Thursday, September 07, 2006

Au revoir, Pier 63 (plus tug challenge pix!)

And the verdict is in. No extension to the paddling season, Pier 63 will be off-limits to the public come Monday, 9/11. However, yesterday's meeting, which I did not attend, did at least have the outcome that people who aren't able to get find alternatives that fast can call the contractor to arrange to get their boats out for at least a little longer.

The end was a rotten one too, at least for me - internal politics reared their ugly head in ways I totally didn't expect, I tried to be part of it & got thoroughly squelched in various ways & finally had to take myself out of the picture. Sucks, but the guy who ended up somehow being the leader wouldn't listen to me & finally snubbed me completely when I ran into him as I was leaving on the barge on Sunday. I walked up to him & another person from the group - he saw me, and before I could say ANYTHING, he snapped "I don't want to meet right now", turned on his heel & walked away fast, leaving me feeling very, very put in my place. Now, the back story to this was that I'd been being difficult about some procedural points I really thought should be followed, when he was working his butt off to get a bunch of stuff done fast, but I was just there on Sunday to watch the tugboat races, have a nice day on the barge, and think about something other than stupid friggin' waterfront politics. I still had this cold, but right up until that moment I'd been having a really wonderful day. Anyways, that was the last straw for me, I backed out when I got home that night. Still chiming in when I have a piece of information that I think is important - I do still have hopes that something can be worked out to include human-powered boating at the barge (hence "au revoir", not "so long"), and if I think I have a piece of the puzzle that they need, I'm not gonna sit on it - I just don't think my participation is important enough to be worth the kind of fights I can see having if people are going to act like that. Anyways, Manhattan Kayak's working on it too & they are the ones who actually run the storage & who the Trust has been working with since they (we) moved to the barge in 1999.

On a happier note - Mr. SeaLevel and I went out & joined Sebago. I've been worried about that & not completely sanguine - it is a BEAUTIFUL place to paddle (remember my early full moon paddle?) but it's always a little scary trading a known situation for an unknown one.

However I'm feeling a lot better about everything now. Aside from the friendly welcome we received from the board last night, I've been absolutely overwhelmed with the generosity shown by a whole BUNCH of my new clubmates - Kayakboy (who's been working on me to join for ages - "You could teach!"), I. (who hasn't been actively working on me but has made sure I get out there - paddling there is tempting in & of itself), the commodore of Sebago, and a few others. Mr. SeaLevel and I somehow ended up making the same decisions in roughly the same time frame (I was dragging my feet so working about a week behind him) so we were trying to coordinate a boat move - well, first I. was going to get us out there, but then the communication loop expanded & suddenly Kayakboy was calling me this morning with news of Operation S.O.B. - Save Our Boats! The commodore heard of our plight & he, with the assistance of Kayakboy & Mr. Sealevel & I think maybe one other club member) is taking care of everything.

Wow. I'm so relieved. It's the most wonderful thing.

Anyways, it's 1:30, I'm finished with lunch & must get back to work now, but I'll leave you with some fun photos from the tugboat races!

Line throwing contest - here comes the Janice Ann Reinauer (one of a couple of Reinauer tugs there). The idea is to hook one horn of a cleat on the barge & flip the hawser behind it so you're secure. The guy raising his arm on the barge - that's the "GO!" signal. This is timed.

And here's the throw - D'OH!

Here comes the Growler, in for the kill - no, I mean the throw. The children in the audience LOVED the Growler, which hails from the Merchant Marine Academy in King's Point. BTW they missed too. This is not easy!

Only one tug at a time could do this - meanwhile, the other circled & occasionally indulged in bow-to-bow pushing matches.

Here's a tugboat guy getting interviewed.

Um...oooookay, you go right ahead...
(ok, in the interest of not tarring this unidentified paddler as a completely reckless maniac, actually this was right at the end, and the outrigger headed north, all the tugs were at the barge & south of it - so it wasn't as completely insane as it looks. I might have waited a little longer, but then I'm known for being boring that way.)

Here's John Doswell, the man (or at least one of the people) behind the Working Harbor Committee. Thanks for a great day, John et al!

1 comment:

bonnie said...

A little clarification on what happened with the "leadership" & how I ended up being at such odds with him in the first place:

2006 happened to be the first year that the Mayor's Cup Manhattan circumnavigation race was being held. That was in October.

Turned out that the guy who I'd thought had appointed himself spokesperson for the paddlers at the barge was signed up for it, was very excited about it, and was actually only speaking for the racers at the barge.

If that had been made a little clearer right from the start, or if I'd been a little swifter about picking up on that, I might have butted out a lot earlier - the end results would've been the same & maybe the grief quotient in getting there would've been lower.

Hindsight 20/20, as usual, right?