Category Archives: Blog
NYPD cars, news trucks, and choppers converged on Liberty State Park this week to track down an escapee. But this was no ordinary escaped convict. This was an escaped orphan.
Yes, a very famous orphan: Annie.
It’s not clear what scene they’re filming in the park, but actors Dorian Missick and Tracie Thoms appear to be driving little orphan Quvenzhane Wallis somewhere. Check out the rig set up on the roof of the old station wagon. It allows someone to actually drive the vehicle while lighting and camera gear, mounted to the hood and windshield, capture the action.
The crew had two choppers — A Bell 429 to actually appear in the movie, and an AStar 350 operated by Wings Air Helicopters. The latter was outfitted with a Pictorvision gyro-stabilized camera system to shoot everything happening on the ground.
Maybe we’ll see some of our boats in the background when the movie comes out next year — on Christmas Day 2014.
As part of a UK film production, the crew of New York Media Boat spent all night working both boats on the East River. ”ROLL SOUND, ROLL PICTURE” .. “ROLLING” .. “ACTION!”
While Aperture served as a camera platform hosting Cinematographer Till Neumann and team, Searider is the on-screen boat. In the picture below, Till films the action from the bow, with a RED camera. In this scene, the two actors had just stolen the boat and are joyriding in front of the Manhattan skyline.
The goal of the evening was to shoot three scenes for the trailer of An Evening with Donald Kempinski, written and directed by Timothy Murray of Little Fella Films. It’s a Staten Island Ferry captain’s tale of acceptance and reconciliation. “CUT! TAKE IT FROM THE TOP” calls Tim over the radio and we reposition the boats for Scene 13, Take 2.
– Check back for the release of the trailer in early 2014 –
Lots happening on the Hudson during this incredible extended summer — including stunning, contrasting examples of power.
On a recent photo excursion, we spotted the tail section of a submarine, possibly on its way to the NAVY shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. Will it be a ballistic missile sub, or an attack sub? Check out this piece from Undersea Warfare on how they put one of these together.
A little less intimidating — but no less exciting — was a visit from the BayCycle Project. Founder Judah Schiller straps two pontoons to his bike, which powers a propeller and pushes him across the water. In late September, he became the first person to bike across the San Francisco Bay, and last week, the first to pedal across the Hudson — without the help of a bridge, of course.
Nearly all U.S. submarines are nuclear powered. Schiller runs on elbow (knee?) grease. Quite the contrast of high-tech versus low-tech power.
A few years back, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist starred in an episode of MSG’s The Game 365, giving host Fran Healy a tour of his native Sweden. Much of the second half of the interview was filmed on a yacht, cruising the waters outside of Gothenburg. Lundqvist said he didn’t own a boat there, but like any good Scandinavian, he had a deep love for the fjords and had accumulated plenty of sea time on friends’ vessels.
So, then, what better follow-up than some seafaring on the Hudson River? On Tuesday, Healy and Lundqvist boarded the 43-foot Beneteau Gemini at 79th Street Boat Basin to continue their conversation for another episode of the show. New York Media Boat hosted two MSG cameramen charged with getting wide shots of Healy and Lundqvist soaking up the sun and salt. (Since our RIB Aperture wasn’t available that day, we owe many thanks to Halcyon Sailing for loaning out Protector.)
One of the best-dressed and most seen athletes in New York, Lundqvist fit right in on a luxury yacht. His white button-down (top button unbuttoned, of course) tucked into his dark denim jeans with the help of a massive belt buckle emblazoned with the letter H. A dive watch and his classic stubbled face made it even easier to blend in as a sailor.
The shoot took about two hours, but few of the details from the interview made their way across the water.When the boats finally docked, everyone had a few minutes of downtime and conversations started.
The Swede was surprised to hear another Scandinavian name when he was introduced to Bjoern. He said he knew Flensburg, the northern German town on a fjord of the Baltic Sea where Bjoern grew up. The conversation was quick but we managed to snap a photo before Lundqvist was ushered off to the next event.
The episode is set to air at the beginning of the regular season in October.
NEW YORK, July 25th — New York Media Boat is at the start of the 2013 Around Long Island Regatta. Strong wind and rough seas make for exiting conditions as 74 boats sail across the line passing the committee boat just north of Ambrose Light.
The non-spinaker boats start first, followed by the ones with kites, then the double handed group, multihulls, and finally the IRC fleet — all heading east on this first offshore leg towards Montauk Point.
We were talking logistics with the Solar Impulse team at Surf City late Friday night when Bjoern received a Facebook message from friends at Liberty Landing Marina: “Ran aground. Can you tow a sailboat?”
We apologized to Jean and his cameraman and wished them luck with their 24-hour job ahead. (Solar Impulse took off from Washington D.C. at 5 am to complete the final leg of its record-breaking, solar-powered flight across the U.S.. which began in May in San Francisco. They were allowed a 2 am time slot to land at JFK airport – some 21 hours later. You can catch their NYC flyby between 9:30 and 11 pm tonight, and the entire voyage is being webcast live on the Google homepage.)
The sailboat had run aground in a deceptively shallow spot off of Weehawken – an area that Liberty Landing Dockmaster Michelle Purinton knew well. She’d freed many boats in that area during her tenure as an instructor at Offshore Sailing School. Even though it was 11 pm, Michelle hopped aboard NY Media Boat to lend a hand and technical expertise – as did Pier 25 Dockmaster George Bennett.
Within 20 minutes, our crew arrived on the scene, just as the NYPD and FDNY boats were pulling up. The ungrounding plan had been formed en route: hook our tow line to the sailboat’s main halyard so we could heel it over, freeing its keel from the Hudson muck and allowing the vessel to push forward.
The boat was stuck in about three feet of water and the outgoing tide was quickly streaming downriver, so the FDNY boat transferred our tow line across the shallows. They also took the sailboat’s bowline to give some extra forward momentum. The NYPD’s intense searchlight lit up the scene, making the whole procedure vastly easier.
Once the tow line was raised to the top of the boat’s 63-foot mast and her passengers were all perched on her port side, Bjoern put NY Media Boat in reverse and pulled the vessel into a steep heel.
You can see the outcome in the quick video below:
As the sun came over Cape Lizard in England this morning, Marc Guillemot brought the IMOCA60 Safran across the finish line 8 days, 5 hours, and 20 minutes after leaving Ambrose Light in New York — usurping the record Alex Thomson set with Hugo Boss last summer.
Two of the top IMOCA60 racers will battle it out in the North Atlantic in an attempt to seize the transatlantic monohull single-handed world record.
Zbigniew “Gutek” Gutkowski and Marc Guillemot will push Energa and Safran, respectively, to break Alex Thomson’s 8-day, 22-hour, 8-minute sprint from New York to Cape Lizard, set last summer in preparation for the 2012 Vendee Globe.
This afternoon, Gutkowski and Guillemot set out for the starting line at Ambrose Light in four-foot seas and about 15 knots of wind. Both sailors are banking on a low pressure system promising at least 20 knots of wind, with gusts up to 32.
Estimated start time is about 3 a.m. — until then, perhaps a scrimmage IMOCA60 Match Race at Ambrose.
UPDATE: Safran crossed the start line at 19:19 ET, Energa moments later at 19:31 ET.
“Gutek,” he says, and for a moment you think perhaps one of the Klitschko brothers has commandeered a 60-foot sailboat. Gutkowski is more boxer than sailor, with a wide frame that towers several inches beyond six feet. Stuffed into big red gloves, those hands could pack quite the punch.
But they’re usually busy with ropes or navigation software, at the helm or fixing yet another repair. They’ve been primed by years of sailing on the rough waters of the Baltic Sea. Blustery Polish winters were no barrier to getting out on the ocean; nor were the scarce resources of communism. “You didn’t have the best gear,” he says, remembering how cold his hands would get after a wintry day at sea. “Then when you go inside, they burn.”
Still, those hands are as agile and precise as a surgeon’s. On one leg of the 2011 Velux Five Oceans Race, Gutkowski’s wind generator sliced a gash in his forehead. “Blood everywhere,” he says, showing me a picture of the wound on his iPad. When I ask about medical attention, he makes a whirling motion over his forehead: “I sew it up.”
Now Gutkowski is trying his hand at the solo transatlantic monohull record – currently held by Alex Thomson — with his IMOCA Open 60 Energa. And he’s attempting it with one of Thomson’s former boats: Energa was re-fashioned from the ‘black and white’ Hugo Boss.
Gutkowski is from Gdansk, one of the most important shipbuilding centers in Poland during its heyday, providing vessels for Eastern Europe and some Soviet countries. The city is famous for its role in the Polish uprising: In the 1980s, Lech Walesa led tens of thousands of shipyard workers in strikes that are credited with ultimately leading to the fall of communism in the country.
When Gutkowski was growing up, membership in the local sailing club was reserved for shipyard workers, so he could only press his nose up to the glass — until his geography teacher, who was a member of the club, brought Gutkowski and some other students there for geography club trips.
Gutkowski was 10 at the time and took to the sport instantly. His talent was eventually recognized by a member of the sailing club and he was plucked to train with local competitive teams. By age 14, he was sailing with the Polish national team.
“Finally,” he says, “we have good equipment for sailing.”
But sailing the Baltic was still a challenge. Gutkowski recalls spring days spent waiting for large ships to cut a path through icebergs so he could sail.
“It is difficult and tough area to learn,” he says. “But it’s really good. If you can sail there, after that you can sail everywhere” – even in long offshore ocean races: which he started to do in 2000 in The Race, a non-stop round-the-world aboard the catamaran Warta-Polpharma.
His next step was a 2004 round-the-world speed record on an Open60, then a single-handed try in the 2005 Nokia Oops Cup aboard the ORMA 60 Bonduelle. After one other offshore event in 2007, Gutkowski set his sights on the Velux Five Oceans.
The prep time paid off because he took second place in that race in 2011 with the IMOCA60 Operon. He fought hard in the multi-leg race, suffering not only the forehead gash, but also two cracked ribs. A doctor in Brazil, where he stopped to recuperate for a mere 10 days, told him he was lucky to not have punctured a lung.
After the Velux, Gutkowski and his entourage, which includes the sailor Maciej “Swistak” Marczewski, convinced Energa — an energy company headquartered in Gdansk with a bent for alternative power — to sponsor a new IMOCA60. This time Gutkowski purchased an old boat off Alex Thomson, the ‘black and white’ Hugo Boss made famous by Thomson’s tailored-suit-soaking keel dive.
Gutkowski’s next plan: The 2012 Vendee Globe.
But like many others, Energa dropped out of the race after only 11 days. The trouble: autopilot malfunction.
Now Energa’s objective is to reclaim a record from her former owner. Gutkowski is hoping to smash Thomson’s 8-day, 22-hour, 8-minute record, which was set in the summer of 2012 as preparation for the Vendee Globe; albeit with a newer incarnation of Hugo Boss.
In purple, green, yellow, and orange, Energa leaves hardly a trace of the monochrome Hugo Boss, except for her reverse navigation station. And Thomson surely didn’t dine on the vacuum-sealed, dried Slavic specialties onboard: beef stroganoff, pork loin in dill sauce.
Gutkowski may encounter other traces of the Baltic Sea on his journey to Cape Lizard: icebergs are still in season in north Atlantic, and it’s unlikely he’ll have a cargo ship to clear them from his path. Fog and whales are two other tough opponents. But that’s no matter for Gutkowski. He’ll fend them off with a combination punch.
Check out this video interview with Gutek and our on-board tour of Energa:
NEW YORK, June 18, 2013 — I got to sail a portion of the Gulf Stream aboard VO70 ‘Maserati’ from Charleston, SC to New York last winter. We took advantage of it’s 5 mile per hour northward flow and mild temperatures. Entering the stream, foulies and boots were quickly exchanged for t-shirts and flip flops.
The Gulf Stream gyres in the North Atlantic, transporting warm nutrient rich water from the tropics along the East Coast of the U.S. towards Europe. Eventually the water cools, becomes denser, sinks and starts flowing south as part of the North Atlantic Deep Water before resurfacing off Florida.
Some speculate that without the warm influence of the Gulf Stream North America and Europe would look more like Alaska – snowy tundras and vast ice fields.
Scientist from the University of Geneva are now taking a closer look at this 60 mile wide current that extends as far as 4000ft deep.
Climatologist Martin Beniston leads the DEEPWATER EXPEDITION joining the crew of the swiss catamaran ‘MS Turanor Planet Solar’ — the largest solar powered ship in the world — on her voyage from Miami to Bergen, Norway with stops in New York, Boston, St-John’s and Reykjavik.
Beniston deems the 82ft long vessel a suitable platform for scientific sampling. No gasoline or diesel are used for propulsion and voyages are made with zero CO2 emission, eliminating potential factors of data pollution. He and his team are studying the chemical and physical composition of water masses and aerosols.
New York Media Boat spoke with Deepwater Expedition team member Dr. Bastiaan Ibelings, a professor in microbial ecology at the University of Geneva who explains the importance of phytoplankton for our oceans and climate.
The 82 foot long ‘MS Turanor PlanetSolar’ is part of a Swiss initiative to demonstrate how innovative technology can harvest renewable energy and allow clean travel. 5,500 square feet of photovoltaic cells supply power for the twin 60kW electric motors moving her averaging 5 knots.
Five World Records have been established by ‘MS Turanro PlanetSolar’ including ‘first earth circumnavigation by solar-powered boat’ and ‘fastest transatlantic crossing completely under solar power’ in 26 days. Note: French sailer Francis Joyon crossed the North Atlantic in just over 5 days powered by wind earlier this week.
Be sure to stop by the boat currently docked at North Cove Marina before she leaves on Thursday for Boston.
UPDATE 6/20/13 – PHOTO GALLERY: ’MS Turanor PlanetSolar’ departs NY, sailing past Lower Manhattan, The Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge