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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New York Boat Show 2017

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This January, I attended the 2017 New York Boat Show at Jacob Javits Center along with other Harbor School students and staff. At the show I saw a lot of really attractive vessels such as yachts, personal water crafts, and party boats. There was even a simulator similar to the one in the MAST Center, except it was just one screen, a joystick, and a wheel. It was pretty neat to practice speed and docking a boat, but also was more of a video game with graphics at the same time.

Out of all these things at the show, what stood out to me the most was the panel of veterans and entrepreneurs in the maritime industry across the country. They each told their story in which led to their success in the industry, and answered many questions, giving useful advice to us students.

This stood out to me the most because of the many different generations of people present at the discussion. There were the teenage students (us), the adult teachers watching, and the presenters varied from a young 35 year old tug boat company owner from Staten Island, to a man more then double his age who’s been working as a mechanic and engineer since the early 1970s. I love that no matter how much time has past, new faces of new upcoming generations still will have similar interests and could even develop the known basics into bigger ideas which could forever change the maritime industry all around the world.

Buying a Boat

Boat-for-saleBuying a boat as a young man in New York is difficult. Boat prices are insane in the city. The solution to that is going to other places. I started to look for boats outside of the city. Places such as Baltimore, Connecticut, Long Island and even as far as Virginia. The next problem that is getting the boat out here to the city. My mother, Terence, and I have already started to plan a road trip out to different places. Terence is another student from New York Harbor School who is a part of the process of getting a boat. The reason we are getting a boat is so we can work on it and learn as much as we can about boats on our own. Another reason is that not many 17 year old juniors in high school can say they bought an old boat and fixed it up. A lot of grown people can’t even say that. But the hardest part about buying a boat is finding a place to PUT the boat for a reasonable price with electricity, water systems, sewage disposal, etc. But for now I am still in the looking process. Wish me luck!!!

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.

MOORING

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A group of 4 to do the job

predict the distance

don’t put the helm in a state of confusion

such actions can mess everything up!

once you see the mooring approach

be ready with the hook

make sure to have your spotter by your side

Get the line and place it on the hook

make it off and yell

LINE MADE!

USS Enterprise; The Most Decorated US Ship of World War II (A Short History)

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(An Aerial view of Enterprise, 1945)

USS Enterprise – nicknamed the “Big E,” “Lucky E,” “The Grey Ghost”- is a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier launched in 1936. She was laid down July 16 1934 and launched on October 3 1936. She served in World War II gaining 20 battle stars, the most of any US ship during the war.

USS Enterprise 1939)

Enterprise was at sea the day of Pearl Harbor and received a radio messages reporting the port was under attack. She sent up her fighters – Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters – and put into Pearl Harbor for fuel and supplies. Her screening fighters were attacked by anti-aircraft defenses, but a pilot radioed in saying the planes were American and the attacks ceased. Three days later, Enterprise aircraft sank Japanese submarine I-70

Enterprise participated in the battle of Midway when American code breakers broke Japanese code for an attack on a airfield on Midway island. American carrier sent squadrons of torpedo and dive bombers to attack a fleet of Japanese ships, including four aircraft carriers. The Japanese task force was up against a small fleet of two American carriers and a few destroyers, cruisers and battleships. However, the Americans struck first. Torpedo bombers from the Enterprise reached the Japanese task force but scored no hits. Dive bombers from the Enterprise, USS Yorktown (Enterprise’s lead ship) struck next. The bombers scored hit leaving three of the four carrier ships ablaze. Within an hour of the battle, the only battle ready Japanese carrier Hiryu was left alone. Hiryu launched her planes and crippled the Yorktown, which was eventually sunk by a Japanese submarine while in tow. The Americans suffered the loss of USS Yorktown and 113 planes but the Japanese lost was far heavier. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) lost four aircraft carriers, one cruiser and 272 aircraft.

Enterprise went on to gain 20 battle stars, and at one point, the only battle ready US carrier.

USS Enterprise vs The Imperial Japanese Navy

History:

Class and Type of Ship: Yorktown-class Aircraft carrier

Commissioned: May 12, 1938

Decommissioned: February 17, 1947

Characteristics:

Displacement: 19,800 tons (Standard), 32,060 (Full load)

Length: 824 feet 9 inches, 827 feet 5 inches (1942)

Beam: 109 feet 6 inches

Horsepower: 120,000

Speed: 32.5 knots

Range: 12,500 nautical miles at 15 knots

Crew: 2,217 offices and enlisted

Picking up a life raft

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This photo is from the day we had to deflate the life raft that the juniors inflated for practice. The experience of deflating was very fun and challenging in some aspects. We had to rearrange the raft on the boat to where we were able to open up the depression valve but we had to keep rearrangeing the raft till we had the big valve and we’re able to completely deflate the raft. After we were done deflating it we had to roll it up and then put it on the dry dock.

The Pros of a CTE School

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Being a student at a high school that provides Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs has honestly been amazing so far. I’ve been in traditional school settings my whole life and have always enjoyed learning but much of what we learn in the curriculum is entirely useless.

For example Biology, it’s not that I don’t like science but honestly… when are we going to need to know about plant species in the desert.

See in a CTE School we learn practical skills that actually apply to our future careers. Not only that, but in a school like Harbor School students are given more responsibility and are treated as adults so we are taught to be accountable. Most schools belittle their students. We are respected by the adults if we deserve it.

Staten Island Ferry Goes Missing?

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Warning: This is just a story that the artist of this memorial came up with. He came up with this story, so more tourists come visit the statue and to also inspire mystery into the harbor. I still think it would be pretty cool if was real.

On November 22nd, 1963, the Staten Island Ferry went missing. It happened late at night on its way to the Whitehall Station in Manhattan. No one really knows what happened though. Some eye witness accounts say they saw giant tentacles on the side of the ship that night. Only pieces of the ship were found. These pieces had suction spots on it. The picture above shows a memorial to the ferry and all the people.