I have been on quite a few of the many exciting day cruises via New York Water Taxi, The Circle Line, The Zephyr, The Sea Streak, and other ferries that sail upon the Hudson and East Rivers, but never have I taken one of these tours on a sail boat. I was looking for something exciting to do the day after Independence Day to make my four day weekend a real holiday. I Googled “sail boat cruises on New York Harbor” and voila! up popped an ad for the Pioneer a 19th century schooner, captained by Rich Dorfman, offering two hour sails around the harbor leaving from Pier 16 at South Street Sea Port.  Perfect! I booked Friday July 5th at 3:00pm.

The day was possibly one of the hottest day so far this summer but I knew once we were out on the water the temperature would be at least 10 degrees cooler.  As I rode the subway downtown to the seaport I thought about what I wanted to shoot. I have many images of this iconic harbor so I thought I would concentrate on creating images of what I saw all around me; the veins, muscle and heart of this 128 year old notable vessel.

Stepping onto the deck of The Pioneer you are enveloped in a working nautical world of  ropes, pulleys, pins, poles, clamps, chains, hoops and hooks. Stretched out lying on my back and looking up, I felt like a fly caught in a spider’s web of  twisted rope stretching across the sky above me. The sky was brilliant blue with white fluffy clouds that  provided a stunning back drop to the billowing sails that were illuminated by the suns powerful rays. I used the many ropes and lines to frame the skylines and historic objects that passed us as we journeyed over the water.

We sailed smoothly quietly with a gentle swaying that calmed the soul and made the heart soar with a feeling of freedom and adventure. The theme song from Treasure Island “Setting Sail”,  played in my head as I carefully walked around taking photos, chatted with the crew and for a few hours lost myself in the realm of wind and water.

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One thought on “Aboard the Pioneer

  1. You were a pioneer of a new adventure…how cool is that! My eyes followed all those sail ropes descending into the sky like giant tepees. They gave me heart beats of awe! I love your photographic eye 🙂


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