Thursday, December 31, 2015

L'Hermione Visits Annapolis

It will be good to wrap up 2015 on Earwigoagin with a much delayed post about the French tall-ship, L'Hermione, the ship that brought Lafayette to America to fight in the American Revolution. The recently completed replica of L'Hermione visited Annapolis this past June and, as with anything nautical, vast crowds descended on City Dock to take a tour. I was one of the throng and even though I got there early enough, it took me close to an hour of snaking back and forth before I could climb the gang plank to board her.

L'Hermione was a middling warship for that era but, up close, she remains today an impressive working monument of the late 18th century. I can't help to imagine what it would have been like to row around a busy anchorage of the 1780's, surrounded by dozens and dozens of tall ships; merchantmen , privateers, warships, and coastal traders. To me, that would be just as stunning a visage as any large cathedral.

Bonnie of Frogma reported on L'Hermione's visit to New York City (unlike me, she wrote it about it when it happened). Her report can be found here.

The official website.

Some of my photos:

The line on the home-stretch, within minutes of finally going on board. There was a fellow singing sea-shanties to keep those in line entertained.

Humanity packed on deck.

Given my small boat bent, I was interested in this pair of nesting launches. The mast indicated that at least one had a sailing rig.

The figure-head.

There were plenty of Revolutionary re-enactors milling about including these three in the French army uniform.

I hadn't realized until reading the local newspaper coverage of L'Hermione's visit that Annapolis has a memorial to the French soldiers and sailors who had died fighting in the American Revolution. It was tucked in the corner of St. John's college, in a copse of pine trees overlooking College Creek, just behind the boat house. After touring the L'Hermione, I took the fifteen minute stroll in the hot June sun, up Pinkney Street, over to Prince George Street, past the Paca House and across the campus, to visit the memorial. The flowers were from a commemoration service that had taken place the previous day, but on this day, I was the only one there.

No comments: