The New York Harbor School: A Sea Change in Education

Great news! Here is a picture of the new home of the New York Harbor School.

This Sept. 8, 2008 file aerial photo shows Governors Island in New York harbor, with Manhattan in the background center. The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School will relocate to a renovated Coast Guard hospital on the island in the fall of 2010.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file) 

It’s been a longtime coming, 10 years in fact, but the school is scheduled to relocate to a renovated Coast Guard hospital on Governor’s Island off the southern tip of Manhattan in the fall of 2010.

Justin Pope wrote an great article titled Special school makes NY harbor its classroom while awaiting a waterfront home which appeared in the Los Angeles Times on September 8, 2009. If you have any interest in kids, education and things maritime, you must read this article.

I’ve posted about the New York Harbor School several times here because I believe it’s one of the most amazing maritime youth education success stories going. Please check out these old posts.

While projects like these are really dependent on so many different people and organizations, this one is lucky to have Murray Fisher at the helm, a leader with vision, passion and a penchant for hard work. And now he has the chance to join the ranks of Adam Green of Rocking the Boat as a NYC maritime educator/fashion icon.

Each year GQ magazine asks readers to nominate “an agent of change striving for the betterment of society through charitable work, volunteerism, and/or community involvement—someone who is working hard to make this a better world.” GQ selected the five best submissions as finalists and readers will determine the winner by popular vote. Murray Fisher is one of the five finalists and for his sake, the Harbor School’s benefit and the benefit of maritime education in general, please visit website and vote for him and ask your friends, family and strangers to do the same!

Murray’s currently tied for second place but we can make a difference and if we do he’ll be featured in the pages of GQ, be honored at The Gentlemen’s Ball in New York City in October, $10,000 will be donated toward the accredited charity of his choice and he’ll receive $2,000 cash & $1,000 Nautica® gift card. (Come on, the Nautica gift card naturally should go to a guy in maritime education. Could you imagine a better sponsorship than Nautica of the Harbor School?)

Please help me help Murray, the Harbor School and maritime education! Vote and spread the word! Thanks!

The Maritime Heroes of September 11, 2001

I’ve posted this video a number of times on this date because it’s always appropriate.

Just in case the memory of this attack faded a bit, you might want to watch this very powerful video which presents a variety of frightening real time perspectives of how the events unfolded. But be warned, it’s not comfortable viewing.

Day One: Youngest Around Alone Collides with a Chinese Bulk Carrier

jessica watson dismasted

To add fuel to the fiery argument of how young is too young to sail around the world alone, Jessica Watson’s Pink Lady had a challenging start to her quest when she collided on her first night with the Silver Yang, a Chinese bulk carrier.


Here’s a video from a press conference after the incident which gives you the opportunity to see the teen’s take first hand.

Initial reports of this incident indicate that the Chinese vessel was at fault. However, from all that I can tell this is purely speculation at this point. There will be an investigation which will determine what happened on the first fateful night of Jessica’s adventure.

Here’s a link to an interview with Jessica’s parents. It’s great that they are proud of Jessica.  They should be; she’s a very impressive young woman. However, what she encountered on her first day at sea alone is only the tip of the iceberg of experiences she will encounter if she continues. In this case,  she was lucky she was within ten miles of port. How will she (and her parents and the general public) hold up if she dismasts in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles from the nearest port and maybe even from other ships?

In any case, Jessica’s incident underscores the perils of going to sea. Being alone in a small boat adds a whole other dimension of risk.

So, Jessica, her parents and all of us, need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This is real risk that is dangerous at any age. Godspeed.

It was a perfect day for jumping into the clouds.

From YouTube:

We had a wonderfull day on the 3rd of september 2009 in Holland.
Winds exceeding over more than 44 knots. Conditions: Sun, rain and thunder, and mostly Storm, storm, STORM!

It was a perfect day with me and Ruben Len10 doing a Stormsjees 3 tour along the coast, which started out of the blue. First spot was Wijk aan Zee for a real hard trashing on Ruben, then off to Scheveningen to do some more. Also there was Eddy Lansink doing his thing to, and very well indeed!
So here’s some extreme footage of Eddy. Get flabbergasted! it’s Absurd !
Maybe the biggest Jump in the world so far.. or is it?….

I agree.

Flag dip to Mr. Boat Blog.

Moby Monday — (Whale) Killer iPhone App

Shake for giant kraken

Speaking of iPhone apps, what would your Moby-Dick application look like? The iTunes store offers a few downloadable versions of the text (though, sadly, no annotated version yet) as well as audiobooks, musical recordings, a schweet study guide by Shmoop, and the whole 1956 film starring Gregory Peck … but no app that really brings the book to life in a new, iPhone-specific way.

Anna Leach of the blog Shiny Shiny proposes one such app: a simple whale-locator service that would identify any nearby whales and take you to their blogs (or, we’d add, their Twitter feeds).

Some friends and I had a different idea: a Moby-Dick video game. Blogger Matthew Wasteland has previously laid out the inherent problem with such a product. If you allow for alternate endings to Ahab’s quest, have you leached out of your game all the greatness of the novel?

That’s what makes our Moby-Dick game app idea so brilliant (if we do say so ourselves). It’s mainly just a view of the sea—sometimes calm, sometimes stormy, throw in a little St. Elmo’s fire now and again—and you only ever see the white whale after you’ve been playing nonstop for … what, hours? months? It’s theoretically possible to harpoon the sucker, but by the time you get a chance to do it, you’ll be begging for Ahab’s (virtual) fate.

Anyway, that’s our concept. If you have a better one, let’s hear it in the comments.

Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.

It’s a Boat! It’s A Plane! No It’s a Martin Mars Waterbomber!

Imagine enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon waterskiing with you family on the lake and all of a sudden…

YouTube – “Hawaii Mars” Bomber Fire Plane Picking up water off of Lake San Antonio to drop on Cal. Wild Fires

These amazing flying boats have recently been working hard fighting fires in California. From the Coulson Flying Tanker’s website:

Flying Tankers Inc. was formed in 1959 by a consortium of forest companies after experiencing several catastrophic fire seasons. The new company then purchased the remaining four of the world’s only fleet of mighty Martin Mars aircraft from the US Navy.

Originally, the Martin Mars flying boats were produced for the US Navy and were used as troop and cargo transports among the islands of the Pacific. Firefighting certainly wasn’t what the aircraft’s manufacturer, Glenn L. Martin had in mind….. however, all four aircraft, the Marianas, Philippine, Hawaii and Caroline Mars were ferried to British Columbia where three were fitted with 7,200 gallon (27,276 litres) water tanks and converted to waterbombers!

Video of the MartinMars in action:

Promotional video from the Coulson Group:

Here’s a link to a Martin Mars Flickr Group which has some cool photos and videos.

Wikipedia – Martin JRM Mars

US Coast Guard Rules of the Road iPhone App Contest

USCG Rules of the Road iPhone app (CascoBayBoaters)

Our friend Captain Richard Rodriguez, master of the Bitter End blog, is running a contest where five winners will receive a cool and handy USCG Rules of the Road iPhone app. All the details are here and submission deadline is 2359 PDT September 4, 2009.

It looks like a useful app so get over there and enter. Good luck!