Category Archives: Blog

Finding Ourselves in Politico

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It’s always fun to see yourself through someone else’s eyes — especially those of a well-known New York media reporter. Joe Pompeo at Capital New York (it’s the NY “bureau” of Politico) held me up to a giant mental mirror and for a second I almost didn’t recognize the reflection.

Who is this girl that lives in a “beachy two bedroom” and gets personally ferried across the Hudson to her job every morning by the Captain of New York Media Boat? Sounds spoiled. I don’t think we’d get on well.

Oh, wait … that’s … me.

Anyway, I take up a mere two lines in the piece. The story — rightly so — focuses on Bjoern’s ground-up construction of a niche media business. Pompeo nails every detail, from Bjoern’s early sailing experience and his training in journalism and marine science to a foray into yacht photography that grew into welcoming terrestrial and waterborne customers aboard.

Pompeo’s writing flows like a rising Hudson tide, and he captures Bjoern’s passion for his work, summed up in an awesome kicker: “This is pretty fantastic.”

I have to agree.

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Race Weeks: Busy Months in New York Harbor

May and June have been jam packed will all kinds of boats and regattas.

First to show her sails after a long winter was the Super-Maxi luxury yacht Leopard 3. She can entertain 20 guests, reach speeds of 30+ knots under sail, and was docked at North Cove Marina.

The Class 40 Atlantic Cup boats completed Leg 1 with a spectacular slow finish, as the wind died and the tide switched (the yellowbrick tracker screenshot shows a trying last mile). They also docked at North Cove Marina and restarted a few days later on Leg 2, course set for Newport.

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The $6 million French MOD70 trimaran ‘Virbac-Paprec’ stayed at Liberty Landing Marina to host corporate sponsor sails around Manhattan.  New York Media Boat was the official photographer and we provided all transfers for their clients. The MOD70 got a mention in Sailing Anarchy when she was struck by a careless transient captain exiting Morris Canal. ‘Virbac-Paprec’ departed New York on June 1st for Kiel, Germany.

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Fleet Week 2014 brought a couple of NAVY ships to town, most notably the USS Cole (DDG-67), which unfortunately didn’t make it up the bay to Manhattan and instead docked at Sullivans Piers on Staten Island. It was interesting to watch a Willard Marine 7 meter RHIB — the same craft we use here at New York Media Boat — being lowered off the USS Oak Hill (LSD-51).

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North Cove Marina hosted the first OCEAN MASTERS regatta. All five IMOCA’s crossed the start line, as the canon was fired at 12:10 EST on June 1st. The Hungarian team retired within minutes and returned to port to refit their boat. They couldn’t do a 24hr turn-around after a very delayed arrival to New York.  The 60 foot boats  compete in this new dual handed race as part of the World Championship Series. It was great seeing Ryan Breymaier on (Hugo Boss) and Mark Guillemot (Safran Sailing Team) again. SAIL FAST!

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Elliott Dale and Chris ‘Darby’ Walters launched their 19 foot long carbon/kevlar foam composite boat at Liberty Landing Marina to row the North Atlantic Ocean in under 55 days in an attempt to raise money for the Children’s Hospice South West.You can follow their voyage here.

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The Clipper Round the World race finished Race 13 from Jamaica to New York with the fleet spread over a hundred miles apart. ‘GREAT Britain’ was the first boat to arrive Manhattan and we welcomed them at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It’s an interesting concept as each boat is skippered by one professional sailor and the rest of the crew made up of paying passengers — no experience required.

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Our friend Giovanni Soldini is also in town with VO70 ‘Maserati’ for some PR sailing and is currently on stand-by for a North Atlantic record attempt. Also awaiting the right weather conditions is the 130 foot offshore-racing maxi trimaran ‘Banque Populair’. They hope to break their standing record of 3 days and 15 hours from Ambrose buoy in New York to Lizard Point in the UK.

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Hit & Run: Beneteau strikes MOD70

Yesterday we saw the 38 foot sailing vessel ‘Halcyon Daze’ strike the docked MOD70 trimaran ‘Virbac-Paprec’ in Morris Canal, causing damage to the carbon fiber hull.

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The captain tried to make a run for it without reporting the incident so we motored up to him to see what he had to say.

While his crew was attempting to remove the MOD70 paint evidence from their starboard hull and railing, the captain unfurled the main sail ignoring all verbal requests to return and report the damage.

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An NYPD boat quickly joined the 4-knot”chase” down the Hudson, ordering ‘Halcyon Daze’ to stop. The captain tried his best to ignore the NYPD’s sirens, lights, and hailer, but after a few minutes, ‘Halcyon Daze’ was forced to return to port and face the damage.

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New Cranes for Port Newark

The Port Newark Container Terminal is increasing capacity by taking delivery of three ZMPC Super-Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes as part of their $500 million dollar expansion project.

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After a 13-week journey from Shanghai, the Chinese heavy load carrier ‘Zhen Hua 10′ is delivering the cranes, requiring expert navigation by the Sandy Hook Pilots and Metro Pilots, while entering the port, passing under the Verrazano-Narrows and the Bayonne Bridge.

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The USCG  established strict criteria in order to safely move the cargo into port:
– Visibility must be a minimum of 2 nautical miles
– Winds <20 Knots: 3 tugs are required / Winds <25 Knots: 4 tugs are required
– Daylight transit only
– Slack Water transit under the Bayonne Bridge
– Two Pilots onboard

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The cranes will take about nine days to unload and three months to assemble. They can reach 22 rows of containers across the deck of a ship. The raising of the Bayonne Bridge and  acquisition of these cranes enable Port Newark to accommodate the new fleet of supercargo ships.

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Travel Show features New York Media Boat

Travel show host Jim Altman of FOX CT Daytrippers came aboard New York Media Boat for an Adventure Sightseeing Tour of Manhattan. He brought along his expert camera crew to document the ride.

Photojournalist Ryan Bernat installed GoPro cameras all over our boat to capture different angles and we love the way he edited the final final piece!

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Norway bound

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Halvard decided to take on some extra diesel before casting off on Easter Sunday. “It’s cheaper in the US than in Scottland” he explained while filling twenty some jerry cans bringing his fuel total to 150 gallons. The Norwegian crew of three was in high spirits as they made final preparations aboard the 37 foot Baltic Vaerbitt —  translating to ‘weathered’ —  ”We went to Pathmark and bought enough food and beer to get us there and back”.

In 2012 Vaerbitt was sailed by her previous owner from Norway via Spain and the Grand Canaries to Saint Lucia and Panama before arriving in New York Harbor. She was put up for sale and Halvard purchase her with the intent to sail her back to Norway. “We won’t take the northern route because of the ice and will head straight for the Azores”  the skipper noted.

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With US Customs cleared and donning New York Media Boat swag, they departed Liberty Landing Marina in New Jersey at 18:00 ET, hoisted sail and set course due east. The crew was looking forward to reaching international waters and exchanging their guest flag for a jolly roger.

More info on the boat, their voyage and daily position reports at www.vaerbitt.net

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Lifesaving Award

Captain Bjoern was honored to receive the ‘Life Saving Award’ from the Marine Society of the City of New York, for the ‘Sea Lion’ rescue earlier this year.

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The festive evening marking their 244th Annual Dinner began with the presentation of Colors by SUNY Maritime cadets, followed by speeches and the presentation of commendations and awards.

The society was formed in colonial days and formally chartered by King George III in 1770. President George Washington was an early honorary member of the group, composed entirely of seafaring captains. The charitable organization supports distressed shipmasters, their widows and orphans.

New York Media Boat salutes their mission!

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Mega-crane arrives New York

After a 6,000 mile tow, the ‘Left Coast Lifter’ mega-crane arrives in New York Harbor.

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The 150-foot ocean going tug ‘Lauren Foss’, powered by twin diesels producing 8,200 horsepower, completed the move of the crane after leaving San Francisco less than six weeks ago. The voyage took them down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal and up the East Coast to New York.

Lauren Foss gets a break after delivering her tow to New York

Lauren Foss gets a break after delivering her tow to New York

The convoy of tug, barge, plus support vessel ‘Iver Foss’ passed under the Verrazano Bridge around 10 am this morning and is now docked in Bayonne, NJ.

The ‘Left Coast Lifter’ was previously used on the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge project and will now assist with construction on the Tappan Zee and New New York Bridge.

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A Frozen Tappan Zee

Several days of below-freezing temperatures have brought the construction around the Tappan Zee Bridge to a standstill. No ferries are running, either — an odd sight for residents of Nyack and Tarrytown, the two towns connected by the bridge.

This morning, a colleague who lives in Nyack sent around a screenshot from a webcam that keeps watch on the construction of the New NY Bridge (it’s set to replace the 58-year-old Tappan Zee). She said the river isn’t frozen shore to shore and that there are breaks in the ice, but there’s no boat traffic at all.

MarineTraffic.com shows the 140-foot Coast Guard icebreaker Sturgeon Bay currently 21 nautical miles upriver, heading south at 10 knots. Check the web-cam around 2:45pm and you may catch them passing by.

Tappan Zee Bridge looking west across the Hudson from Tarrytown towards Nyack

Tappan Zee Bridge looking west across the Hudson from Tarrytown towards Nyack

My colleague also found this gem in a book from the Historical Society of the Nyacks. An old Ford Model T crosses the Hudson at this same location, between Nyack and Tarrytown, on a fully frozen river in 1920.

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Custom Chart: Morris Canal

Here’s the latest intel on Morris Canal: A few months ago, Matt and I decided to create a custom map of the entrance to Liberty Landing Marina. Using the ‘Record Sonar’ Function on the Simrad Chart Plotter, we spent about 45 minutes running a north-south grid at clutch speed, followed by a few east-west passes for additional data points. The water level was three feet down from high tide.

Sonar survey track of Morris Canal

Sonar survey track of Morris Canal

After uploading the collected data, a contour map of the surveyed area was generated. Using Photoshop, I overlaid some additional satellite imagery plus elements from a NOAA raster chart to build the final image:

Custom 3-layer composite: Entrance to Morris Canal

Three layer composite: Entrance to Morris Canal

Looking at the composite, the edge of the channel is now clearly indicated by a 10-foot depth contour line, and a 20-foot deep hole is visible just north of C-dock — most likely created by the prop wash from the Little Lady when she docks at Warren Street.

Check back for part two of this project, as we plan to survey D-dock to the West End, merging all data for one complete chart.

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