From Seniors

How do you get to school?

When I tell someone I go to school on Governors Island, their first question is ALWAYS “So…do you like take a boat to school every day or something?”

Often I feel like responding “No. We all have to swim across.” Honestly. What do they think we do? Have the rowing team bring us over in whitehall gigs? Take a zip line? Ski lift? I tried proposing that to the principal freshman year. Edward technically agreed, if we could find the money to install it and convince the Island’s Trust. Maybe Jeff will go for the idea.

Anyway. I stumbled across an article the other day. The clip below is from a New York Times from 1888.


My first thought? I want to walk to school!!! To other kids, walking to school is the easy, trivial way. Taking a boat is a novelty for them. For my school, suggesting that we walk to school is insane. But a one point it might’ve been possible. It makes you think.


My Source:


April 28th: Journal Entry #3

The ticket booth has become more than just printing out tickets and giving them out. I’ve noticed many barriers faced when working in customer service. One major barrier is language, it’s very hard to explain what vessel people need to be on and when to board if you only speak English. There is one coworker of mine who speaks both English and Spanish but it can still be hard when someone speaks French or Mandarin for example. When I’m faced with this task I tend to give them their tickets and explain to them where they need to be as best as I can with my hands. If all else fails, I walk them to their vessel so that they can board and enjoy their cruise.

May 5th: Journal Entry #4

We recently had a Spring Boat Show, where people boarded our vessels for a dinner cruise which was followed by food and numerous activities for the guests. The ticket booth was very busy because we had three vessels going out around the same time. We had to juggle giving tickets out to guests, telling our customers where they are boarding, and differentiating who was there for the boat show or for a regular dinner. We were able to manage all of this with everyone’s help and patience.

My First Week on the Internship

April 7th: Journal Entry #1

        As we enter the work field in a maritime based internship we’re put into the real world. Everyone is excited to be given an opportunity to learn new skills or better those we already possess. I was assigned to work in the Entertainment Cruises ticket booth which both me and my peers are a little nervous. We’re learning skills in customer service which is something I personally have very little experience in. Learning this new skill is something I am looking forward to doing.

April 21st: Journal Entry #2

             As we entered out training we have discussed numerous roles we will be playing within our internship. We will being learning the computer program, how to print and give out tickets, how to make phone calls, and other skills that come with the internship. My biggest struggle so far is learning the reservation system. My solution for this is writing step by step notes. Hopefully as I become more familiar with the program, I will better understand how to make reservations.

Waterfront Alliance Internship

I’ve been interning with Waterfront Alliance for the past month. Their main goal is to open up the waterfront to people all over New York City. My specific project is writing and organizing middle school field trips in Northern Manhattan. There are a lot of different parts of the work: writing the lesson plan, choosing the sites, researching equipment, etc. I’ve included some of the journal entries I’ve written for my internship:


Maritime Tattoo Taboos

Devon Longo, Professional Diving Alumnus (Graduated 2016)

The first tattooed Europeans were probably sailors. Sailors visited the most places, learning and picking up parts of different cultures on their voyages. Though, by now, tattooing is a popular custom all over the world, Harbor School students still have a unique relationship with tattoos. I couldn’t count the number of students and alumni who have anchors, compasses and other maritime symbols on their body. While random people with artsy designs may easily get away with tattooing an anchor on them, Harbor School holds you to a higher standard.

This is where it gets interesting… Sailors would earn most of their tattoos. They were the marks of having passed a milestone, like a stamp on your passport. If you have an anchor but haven’t crossed the Atlantic (on a boat, obviously), you’ll get a stern talking to from multiple students, faculty, and other members of the maritime community. If you have a swallow, you must have travelled 5,000 nautical miles, which is about one fourth of the way around the world. If you’re thinking of getting a turtle or Poseidon tattooed without having crossed the equator or a dragon without having served in China, you should reconsider. Getting a tattoo is about your identity, what you have gone through. A harpoon identifies you as a worker in the fishing crew. Crossed anchors identifies you as a boatswain mate. If you see someone with a rope around their wrist, they’ve been a deckhand. These are medals, awarded to those who deserve them.

Other tattoos were used as a way to remember or connect you to your past. A swallow with a dagger through it symbolizes a fallen comrade. A pig and a rooster, tattooed on your feet, ankles or knees, would tell people that you’ve been in a shipwreck but survived. Pigs and roosters were often stored on deck in crates that would float in a shipwreck, so became a survival symbol. The phrase “Pig on the knee, safety at sea. A cock on the right, never lose a fight.” comes from that. Other sailors would tattoo women from home as pin-up girls or mermaids to remember them. In 1909, the Navy decided their applicants couldn’t have obscene tattoos. This was when the tattoo cover-up industry really took off.


Paul, Vessel Operations Alumnus (Graduated 2014)

Other interesting facts:

  • The word tattoo means “to mark” in Tahitian
  • By the early 1800s, 90% of sailors had tattoos
  • A golden dragon represented crossing the Prime Meridian
  • A fully rigged ship symbolized having sailed around Cape Horn
  • “HOLD FAST” was often tattooed on sailors’ knuckles for luck while aloft


Paul, Vessel Operations Alumnus (Graduated 2014)

IMG_0479Casey, Vessel Ops Senior (Graduating 2017)

Spirit Cruises Internship


Throughout my three years in the vessel operations program, I’ve had the opportunity to explore many jobs and internships within the industry. Our class has visited Water Taxi, South Street Seaport, and Hornblower. This year, the senior class is required to take on an internship within the maritime field. My internship will be with Entertainment Cruises. Every Monday and Wednesday I now take the 1:30 ferry off the island and go down to Chelsea Piers. I will be working in the food and beverage department serving guests while they are aboard for the dinner and lunch cruises. While I won’t be throwing lines or steering, this job is just as important and maritime related as any other student’s internship. I look forward to gaining more experience in this field and working with a new team of people.

Things are looking up!


I know most of us seniors are getting pretty bummed out about leaving soon. We only have three months left and then we are out! However the good thing about this time of year is that it’s internship season!! I am excited because my classmate Dianny and I are in contact with the South Street Seaport Museum to start an internship in development. That means we would be planning out events, creating grants, inputting volunteer data and much more. Right now everything is still in discussion, but I will keep you all updated as my internship and senior experience continues!

My New DOT Internship

Day 1: DOT Staten Island Ferry
Started the day meeting with John Garvey, the director of Ferry Operations. He introduced me and Thomas Brynes, the DOT intern from the MST program, to the group of people that he works with. He gave a quick explanation about Staten Island Ferry operations.
The Staten Island Ferry carries over 21 million passengers annually on a 5.2-mile run that takes approximately 30 minutes each way. Service is provided 24 hours a day, every day. Each day approximately five boats transport about 66,000 passengers a day during 104 boat trips using the 9 boats that are currently active.

Dedication Is Key

I am a soon to be graduate of the New York Harbor School. Through these past 3 years in the vessel operations program, I’ve learned that it is difficult to keep track of your responsibilities. I’ve become attached to participating in community service and find myself detaching from my CTE.

However, that’s not to say I haven’t learned valuable lessons in this class. I remember last year, a man from Maine Maritime visited and told us to not waste any time. If we want to go into the maritime field, then go. If we want to go on and study another profession, then go. Decide and pursue. Though I no longer see myself working in the maritime field, I can’t completely give up on it since my school is maritime based. I prioritized on what I feel is going to help me succeed in my high school career. At times I’ve found myself playing tug of war with the staff on what was right and what was wrong. Vessel Ops have taught me a great lesson on how to prioritize wisely and to not give up on things so easily.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll end up using the knots we learned or the charting skills in my day to day life.

Nautical Tattoos


Turning 18 is a really big thing for me because it enabled me to become a legal adult . Becoming a legal adult means that I can now get a tattoo, and which I did. I have been planning this tattoo for years as it has been vessel ops/sailing team inspired. The fisrt time I stepped foot in a sailboat, I knew that I wanted to keep sailing my entire life.

So I got a tattoo of an old map of one of the rivers of New York Harbor.