The five-day Portfest celebration kicked off yesterday with a "Parade of Sails" by tall ships participating in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. The race from Baltimore to Norfolk begins today when vessels depart Fells Point beginning at 9 a.m. for the starting line at the Key Bridge.
The harbor's working boats will be blessed during a ceremony tomorrow at 5: 30 p.m. at the Inner Harbor amphitheater.
Also beginning tomorrow, visitors can board the U.S.S. Firebolt, a 170-foot Navy patrol craft. And starting Saturday, the CGC Sturgeon Bay, the newest of the Coast Guard's 140-foot icebreaking tugs, will be open for tours at Pier 4.
Portfest visitors can take a rare insider's look at the USNS Comfort, the naval hospital ship docked at North Locust Point. The ship, normally off limits to the public, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
And for one last time until next summer, Baltimore's oldest ship, the U.S.S. Constellation, is open for free tours from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The historic ship is in dry dock at the Fort McHenry Shipyard for restoration.
Trivia buffs and seafood lovers can participate in the SeaQuest Passport Treasure Hunt Friday through Sunday. Pick up a passport at the Baltimore Visitor Information Center, Columbus Center for Marine Science, or the Sea Witch Restaurant in Fells Point from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer maritime trivia question. Enjoy a 200-cent seafood specialty at participating waterfront restaurants while hunting for answers and then turn in the completed passport at pickup locations to win prizes.
In addition, Portfest visitors are encouraged to see boat-building demonstrations by the Living Classrooms Foundation at the group's East Harbor campus. And participate in the Tour du Port, a family-oriented waterfront bike ride that begins and ends Sunday at Rash Field.
Pub Date: 10/16/97