Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mill Basin Sightseeing


Back to that paddle TQ & I took last week! It was a small-craft advisory day, and I am currently one piece short of my usual winter ensemble (BRAND NEW replacement drysuit is now en route from Arcata, yay, more on that before too long but those who know Kokatat know what I'm talking about :D) so in light of the somewhat less weather-resistant outfit I'd pulled together & the high winds & chilly air, we chose to stick near the shore & go check out Mill Basin - it's a nice sheltered area like the Paerdegat, and had the added bonus of being somewhere TQ hadn't been before.

I thought I was reasonably familiar with Mill Basin. Big flashy houses (see above photo - check out the personal drydock!), motorboats & jetskis, a couple of marinas (home of the good boat Puffin, although we didn't go Puffin-hunting this time because I was pretty sure Brian or Karen had told me she was hauled out for the winter already), Nick's Lobster Dock (sadly dockless these days!), and up at one far end, the King's Plaza Shopping Mall. Interesting to see, but I thought I'd seen it all.

But Mill Basin is shaped sort of like one of those onolicious lobster claws you might enjoy at Nick's. The lower "pincer" is called East Mill Basin, and it turns out that I'd never been all the way down to the end. With TQ, I covered that last bit - and it was fun, because it turns out that at the very end of East Mill Basin is a surprising bit of waterfront industry.

Paddle on past the marina (Bergen Beach Yacht Club perhaps? It sounded like a marimba orchestra tuning up on this windy windy day!) -


and the crane storage -


And there at the end, you'll find Muller Boat Works.


Muller was established in 1938, and was a pretty busy place here at the end of 2009!

Lots of party boats in for winter refits. This one was probably the saddest-looking of the lot. Definitely not MY fantasy!


Paddle Wheel Queen -


The Queen's bottom is not one of those shapely ones that my friend the Tugster enjoys admiring - and in fact I couldn't help noticing there wasn't a paddlewheel under that housing! Maybe that was being worked on in a shed somewhere...


I'd taken her picture earlier this year during the Mayor's Cup, at her home marina at 23rd Street & the East River.


Sea Queen VII was heading out of the basin at the same time as we left - she's one of the Sheepshead Bay charter fishing fleet, and I bet they all go to Muller when they need work.


Most interesting boat there was this one - she's being given a good power wash here & you might not be able to see her name through the spray, but that's the Growler, the small tugboat that's part of the training fleet at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point.


And here she is lining up for the line toss at the 2006 New York Harbor Tugboat Competition (the only one I've managed to make in all my years in NYC, argh!)


And here's a nice little sampling of what they do with her.

Lots of other interesting boats in various stages of repair, but TQ had been very patient, and we knew we had a bit of a slog back - but I did have to take a couple more pictures as we headed out, because there's also this fascinating little bit of an actual fishing fleet in there too. Not charter boats, either, but small commercial fishing boats -

Plus a couple of...can these be lobster boats? I never imagined we'd have actual lobster-catching lobster boats here in NYC, but those look like lobster traps on the dock. What caught our attention, though, was the names of the boats & their relative appearances. My Way & My Way 2? There has to be a good local story there.


And then there was this great little tug, the Emily -


And finally, one last gratuitous shot of a beautiful evening out on Jamaica Bay.

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