Today the senior class went on a trip to Staten Island to pick up a rudder with Privateer. The trip took us about 3 hours to complete, and we worked as a team. Using the crane on Privateer, the rudder was picked up by two hooks because of its sheer weight, and once it was aboard, we took it back with us to Pier 101 (Governors Island). The video above is showing how we attached the hooks of the crane onto the rudder, and how we lowered the massive object onto wooden placeholders on board.
The skills of stemming, warping, and crabbing are nothing to be taken lightly. It is quite difficult to learn and put these type of concepts into perspective in an ordinary classroom. Fortunately enough our classroom consist of New York Harbor. The class and I were asked “how can we dock the Indy 7 when current is doing this and you have this much space”. All students attempted the question but could not get the answer correctly alone. We worked to together to finally answer correctly, then Aaron told us to grab our bags and gear; a familiar phrase to start the second part of class.
Loaded and prepared to depart, we were told to head towards Pier 15 and were ready to learn. We dropped two students on the dock to catch lines for the first docking while I was the helmsman. Aaron told me to balance out the current using the throttle so we wouldn’t be moving forward or in reserve but holding my position; in other words stemming. I was told to stay straight, grow a feel, and realize what the vessel is doing. It is amazing to learn in a classroom environment then apply what you have learned to real life scenarios. When I began making my approach towards the dock I was bringing my bow towards port. While using the current, Indy moved towards port close enough to send lines and dock; this is crabbing. Having two lines on (Bow line and Stern spring) I was able to swing the stern around the pier while backing on the Spring and easing the bow line the boat was about to dock; this is called warping. Just another normal day at Vessel Operations.
Going up to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut was like a Schooner Reunion for me. We started off at the train where Captain John and Captain Pat from the Mystic Whaler picked us up. This summer I had the pleasure of sailing with them for a week. Along with Captain John and Pat was Nelson the mate from Schooner Pioneer. Captain Syed was also there. After we all said our hellos we got into the cars and headed towards Mystic Seaport. We got out and started walking to Schooner Amistad. Mystic Seaport at night, during the weekend before Halloween, is the scariest place in the world. People in scary suits everywhere you turn. We finally arrived at the boat and the reunion continued. Captain Rose greeted us and the crew did as well. Charlie was so happy to see us. The first thing that came out my mouth was “you still can’t tie a granny knot” the crew laughed.
The next day was time to get to work. We started by taking the fore sail off followed by the main sail. A little bit later in the day we took down the four top mast. That is when the work really started for me. We took down the fore top mast but there was still things to be taken down. That’s when I came into play. They sent me up aloft to send things down with Captain Syed. I have been up before but I have never done work up there. They are two different things. It is so much harder and you have to think ten steps ahead because if you don’t don’t something can go wrong in an instant. My heart was beating out of my chest but I got the job done.
It was an amazing opportunity being able to attend the first ever Maritime Career Awareness Fair over at Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal. Having an interest in maritime based colleges and career options was more than important for my participation in the fair. With such limited time in the fair I was only able to speak with two stands that really captured my attention. When I walked over to Hornblower Cruises and with SUNY Maritime Colleges’ stand I asked helpful questions that clarified my choices with internships and future choices as a senior in Harbor School. Speaking to Mark Phillips (Director of Maritime Relationships for Hornblower Cruises NYC) we briefly discussed application process, entry level jobs, and future career opportunities with the company while mentioning past alumni who were once in my shoes. I was also fortunate enough to meet with the Dean of Admissions from SUNY Maritime college, Rohan Howell, for a second time since attending the STEM Academy this previous summer at their campus. As I spoke with him and four regiment enrolled students, they were able to answer questions about majors, career opportunities, and other persuasive aspects of what SUNY Maritime has to offer. This was an experience that I will take into account more and more everyday as my time as a senior approaches graduation.
Being a high school student from one of the most unique schools in the world, the work I participate in and out of school should relate to the opportunities that Harbor School has had to offer. Working along the industry in the past, I have experienced serving food and drinks to customers and taking on the role of a deckhand. Having friends and former classmates working with Hornblower Cruises NYC; it is no surprise that I am interested. Rowing on the south side of Pier 40 and frequently spending time on the water, I have had time to observe the vessels from afar and admire their business. Being given multiple tours of the different vessels and asking different workers questions about their experiences I should definitely consider applying in the warmer season if not soon. In mu current position of thinking about my future education and lifestyle SUNY Maritime seems like a perfect fit for me. Being close to home, working in the Maritime Industry, having students and faculty I have had past experiences and partnerships, gives no negatives correlations to attending, let alone applying, to SUNY Maritime. The Maritime Career Awareness fair helped push me a step further into my life and notified me of options for entering adulthood.
When the Vessel Ops class took a trip to Greenpeace, which is one of 3 vessels in an environmental activist fleet, one name stood out to me most. Pete Wilcox ,captain on the activist vessels, he’s been through a lot while trying to save the Earth from people and companies trying to harm it. He was on board when the boat, Rainbow Warrior, was blown up by French military members in New Zealand in 1985. Pete was also on the Arctic Sunrise when it was taken over by the Russian military in 2013, and he spent two months in Russian jail.
Mr. Wilcox supported many campaigns :
- 1981- Offshore oil drilling on Georges bank
- 1993 – Exposed Russian dumping of nuclear waste in the Sea of Japan
- 2007- Research trip to Greenland to document global warming
In April of 2016 , he released his book Greenpeace : My Adventures In Protecting The Of Our Planet.
Today in Vessel Operations class we went to Atlantic Basin in Red hook Brooklyn to go to a Maritime areer fair. We were the only high school that arrived by boat and it showed that we have a leg up on other schools trying to expose their students to the Maritime Field. A plethora of companies were in attendance ranging from Hornblower Cruises & Events to the NYPD Dive team. It was amazing to get to talk to all of these companies and get an idea of the endless possibilities given to me by the NYHS. One of the companies even gave our school a shout-out when he introduced his company because he knew that our school produced hard working mariners. I was mainly interested in the New York Waterway/DockNYC because they talked to me about how they train their deckhands to eventually become captains that make a hefty salary. They also offered jobs both on and off the water something most other companies couldn’t. Overall the career fair was extremely enlightening and really gave a snapshot of the Maritime Industry in NYC today.
On Tuesday in our Vessel Operations class, we went on a research vessel called the Artic Sunrise. The Artic Sunrise belongs to an organization dedicated to saving the Earth from pollution called Greenpeace. When we were on board the vessel we got to tour it and heard a little bit of about where Greenpeace got the ship from and the whole story behind it. We learned some really cool and interesting things.
When we were on board the vessel a thought occurred to me. Greenpeace and the Billion Oyster Project have basically the same goal in mind. We want to end pollution and make our water bodies back to its natural state. They do a lot of the things that we do just on a bigger scale. They travel around the world. We travel around the Harbor. They take water samples. So do we. It is good to know that their are other people who have the same goal as us and that is to end pollution and restore the world back to its original state.
Today The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School attended the first ever Maritime Career fair. There were so many tables at the fair. Hornblower, FDNY, NYPD, City Wide ferry, Millers Launch, and so much more. We started with a general introduction of all the company’s that were there. They passed the mic around and everyone got a chance to talk. Following that we all got a chance to break off into separate groups and explored the different tables that were offered at the fair. Immediately after we broke from the big group, I went over to the Millers Launch table to say hello. I worked at Millers Launch for my summer internship it was good to reunite with them. After that I went to my next table.
My next table was none other then the great SUNY Maritime. The best Maritime College there is. The tables’ leader was, dean of admissions, Rohan Howell. This was my second time meeting Rohan. The first time I met Rohan was at SUNY Maritime during another one of my summer internships. We had a conversation about SUNY Maritimes two-year program and what it had to offer. When he explained the two-year program I was sold on it. He also mentioned that after my two-years there I could possibly transfer into the four-year program. SUNY Maritime is defiantly the college for me!
Today our class learned about pivot points. The pivot point on a power boat changes locations, determined primarily by whether you are in forward or reverse. While in forward, the pivot point is generally 1/3 of the way to the center of the boat from the bow. This crucial point of interest is where your vessel will turn around. Instead of heading directly in the direction in which you wish to head towards, your vessel will generally maneuver around the pivot point and gives you a less accurate final destination. If the pivot point was directly on the bow however, you would have the power to maneuver as you please. This being said, when in reverse, the pivot point is in fact directly on the stern. This allows for ease of navigation while proceeding backwards. The use of the word “generally” as mentioned earlier is in place to indicate that this is not exactly the case for all vessels. Every vessel is different and the crucial pivot point may vary on the next vessel you set foot on. So be safe and watch out!
The Vessel Ops class had the amazing opportunity to board the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship. We got a tour around the ship from the bridge apprentice, Tabia. She’s actually studying what all of us seniors are doing right now. She’s currently enrolled in a maritime college in Germany. A fun fact is that after two weeks of being on the massive ship, she knew her way around. When she took us to the bridge, I was speechless. The view was incredible and the navigation stations were fascinating. We met Captain Todd, we were well aware that he used to work on tall ships. He talked about his love for tall ships and he had recently been in a race in Florida on a German ship. He was an interesting person to learn about. When he was in graduate school he had accidentally checked that he spoke German fluently on a job application and he ended up on a German line. So he was forced to learn German. He remained on that line and his line is going great. I think that would’ve been a challenge for me, I admire his bravery. Every morning he has to make an announcement in German and it’s his biggest fear. Captain Todd taught me a lot in just an hour. In the Maritime Industry, it’s really all about building. You do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do. You may start out one way but anything can happen and if you keep trying you can make it anywhere. You can really do anything you set your mind to. The biggest thing is to just not give up. You’ll get where you need to be it just takes time and dedication.