"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

May 16, 2012

May 15 – Baltimore, MD

History Lesson
Henderson’s Wharf Marina

We thought we might have to find things to do inside today from the way our morning started, but by lunch the sun was out. We decided we’d visit Fort McHenry today; we didn’t have a chance to get there on our last visit. We saw the original “Star Spangled Banner” at the Smithsonian last summer and we have been by the buoy that marks where the ship was anchored as Frances Scott Key watched the battle take place on September 13, 1814, that inspired his writing of the song that later became our national anthem, so this was just another piece of history we needed to check out. The Chesapeake has lots of activities planned this summer to celebrate the bicentennial of The Warof 1812. We took the water taxi from Fells Point to the fort…the ride was fun and the park is very pretty. We got a nice over view of the War of 1812 and the history of the flag that flew over the fort during the Battle of Baltimore in the Visitor’s Center. The flag measured 30 x 42 feet and was made by Mary Young Pickersgill in 1813 at a cost of $574.44. They fly a replica of the original flag over the fort…it takes a wind of 5 mph to unfurl the flag and a smaller flag has to be flown when winds are higher than 12 mph. Fort McHenry was the first place they flew the new flag when stars were added in 1959 & 1960.

We took the water taxi back to Fell's Point and then another one to the Inter Harbor. We wandered around the area for a while and then slowly walked back to Fells Point. We walked through part of Little Italy…we’ll be back over here to eat one evening, lots of cute little places. I think you could spend months checking out all the great places to eat in Baltimore.

Key's original draft of the song first printed as "Defence of Fort M'Henry." It was republished with the music and retitled "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The Visitor's Center shows a video telling the history of the Battle of Baltimore, at the end the screen goes up and you get this wonderful view of the fort.
Fort McHenry
Part of Baltimore's Inter Harbor
Looking down Fell Street to the Marina
Relaxing on the flybridge

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