From Waterfront Club

Fishers Island Community


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.


A Helping Hand


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.


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.

A Breath of Clean Air at Fisher’s Island

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.


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.

Citywide Ferry Service

Last Monday, when we had no school, all the vessel ops students were invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Citywide Ferry Service. You might be wondering what Citywide Ferry Service is; it is a new ferry service that will provide a new mode of transportation for New Yorkers starting the Summer of 2017. The cost for riding the Ferry will be the same as a metro card swipe. It’ll open up our waterfront for anyone in the city, simultaneously raising awareness for the environment.

The New York Harbor School was invited to attend the ceremony. Students from the sophomore, junior, and senior years came to this important ceremony. Many Harbor alumni who are still involved in the waterfront attended as well. By this time next year, we will have harbor kids in internships on those ferries.


Comparing Maintenance Barge to our Maintenance Shop


As we work with so many different tools, supplies, and parts, our shop can grow noticeably cluttered and messy. This disorganization is very problematic for people in search for certain equipment. We regularly dedicate maintenance days at Waterfront Club for cleaning and organizing. However, staff and active students are always on the look for new ideas to improve our system. As a way to brainstorm, we went to the Seaport. Malcolm took us on board their maintenance barge and gave us a tour, which allowed us to find ideas and take pictures to apply back at home on Governors Island at the Mast Center. The comparison of the shops allowed us to work off ideas and think of new set-ups that would allow us to be better organized.


Work Based Learning Internship Time Sheet

After being onboarded as a Vessel Ops WBL intern, you’ll have to start filling out time sheets for the times you work. You might have some questions about some of the information you have to write on the form (i.e. if  the school or the harbor foundation is the host organization, if Aaron or Luis is your supervisor, etc.) This should help:

Internship Time Sheet Page 1

If you are interning for a different company as a WBL intern, the information above will not apply, BUT you will still be using this form. This paperwork is required for you to get credit, EVEN if the company you are working for has given you other documents to fill out.


The second page is more self-explanatory, simply asking us to write a couple sentences about our work each week. The perimeters of these journal entries are pretty easy to navigate. Once you get to senior year, you should be journaling about every time you go to your internship.

Internship Time Sheet Page 2

If you need blank time sheets, print them out from here:

Good Luck!