Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook

world fi ferry terminal, tides

Two ferry services operate to and from the World Financial terminal – “World Fi” to the tugmen. NY Waterways ferries are white and the little Liberty State Park ferries are yellow.

This old faux-Quonset hut had served as the terminal for years, but was replaced by a glass and metal one. I had wondered what they planned to do with the Quonset hut, and voila, today, I saw Maria J on North River by the Battery, moving it and making it up to a crane barge:

quonset

Now, what is the remarkable thing about Maria J? Ask Tugster, the consummate researcher!

alongside

Below, looking south: The new glass terminal is behind. Far off in the distance on the right is Ellis Island.

old&new

gulletshot

walkway

The two gangways are placed on the barge. I still do not know where the whole ensemble is going. I had spent many happy hours waiting on that thing; it was so noisy, squeaking with every swell.

An amazing thing about our rivers/estuaries are the atypical tides action. Low tide today was 0133h (-0.1 ft.). This clip was made at 0151h, a few minutes afterwards, but watch the incredible power of the ebbing action “at the top.” Our “slack” does not coincide with low tide or high tide times! There is a couple of hours delay.

Those barges may look like they are charging through the waters, but they are anchored! I have seen experienced kayakers come out of North Cove, run into such a current, and four got swept into such a work barge. Within seconds they piled under, one atop another. Happily, kayakers survived; their vessels did not.

Here, the Maria J and barge, not under power, drift sideways swiftly downstream.

Here is footage, not of the accident, but another wave of kayakers during the Mayor’s Cup New York City Kayak Championships last year on sunday October 19, 2008. This was taken during their ‘touring kayak’ start, perhaps earlier than when the strong flood occurred, but you can see the barge and how one kayaker nearly did not clear it.

  1. tugster said, on 2009/06/22 at 21:57

    coupla things, bowsprite: “world fi” is too long for today. let’s shorten it to “wo fi.” now we can overhear conversations like … “Wait til i get to wo fi for mofo wifi.” I love it how english evolves. other thing more serious: do you remember when the “old faux quoset hut” went up? i think it should become an art barge . . . recording its commuter memory.

    • bowsprite said, on 2009/06/22 at 22:14

      art barge, eh? I think it should be cut up and made into sails. Junkrig a ferryhull and have it run for the commuters with no time constraints. Folks are then welcome to use leftover parts to make ditty bags while we wait for the tide to turn so we can dock.

      PLENTY of time to say, “World Financial Ferry Terminal, this is the Quonset Junk, we should be docking within the next couple of hours, just waiting for the ebb to slack.” By which time, the coasties will have to pick us up at the Highlands.

      Oh–did I just put myself at the helm of said Quonset Junk? I did, didn’t I?

  2. Mage Bailey said, on 2009/06/23 at 08:12

    …and not just tidal flow but wind too. Great post. Thanks.

  3. Celeste Maia said, on 2009/06/23 at 12:02

    I am so glad to “find” this blog! I was mesmerized looking at the NYC skyline and the splendid river traffic. Hearing the water and the wind made it so real. What an interesting blog, I have already added to my favorites.
    Many thanks for your most kind comments on my blog.

  4. Jed said, on 2009/06/23 at 16:25

    The rain has had SCADS of water flying down the river, currents have (especially the ebb) have been pronounced.

    JED sends from Mariner’s Harbor

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