Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

oops! CIBBOWS aquarium swim race starting soon!

Posted in cibbows, coney island brighton beach, NYHarbor, swim, water access by bowsprite on 2010/08/06

Oops! i’m so sorry! come and jump in the waters with the most warmhearted, welcoming swimmers to be found anywhere! CIBBOWS (Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers) race starts in 7 hrs! our kayakers have probably started already paddling from the east river to be there. I’ll be off soon, too. See you on the beach!

Aquarium 5K and 1Mile Saturday, August 7th 2010, 7:00am

if 7 hrs is too little notice to train, the next race will be on Saturday, November 6th 2010, 11:30am, the Veterans Day 5K, 1Mile, 2Mile

There’s no excuse to miss the next one: the annual Grimaldo’s Mile held every June:

Good luck, Swimmers! Thank you, kayakers, support boats, lifeguards, volunteers, caterers, fans!

happy new year: steam whistles & water worship

Posted in cibbows, coney island brighton beach by bowsprite on 2010/01/02

Happy New Year, Everyone! Happy, safe, blessed 2010!

Every new year’s eve at midnight, Conrad H. Milster, chief engineer of the Pratt Institute Power House, gives a steam whistle concert from the campus of Pratt Institute. 120 pounds of steam pressure release into the air, making the area resonate with a sound and power of a time now gone, and yet, preserved.

The engines are beautifully tended, “machinery that was built to be art.”

Milster was an engineer working on the ferries of NYHarbor in the ’50′s, and he has beautiful photographs of the old ferries. However, whistles are his passion. He has hours upon hours of recordings of whistles, and a collection of steam whistles of locomotives, factories, and ships–most notably, the whistle of la grande dame, the ocean liner S.S. Normandie.

“Here in the engine room, you see and hear motion, you smell the oil. The man who ran a steam engine saw how things worked. You were always adjusting the flow, checking the bearings, listening to the sound of the machine. To be a talented engineer, you have to emphathize with the machinery. If you have talent, the aesthetics of a good machine will grow on you.” Someone else waxed poetic on this very subject. (Quotes are from this article on Conrad.)

Here is a clip of the concert; the small whistles are controlled by a keyboard that anyone can plink on to let off steam, the larger whistles, by a rope to tug. DO bring ear plugs along with your champagne & glasses!

More clips! just a few hours later, these are from the Coney Island Polar Bear’s mad dash into the 39° waters:

This just in! for a lovely tribute to the midnight letting off of steam, see Rick’s video clip here. It was funny to run into my dear studiomates, Poul & Kayoko, friends Aki & Troy. Happy 2010 All!!!

Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers’ race: Grimaldo’s Mile!

Posted in cibbows, coney island brighton beach, swim, water quality by bowsprite on 2009/08/10

The Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers‘ annual 1 mile race was held yesterday, Sunday.  They hold several public races, and swim every weekend. Swim buddies are available if you are interested in swimming at any time: pre-dawn, midnight, throughout the winter, et cetera. Contact them here for anything at all! they are a very open, welcoming group of waterlovers.

Grimaldo, for whom the race is named, was the lifeguard who first made it possible for the group to swim beyond the jetties. Vibrant, joyous and ebullient, he passed away in April to leukemia, but his personality is still felt at his chair at Brighton 4th street, where the swim group meets and where people congregate.

Come swim!

How is the quality? you could go here to find readings…Or not: follow Sebago‘s links. Other hazards? sharks? yes, well, they will leave you alone (not you, Michael). Jellyfish? a few float by, intermittently. The Coney Island Whitefish? they also float by, but being usually latex and inert, are harmless. Your worse danger: jetskiers coming at you at high speed with the light behind you and in their eyes!

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