Crew of the schooner Pioneer prepares for boarding as the W.O. Decker pulls out for their afternoon tour.
Captain Glenn gives the safety speech. I think here he is telling us that the hole in the middle of the boat is fine.
Watching for traffic as we pull out into the East River.
The schooner is an interactive experience. Here passengers prepare to raise the mainsail.
Raising the stay.
Getting the last bit on the foresail by "sweating and tailing" - the first mate (in orange) is sweating, leaning back on the halyard with his entire weight, while 2 other crew members tail, pulling on the snubbed halyard to capture the extra line the first mate gains.
Motorsailing down the Buttermilk Channel (between Brooklyn & Governor's Island).
Uglyship! Seriously, put some little wheels on the thing & wouldn't it look exactly like a grocery cart?
"God rays". Aaaah
Now we're sailing. Motor assist was needed to get down the Buttermilk against the flood, but shortly after we rounded the southern tip of the island, the captain cut the motor & we had a GREAT sail!
Tug Cornell, in town for the big tugboat race on Sunday & looking sharp, with downtown Manhattan in the background.
I don't know if I would say that we were flying. The Pioneer was built to haul heavy loads, not to race - she's beamy & solid & very much a draft horse. But it was still exciting - the old draft horse was kicking up her heels like a colt, water was swirling in through the scuppers on the low side & I don't think there was a single place on board that entirely escaped the spray as the bow crashed through the big swells rolling across the harbor.
Wind in the sails
Brief course shift away from the Statue of Liberty & back towards Manhattan to avoid a much bigger boat...
Waving at the cruise ship
Obligatory Statue of Liberty framed by rigging shot!
Heading back for the Seaport.
Schooner Clipper City - almost all the way to the Liberty & no sails up yet? What's up with that? - and 2 Staten Island Ferries (now that's the boat I would've picked for my harbor ride if Earl HAD come a little closer).
Back at the Seaport - Wavertree & Peking
So long, Pioneer! Thanks for a great ride!
Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges in late afternoon light
End of a perfect day!
By Monday, conditions were MUCH quieter. TQ & I had thought that after all the good dimsum & cheesecake on Sunday, we were ready for a good long paddle - when I saw forecasted winds of 5 kts, I suggested that we do an exploratory trip out to Gravesend Bay & find that dratted Yellow Submarine (I've had to cut down both Sebago attempts to shorter trips, last due to slightly higher winds than I wanted, and then 2 weeks ago due to half of us being under the weather with stupid colds - there is NOWHERE to land along most of the south shore of Coney except in a real emergency, so you really need good conditions)! We put in at Plum Beach - here we go down Coney Island - I was surprised at how relatively sparsely populated it was on such a gorgeous day.
TQ at Norton Point - Verranzano Narrows Bridge in the distance
Yellow Submarine, is that you? Not so very yellow anymore (and I guess somebody mistook it for a U-boat) but yes, this was our destination.
A sad end to a guy's dream. The boat was built for the purpose of salvaging the Andrea Dorea but never made it out of Coney Island Creek. Forgotten NY gives a great writeup, I'll give a link at the end.
A few old wooden barges also molder away here.
Lunch break on a beach with a very different view of the Parachute Jump than I usually see!
The Two Kayaks of the title - TQ's Sparrowhawk and Trusty Romany.
After lunch, we decided to paddle up Coney Island Creek. The creek must have had a few tributaries - here was the first place an arm goes underground. TQ considered a little kayak-spelunking but we decided that might better be done on a falling tide!
D-train rattling by.
The banks of the creek range from stone or metal bulkheads to beaches and even a little marsh grass.
Lots of birds - some refugee Canada geese hiding out -
families of swans, also ducks & a number of kingfishers!
more expectedly urban -
Many years ago, a paddler could've circumnavigated Coney Island - this creek met up with Sheepshead Bay. Today, here's where the creek disappears for good.
Stillwell Avenue swing bridge, looking back on the way out again. This is the first bridge over Coney Island Creek coming from Gravesend Bay & it dates back to when the creek was navigable. Today, there's a floating boom under the bridge - none but us small fry can explore.
Coney Island Light at Norton's Point, heading for home!
For more information about the South Street Seaport Museum fleet, visit: http://www.seany.org/index.aspx?lobid=850
Forgotten NY's Yellow Submarine page: http://www.forgotten-ny.com/YOU'D%20NEVER%20BELIEVE/yellowsub/yellowsub.html
Coney Island Lighthouse info: http://www.cilight.com/index.php?title=Main_Page