From Multimedia

Great North River Tug Boat Race 2017


imageThe Annual Tug boat race on the North River was such an amazing event; this was my second year attending. My first year was on the vessel Sea Wolf with fellow classmates Terence, Bri, and Steve. The first year I was more of a spectator watching the crew do all the work. This year, I was the crew. The boat that I was crewing was none other than the South Street Seaports W.O Decker. The day started off with a morning muster at 0800 aboard Decker. The muster was led by first mate Lisa. She gave us the breakdown of how the day was going to go. At the morning muster, I learned that I will be representing W.O Decker in the line tossing competition. Instantly my heart dropped and my legs began to shake. But I brushed it off and stayed focus on the muster at that moment. After the muster we all had a quick breakfast provided by Captain Aaron. Then as soon as we were done, we dropped lines and left


The day started off with a quick little boat parade. All the boats lined up and got introduced and headed up the river. Directly after the parade is when the real crave started. The horn blew and we were off. Instantly W.O Decker fell behind all the other vessels. We turned more into a spectator boat. We started to get washed around the wakes of other tugs. However, it was fun while it lasted. After the race we did a little head to head to see which tug has the most power and could push the most. W.O Decker went against Capt. Brian McAllister; the newest boat at the race. We lost, the McAllister boat wasn’t even pushing ahead and we could barely move it. After we had the good old tug tug battle, it was time for the moment of truth, the line tossing.


The line tossing is the ultimate bragging rights. I was going against so many great people and had a lot to prove. One of the boats I was going against was Susan Miller and Catherine Miller. Susan Miller and Catherine Miller were two of the boats I worked with over the summer, they were part of my internship at Millers launch. They also are the ones who helped me perfect my line tossing. Having them watch me was a tremendous amount of pressure. Before the line tossing actual started, I had to get some practice in. I practiced on the bow bit on the boat. The eye of the line was huge. It was the same size of me. That did not help me out at all. I was rusty and nervous, a bad combination in a competition. At the moment I was stalling and trying to get as much time as I can. Finally Captain Aaron asked me if I was ready and my response was “it’s now or never”. We started to go in and everyone is super hype. So many eyes on me. Everyone on the boat was calling my name.” Bryan you can do it”(Elijah), “no pressure Bryan except if you miss you let everyone down….just joking everything will be fine”( Lisa). The horn sounded and the clock was on. The way the line tossing works is you get three chances to toss it on to the bit and if you miss you lose. My first toss was off to the left and the whole boat had to reset. We backed up and approached again. “Port side toss” was what I was told. That’s exactly what I tried. But once again I missed. This was my third and final try. I look around and see classmate Steve and I know I wouldn’t miss now or he will go back and tell the whole school. I looked him in the eye and whispered this one is for you. I tossed the line with everything I had. It seemed like everything was in slow motion. Cheers still going “ Bryan Bryan”. I missed my throw and final toss. I held onto the line just a little too much and fell short of the bit. I pulled the line in with my head down ashamed. I was so upset letting the pressure get to me. Then I hear give it a good round of applause for Bryan. That is what Maggy said on the microphone. That was music to my ears. She told everybody who I was and what school I was from and everyone started to cheer. Not the type of cheering I wanted but I took it and ran with it. Suddenly I start to feel better and went on with the day super happy.

Toward the end of the day we had an award ceremony. That was also the time I got to see a lot of old friends and co-workers from Millers Launch. Everyone gave me a warm welcome and asked me how I was doing. After the little reunion we went on with the awards. W.O Decker got the most vintage tug award. Not the best award but an award none the less. After the award ceremony we got a tour of McAllister’s newest boat. And then the day was over.

USS O’Bannon. Unconventional Weaponry (A Brief Description of a Funny Confrontation)

USS O'Bannon

USS O’Bannon (DD-450) is a Fletcher-class destroyer laid down on March 3, 1941. She served the United States Navy (USN) in World War II. She was sold for scrap on June 6 1970 with 17 battle stars including the Presidential Unit Citation.

During her World War II service, she briefly trained for war in the Caribbean and participated in the Pacific campaign against the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). She fought in the Guadalcanal campaign in which her assigned squadron, Destroyer Squadron 21 (DesRon 21), was securing the American held Solomon Island. She escorted USS Copahee (CVE-12) on a run to supply depleted American Marines with supplies to continue holding a key airstrip named “Henderson Field”. O’Bannon sighted enemy submarines and fired at them with her 5-inch main battery armament. On Novemeber 12 1942, 16 Japanese torpedo bombers attack American convoy ships. 11 were shot down and O’Bannon fired at 4 of the planes. Word came that a Japanese attack force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers were going to bombard the Americans off the island, and O’Bannon with a underpowered task force, were set to try to turn away the attackers. During the attack, O’Bannon boldly fought Japanese battleship Hiei, getting so close that Hiei guns couldn’t depress far enough to shoot the destroyer. Combined attacks from other American ships, Hiei was set to be scuttled.

On April 5 1943, O’Bannon sighted the Japanese submarine RO-43 on the surface and made to ram it. At the last minute, officers aboard the destroyer decided the sub might be a minelayer and turned hard to avoid the collision. The action brought the destroyer along side the sub. Japanese mariners attempted to man their 3-inch gun battery, O’Bannon deck hands grabbed potatoes out of a supply shed and pelted the potatoes at the Japanese crew. The Japanese believed that the potatoes were hand grenades and threw them back, instead of manning the 3-inch battery. As soon as O’Bannon was far enough away, she opened up with her 5, 5-inch gun batteries and damaged the sub’s conning tower. RO-43 submerged but O’Bannon’s depth charges eventually sunk the sub.

USS O'Bannon Potatoe Commeration

At the end of World War II, she joined her sister ship USS Nicholas, USS Missouri and USS Taylor into Tokyo Bay by order of Admiral William Halsey. She was later decommissioned after overhaul on May 21, 1946.

Fishers Island (Oyster Farm Boats)

IMG_0129This picture above shows me on the bigger aluminum boat ; 35 feet with an outboard engine, that was towing the smaller green boat ; 20 feet with an outboard engine, that go stuck by the oyster farm with Jeremy (Aquaculture teacher)  and some of his students.


The picture above shows me steering the smaller green boat going back to the Malinowski dock from the Fishers Island’s oyster farm.


This picture shows Max, Pete’s son, on the left and Theo, Aaron’s son, on the right (and me) on the 20 foot fiber glass boat while we were tied up to fuel. Theo and Max were practicing their line throwing skills. For their age, I’d say they were pretty good at it.

Fishers Island Trip

Fishers Island is a small community of roughly 200 people, 13 miles from the coast of Long Island. Students attending the trip got to leave school right after seventh period to catch the 2:30 Ferry back to Manhattan. The bus ride to the Fishers Island ferry took a grueling 6 hours with no pitstops. I sat in the back of the bus, along with a couple friends. During the bus ride, we watched Moana and sang along with the songs. Next movie queued was Ghost Busters. When the bus finally made it to the ferry landing, there were tons of pizza boxes awaiting our arrival. The ferry boat, Race Point, carried us over to Fishers Island. Boat ride took another 45 minutes. Tents were assigned, 3 people per tent, and set up. By this time it’s already past 10PM and most were pumped for the following days activities. Lights out: 11:30PM

6AM wake up. Breakfast consisted of eggs with a side of peppers, bacon, toast and a choice of lemonade, iced tea and water. After breakfast, everyone mustered for informant of the days activities. Vessel Operations assisted Professional Diving in oyster cage recovery, which took all day in 50 degree water. It was cold to say the least. One by one divers jumped off the boat and into the waters. Towards the middle of the day, Vessel Ops students jumped off and did some swimming as past time in between recoverys. The frigid waters were refreshing at first as the air temperature began to increase as the day wore on, but the freezing waters soon felt very cold. As Vessel Ops students, together, jumped into the water, Aaron went from boat to boat. The rest of the day passed on. Dinner was exciting: a big campfire and barbecue, complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, and cookies. As the night continued, and our singing got progressively worse, it was time to put up the towel in and head for bed. Lights out: 11PM

Yet another 6AM wake up. Breakfast was oatmeal with fruit and brown sugar, along with a choice of lemonade, iced tea, and water. Today is a shorter day considering the expected return time was 5PM. Tents were packed and once the early morning muster was complete, each CTE headed off to do their own thing. Vessel Ops did pivot turns and docking practice. Eventually all boats got geared and headed for a gas dock to fill up. After all boats got their share of gas, we headed out into open water for some fun. The boats sped along the water over to the ferry landing and back, with some high speed stops in between. Once returning to the school, we grabbed our stuff and boarded the 3:30 boat to mainland. The bus was awaiting us and once everybody boarded, we were underway headed for New York City. Return time: roughly 5:30PM

The island was beautiful. It felt like a summer vacation in a short span of 3 days. Everything was so green compared to the red brick and grey cement we see here in the city. With downtime, you couldn’t help but look at the scenery and compare that to what we have here in NYC. The trip was amazing, and I hope to do it again in upcoming years.



A group of 4 to do the job

predict the distance

don’t put the helm in a state of confusion

such actions can mess everything up!

once you see the mooring approach

be ready with the hook

make sure to have your spotter by your side

Get the line and place it on the hook

make it off and yell


Staten Island Ferry Goes Missing?


Warning: This is just a story that the artist of this memorial came up with. He came up with this story, so more tourists come visit the statue and to also inspire mystery into the harbor. I still think it would be pretty cool if was real.

On November 22nd, 1963, the Staten Island Ferry went missing. It happened late at night on its way to the Whitehall Station in Manhattan. No one really knows what happened though. Some eye witness accounts say they saw giant tentacles on the side of the ship that night. Only pieces of the ship were found. These pieces had suction spots on it. The picture above shows a memorial to the ferry and all the people.