My time with the New York Water Taxi over the summer is something I’ll never forget. It all started with one man, Port Captain Rob Haywood. He gave me such a welcome to the company and gave me a sense of security. He made it very clear to me that if I had any questions or problems to report straight to him and only to him. He made me feel valued and for a person that knew barely anything about me, it was very shocking.
It started off with basic level training with a special guy named Tymel. Tymel, for the next two weeks, trained us on everything. From how to a do a boat checklist to making sure we know how to tie a simple clove hitch. For a guy that came off to very chill and laid back, it was clear why he was a senior deckhand and why he was the person training us.
On the last week, they finally took me off training and sent me underway with fellow deckhands of the company. This was a scary first step but it was then that I felt great about my job. I knew I was going to mess up but accepting my mistakes and learning from them was going to be a process no one could train for.
I’m a senior in high school and work on the Water Taxi during the weekend. This is something I love and I’m going to keep doing as long as I possibly can. I think it’s amazing to be in high school and have found a job I love and am willing to do for the rest of my life.
As our senior year begins, all of us have one gigantic question that’s on our mind; which college do we want to attend? Going to college for some of us is a big deal. It’s the start of our true adult life, for others it’s time where we want to discover more about ourselves or where we want to be for the rest of our lives. For me college is something I take very seriously. I want it to be an experience where I can finally learn to take care of myself without my parents over my shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate everything my parents do for me but eventually i’m gonna have to grow up.
My two top college choices are NYU and SUNY Maritime. I’ll tell you why, I want NYU simply because it’s such an amazing school academically. Also, when I enroll into the school it will be 100% free only because my father works there. Now I don’t know if I want to go to either of these school, but I do know there options I would be more than happy to be at.
The Serenity was a ship that takes your breath away at first sight, but its the crew that gives you the complete welcome onto their boat. When we boarded, we graciously received welcoming remarks from all crew especially the captain. Captain Jose gave a very simple but effective overview of what its like when the vessel is underway. He broke down the benefits of not being apart of the Union and the things all Hornblower employees benefit from. By saying all the pros and cons you wanted nothing more but to work for them. This trip has done a lot for me. It inspired me to hopefully become a future deckhand for this company and to open eyes to companies beyond them.
This summer I wanted to focus on getting ready for college. I was getting ready to start college classes in July and was determined to do exceptionally well in math. I wanted to better myself into becoming a successful student. The day had come for me to walk into class and I had mentally prepared myself on the train. I was ready. However, as I approached the door my hands started to tremble and I realized I was nervous. What if the other students didn’t struggle in math the way I did? What if I couldn’t answer the questions because it was too challenging? Would my teacher be nice enough to help me out? I then realized I would never know if I didn’t open the door. So I walked in with confidence and sat at computer number 10. I took a deep breath and waited for the professor to speak. She had a welcoming smile and greeted everyone. She asked many questions and I raised my hand for each one. By the end of the day I was surprised that, Kimiko, the student who didn’t understand math and who struggled was ahead by 14 pages. I came in there doubting myself but I understood that once you put your mind to something you can do it. You just have to have an open mind!
Lucky enough, for our most recent class of vessel operations we took a site visit to pier 15. The class was invited to board, tour, and learn about one of Hornblower’s vessels named Serenity. We had the opportunity to meet Harbor School alumni, Captain Jose and first mate Medina. This gave us a chance to have class in a new location and have a different experience. Learning about other maritime workplaces allows us to make upgrades and edits to our vessels or shops in order to enhance our training with Harbor School. Students were allowed to tour the vessel and its two decks designated for passengers. However, we were not able to enter the engine room. Students were told where it is and who has clearance. At the wheel house, some students were lucky to steer the boat, ask questions to the Captain and overall have an enjoyable learning class period. Seeing maritime jobs in person, especially if the workers were once in our shoes like Captain Jose and Medina, is inspiring and important to us as we begin to make decisions about our careers.
This time we were pretty early for a boat ride. The usual was us running and panting to the Seaport and having to make sure everyone was there. However, this time was different this time we were early! We were walking and chatting talking about school stuff. We made it to the Seaport and we got the usual pep talk from Aaron. We’re representing our school and ourselves as people. Also, people who may go into the Maritime Industry. We knew the whole spiel. We got on the Hornblower Serenity and met the captain who we’ve met many times before. Captain Jose was great and asked how our day was and how we were doing. He talked to us about how his job is daily and it seemed pretty tiring having to be up so early and because we were on a tour ferry. I could only assume there was a lot of repetition involved. After the boat moved from the dock, we walked around the boat to see what were some interesting things to do. I usually take it upon myself to take pictures of everyone and the setting. I took lots of pictures and the amazing scenery behind us; the statue of liberty, the bmb, Staten island ferry, Seaport and Governors Island. We all got snacks and just enjoyed the rest of the ride. It definitely was a great way to end our day.
we started as individuals
and slowly became a family
we’ve cleaned bilges together
we’ve joked together
we started alone
slowly became a family
we as a class will end our high school adventures together
we are a team
the best vessel class of 2018
pain settles in
when my feet have rested on the land too long
my mind wonders
when my true love and I
will meet again
when will I be able to
see the glistening beauty of its waves
beneath my feet
to hear its calming voice
would be a blessing
for now I must admire her from afar
for now I
long to be with…..
This summer when I was in Connecticut I happened to have run into Murray Fisher! He was on the other side of the pier just as we had docked. As soon as I saw him I started waving at him and it caught his attention. He quickly walked to the boat and said “If kids are waving to me and they are on a boat, I immediately think Harbor school!” I introduced him to the crew and to the captains on the Mystic Whaler. He kept saying how happy and proud it makes him to see kids from Harbor school all around the states and doing what they love. It made me feel proud to be representing the Harbor school not only in New York but to be expanding my horizons out in other states as well.