river (by Fort Smallwood). Any way, safe travels and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay. We love it!.

    • The Patapsco River area is excellent. We spent more than a month in Baltimore and really enjoyed it. We’ve slowly been cruising south since and we are currently in Charleston and expect to be south in Florida by early February.

  2. Tony Nels n says:

    James, will you be stopping in Oriental, NC on your way down the ICW? If so, when, would love to meet you again.

    • Our plan is to slowly work our way south down the Intercoastal Waterway to Daytona where we plan to take in some NASCAR stock car and World of Outlaws sprint car racing.

      On this trip south, we are enjoying having no fixed schedule or plans. Sometimes “no plans” are the best plans. We have little experience with the intercoastal waterway and it might be the case that we get tired of the narrow and shallow channel and all the bridges. If we do, we’ll head back off shore. But, at this point, we’re looking forward to the new expereinces of working south on the ICW.

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