French replica frigate L'Hermione docks in Annapolis, headed to Baltimore

L'Hermione heads to Baltimore next

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - More than 17 miles of rigging wind through the masts and 17 sails of L’Hermione, the replica of the French frigate that carried Gen. Lafeyette to America during the Revolutionary War.

Hundreds of people gathered at Annapolis City Dock Wednesday to get a close up of the tall ship, which is traveling up and down the Eastern Seaboard this summer.

Annapolis resident Priscilla Smith and her two young sons, Sailor and Scout, got in line promptly at 9 a.m. when the ship opened to the public for tours. They waited about 40 minutes to get on board.

“We were really interested in all the ropes,” Smith said. “And the boys liked all the cannons.”

After leaving Annapolis Wednesday night, L’Hermione will come to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Friday and spend the weekend alongside the U.S.S. Constellation and the Pride of Baltimore.   

From there, she’ll sail north to Philadelphia, then on to ports in New York and New England.

“People are very welcoming,” said crew member Dylan Berteau, who has been working on L’Hermione for about a year.

L’Hermione left Roquefort, France in mid-April and reached Yorktown, Va., earlier this month. Training the 73-member crew for the transatlantic voyage began three years ago.

The ship sailed into Annapolis Saturday night amid concerns that it would be too big to dock downtown.

“I’m real impressed that they got it docked down here,” said Arnold resident David Stahr, who came to City Dock Wednesday to see L’Hermione.

He said he’s seen tall ships in Annapolis before, but never one quite this large. L’Hermione is 217 feet long.

“It’s why you live in Annapolis, you know?” Stahr said. “I’ve heard people speaking all manner of languages here. People from all over the world are here to see this.”  

Edgewater residents Jed and Dru Bubuque, both Navy veterans and ship enthusiasts, declined to wait in the line for a tour, opting instead to admire L’Hermione from City Dock.

They said they were impressed by the intricacies of the rigging and the sails.

“You don’t see too many replica frigates around,” Jed Bubuque said.

Fort McHenry will open at 6:30 a.m. Friday for people who want to see L’Hermione enter the harbor in Baltimore. A welcome ceremony will be held at the Inner Harbor at 10 a.m., followed by re-enactments and public tours.  

Here’s L’Hermione’s complete Baltimore itinerary.

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