The morning of Saturday, September 10 was just lovely, with a soft and hazy sunrise as we got closer to Sandy Hook where we were to pick up our pilot at 7am. Though it was barely light, the ladder needed to be rigged and so the deck department got an early start
Beside the fact that we were getting closer to New York City, there was a jubilant feeling in the air. This was because our pilot who we were shortly to pick up, was one or our own. Karen grew up on the BROWN with her younger sister, Alaina, and worked first in the store and the mailroom at the early age of about 12. Not only did the ship give them a large extended family but they also gained a love of history and the Merchant Marines. Karen, a Sandy Point Pilot, was our 'feet on the ground' person in NYC working to make this trip happen over the last year or so, and we were getting ready to meet the pilot boat so that she could climb aboard and bring us to the pier. In addition to Karen, her sister Alaina, was Chief Mate on the trip and the master of the vessel was Ben, another crew member who got his start on the BROWN at an early age. All three had been members for over 15 years, starting as young kids AND all three graduated from Kings Point.
Elsewhere, on the ship, there were a handful of people who grew up in New York in the different burroughs and went to High School on the BROWN. Many had gotten a chance to 'live the dream' years ago and steer the ship. You see, no matter what person you speak to, or what year they graduated, they all had one dream. As a High School, the ship was stationary and never moved, yet all students had a dream of getting in after hours and working together to take the ship for a spin. Over the last 25 years, those alumni of the High School who are crew members, have gotten a chance to be at the helm. On the trip to NYC we had 5 alumni sail and it was a pretty emotional for them because after the ship left the City, they never thought that they would have a chance to see the ship on the East River again.
Some more pictures coming in...it was an epic experience that we'd like to share with our members and followers.
So many pictures, so little time. Until our next blog, where we go over the things that happened in the week we were in New York as well as the cruise details.
Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.