One of the unique joys of the 1976 bicentennial year was the visit of the tall ships to Baltimore. Over the summer, 11 of those graceful vessels sailed up the Chesapeake to moor at the Inner Harbor basin. Tens of thousands of Baltimoreans came to view them. Even at 4 a.m., night owls could be seen admiring those ocean-goers.
Happily for those who missed the 1976 event, those moments and memories will soon be repeated. From May 29 to Sept. 9, close to 30 sailing ships from Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Uruguay, Portugal, Italy, Germany and England are scheduled to visit the Inner Harbor as part of Baltimore's Operation Sail '92. They range from tall ships to frigates and schooners. (Also, Canada will send a submarine for the July 4th weekend).
This cavalcade commemorates the quincentenary of Columbus' voyage to America and starts with the visit of authentic replicas of the explorer's ships -- the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria -- May 29 through June 8. Among notable visitors scheduled for later in the summer are Italy's Amerigo Vespucci (Aug. 20-24) and Germany's Gorch Fock (Aug. 24-Sept. 15).