From Waterfront Club

Trip to Mystic Seaport

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.

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Meeting a Member of the Coast Guard

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The Waterfront Club had the honor of being invited to the Heroes of the Harbor event at Chelsea Piers, Tuesday night. This event is very exciting for the New York Harbor School because we are the only high school students in attendance. While at the event, several of my peers and I got the chance to speak with a man named Steve who has been enlisted in the Coast Guard for 5 years. As some of my past blog post have shown, I plan to pursue a career in the United States Coast Guard. Hearing about the course that Steve has taken to be where he is today intrigued me. Steve attended a 4-year college in Wisconsin before enlisting in the Coast Guard. He is currently part of the Public Relations Division and he seems pretty satisfied with his job. Steve told us that their is only about 15 Public Relations positions and he had to wait for someone to give up their position in order for him to receive his. He told us that his job was to go to events around the Tribeca area to take pictures and essentially deal with the media aspect of the events. Steve also informed us that enlisted personal can not become a captain in the Coast Guard unless they move up to an officer position. Talking to a member of the Coast Guard was helpful and expanded my knowledge of my future career path.

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Empire State

AugusIMG_9478t 11 2017 was the return of SUNY Maritime training ship Empire State. The Empire State went on its annual summer voyage with hundreds of students to receive training. August 11 was also one of the days I came for my internship at the college water front building. Terence and I walked inside the campus and were so surprised. There were so many parents ready to sunrise their child and give them a warm welcome back. Terence and I proceeded inside the water front building. Rob the waterfront director at SUNY maritime immediately offered us breakfast and told us what the plan for today was. On the agenda it was to refuel all the small boats and then go check out the sail boats and make sure they are still on the moorings and not floating away. In addition to that we were told that we would be catching the lines for Empire State.

 

After we finished our breakfast we did what rob told us to do. As we were coming back in from checking on the sailboats we got a radio call from Rob telling us to come back in immediately come in. Our initial Thoughts were asking each other if we did anything wrong. Webbing thought we did everything fine. We docked the boat and ran up stairs to Rob. Rob informed us that we will be each be taking our own boat with passengers on it to go check out Empire State. Rob told Terence to grab one of the Boston whalers and he told me to grab the red safety boat. We went down stairs and prepared to depart. Rob came down with the passengers who were all parents of students on the training ship. But something was wrong. Rob did not have his personal flotation device on. He told us that he wasn’t coming and this was all up to us. I dropped my lines, Rob gave us a kick off the dock and we were off. We did a quick circle around the ship, took some pictures for about 15 minutes, and we headed back in.

 

The next part of the day was the best part; catching the ships lines. In order to catch the ships line we needed to have the proper equipment. We needed helmets and gloves. We were told where all the lines would be placed. A couple minutes went by and the time has finally come. The captain on the radio told us our commands and we were ready. They sent us the stern line by throwing a monkey’s fist which we had to pull in to get the eye of the line on the cleat. “Stern line on” was what the guy said on the radio and our job was done.

 

After the ship tied up we greeted all of the students coming out. One of the students being a Harbor school alumni, Malachi. We gave him a quick round of applause, a handshake, and he left. That was such a great day at SUNYharbor grad Maritime.

The Stepping Stone

Where do I start?

Freshman year: I started waterfront , that was the best choice I have ever made in my life so far. We worked on the boats at that time but other times we went on class trips; one trip was to Red hook, Brooklyn. That is where Water Taxi’s Homeport is; that day we were given a chance to go on their small and large boats as well as the Shark boat.

Sophomore year: A select few got a chance to go on one of the Water Taxi boats to talk to the captain, Juana Garcia. That alone was a big opportunity considering she is the first female captain at Water Taxi so I had many questions. After everybody left I was still their talking to Juana and the deckhands, I started to question what I wanted to do in future.

Junior year: As a intern at waterfront, my connections branched out in a lot of different directions. I found myself being involved with Water Taxi more often. The fact that I knew a lot of people that worked there helped tremendously. I knew then that Water Taxi was the perfect place for a stepping stone into the Maritime Industry.

Senior year: Looking back at it now , its mind boggling that I came this far. The summer of  becoming a senior, I started actually working for Water Taxi. The vibe there is so family like . They make me feel included with everything and now that I’m checked off, I get to put my own mark on Water Taxi, and hopefully help inspire a young teenager just like I was .

 

 

Freshman Year

( picture to the right ) first time at taxi

 

Senior Year

(pictures below)

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Fishers Island Community

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This would be my second year going to fishers island. At first I thought the trip was going to be boring. I figured I’d already done everything there was to do.

To start off we got all our phones taken away as soon as we got on the bus. At that moment I thought this trip was going to be horrible and a long weekend.

It was still a long weekend but it turned out to be incredible. Without phones, we were allowed to grow together and get to know each other. We were forced to talk to each other. At first it was awkward because some of the students I didn’t know. But that quickly changed. We started to talk to each other and play around with each other and just having great vibes.

On top of meeting and making new friends I got in a lot of good boat handling training. I had practice doing tight turns in place and learned valuable docking skills that I will never forget. This best part of trip was the bonfire. Hanging out with my old friends as well my new friends. These are high school memories I will never forget.

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A Helping Hand

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I was getting picked up at the South Street Seaport at 10:15. Virginia was supposed to be here by ten but was late–not surprising. Some juniors and I volunteered to help paint and clean Indy 7 on a Saturday.

It was the start of warmer weather. Winter was over and Indy was in desperate need for a new coat of paint. She’s been out all winter and working hard, getting messy as a training vessel for harbor school students. A few days before this Saturday, Indy was sanded down by tenth graders during our class period. The other classes finished the job as one period isn’t long enough to sand an entire boat.

Once the boat was smooth and sanded we could start the painting process. That Saturday myself and another junior went to Governors Island early in the morning to paint. At first we used paint thinner just to take the dirt off to make Indy smoother for the paint. Using that paint thinner was very tedious work and took the whole morning.

Then on to the actual painting, it was a very hot day so painting wasn’t so much fun, however the after look of the boat made us all really proud of the work we did. Indy 7 looked so good. She defiantly deserved a good paint job and I felt like I did it justice.

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.

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

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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.

A Breath of Clean Air at Fisher’s Island

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City air tastes different from rural country air. There is a a certain heaviness that comes with city air. Maybe it’s the cloud of pollution that lingers or maybe it’s due to the lack of vegetation. The water is the same way. Here in the city it’s green, sometimes yellow and gross. The water at Fisher’s Island was crisp and salty. There was no undercurrent of the rotting, toxic waste smell that the harbor maintains.

As we revved through the the calm water towards the oyster farm I couldn’t help feeling more awake then I’ve ever felt before. This was truly an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge. We practiced pivot turns––backing up and maneuvering in tight spaces.

We docked, aware of what the current and wind were doing as we approached at a 45 degree angle, learning that it’s just as important to watch the scuba divers in the water as it is to secure the boat. Nothing was rushed and every step was thought through until the plan was clear as the water was when I reached down and grazed my hand on it’s surface. The oyster cages were even visible underwater! It is a place I hope to see again.

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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.

Drop Offs


Just recently a few of my classmates and I went out to Waterfront after school. Most of the time we work on small stuff around and Luis will choose a crew to work on one of the vessels to get the job done. On this day, I was in that crew. This was really exciting. It was the first time I got to go out this spring. And so the job began. We were going to be dropping people and stuff off for the BOP Fundraiser. The loading process went off without a hitch as well as the departure from the MAST center, but while underway we stumbled across some bumpers the school had lost in a storm a little while ago. So Luis brought us on a detour just a few hundred feet off and we had a flawless recovery on the bumpers. As Luis gilded past them we had set jobs. We had the bumpers on board without any hassle. After this we had been just a little bit away from the pier where we would drop off everyone. As we got closer though I realized that the people getting off were gonna have to do a bit of a climb because pier was much higher then the side of the boat. It was a sight to see and I was just glad I did not have to climb off. In the end everyone was safe and I felt that I had done well and was ready for being a part of future crews.