Archive for May, 2011

Governors Island opened for the 2011 season on Friday. Yesterday Karen and I biked to Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park to catch the free ferry over to the island. We were not the only ones who had this idea:

We had to wait about half an hour to get on a ferry, but the boarding process went pretty smoothly. There were three lines: one for bikes, one for people with strollers, and one for pedestrians.

Getting the bikes and people on the ferry is less chaotic than it looks:

Governors Island is only about two miles around, so a circumnavigation by bike does not take very long. It’s a great ride, though, cooled by breezes off the water. And there are lots of interesting things to look at, particularly the former U.S. Coast Guard buildings.

The southwestern tip of the island is now Picnic Point. There are food vendors, benches, hammocks, and great views of the harbor. That’s Jersey City behind the aid to navigation:

Lots of great brick and old, faded signs for those who like that sort of stuff:

And you can poke into all sorts of nooks and off-the-beaten-track places in old Fort Jay:

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Riding the ferry from Governors Island back to Manhattan yesterday I spotted a boat that I have not seen before in these waters: a black-hulled schooner flying the Danish flag. Turns out it’s the Opal. This wooden schooner was built in 1951 as a Baltic fishing schooner. Her crew seems to be a few twenty-somethings (of whom I am not at all jealous, nope, not me, not jealous even a tiny bit) who have recently arrived in New York from the Caribbean via Norfolk, Virginia.

Here are a few shots of them heading up the East River.

Click here for lots of pictures of the boat in exotic locales and shots from below deck. (If this site is to be believed, Opal is for sale.)

Here is the schooner Opal‘s own site in English (thanks, Google Translate) and in the original Danish.

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