Pride II's trip home has been stormy one Journey: State's goodwill ambassador dodges Pacific hurricanes to reach Panama intact, with eyes on end of yearlong trek Nov. 27.

November 06, 1998|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF

The clipper ship Pride of Baltimore II, Maryland's goodwill ambassador, was scheduled to motor through the Panama Canal today after safely dodging a series of Pacific hurricanes off Mexico and Central America.

En route home after a yearlong cruise to the Far East, the Pride is due in Baltimore at noon Nov. 27, after stops in Miami and Jacksonville, Fla.

The 10-year-old ship, with a crew of 12, was bound from San Diego to Acapulco, Mexico, when it ran into Tropical Storm Madeline in the Pacific on Oct. 15.

The storm "hurled rain and sea at us with the fury of a jilted woman," said Capt. Dan Parrott in his "Captain's Log," published on the ship's Web site (

Forty-knot winds and 18-foot seas put rips in the Pride's foresail, snapped mast hoops and tossed cabin items, Parrott wrote.

With additional threats in the region from a Pacific hurricane named Kay and Tropical Storm Lester, Parrott elected to reverse course and run from Madeline. He sought shelter at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, arriving there Oct. 16.

Madeline, which became a small hurricane with 85-mph winds, arrived there two days later.

After a week in port, the Pride set sail for Panama, canceling its stop in Acapulco. It sailed down the west coast of Central America about the same time Hurricane Mitch was pounding the east coast with deadly rain and winds.

News of Mitch's destruction in Nicaragua and Honduras prompted "a lot" of worried calls from relatives of the Pride's crew, said Lisa Buell, the Pride's director of public relations. But all was well.

"The captain said they were not feeling any adverse effects at all from Mitch," said Buell. "We were really pleased."

The original Pride of Baltimore sank about noon May 14, 1986, after it was caught in a violent squall about 200 miles north of Puerto Rico. Four crew members died.

Pub Date: 11/06/98

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