Pilot Boat Tour of the Working Port

Sep 15, 2008

Harbor Cruise Tells the Behind-the-Scenes Story

If boats could talk, one wonders what the Sandy Hook Pilot Association’s New York would report about a curious Tuesday night in the middle of September. It was not her normal routine. Most of the time the men and women who operate her are meeting up with ships and leaving her to go aboard to steer them into the port.

On September 16, 2008, the New York or Pilot Boat No. 1 as she is also known, had the tables turned on her. Instead of giving up part of her crew to another ship, this time she was boarded … nearly 100 times over, and they all came for dinner.

The event that meant the New York having so many guests was Seamen’s Church Institute’s Pilot Boat Harbor Cruise. The cruise gives friends and supporters of SCI a chance to get up-close and personal views of the working port. Who better to give that tour than the “welcome wagon” of the Port of New York and New Jersey? It is all in her day’s work.

If the New York’s memory serves her well, she remembers that around this time last year the same thing happened too. The Sandy Hook Pilot’s Association has been inviting SCI aboard its ships for this unique opportunity for over 25 years.

Passengers met the New York at Pier 17 in Manhattan and left for its cruise around the harbor at 6:00 pm on Tuesday evening. Captains McGovern and Mahlmann of the Sandy Hook Pilot Association welcomed guests and told them a little about Pilot Boat No. 1, the Sandy Hook Pilots, and the route they would take that evening, traveling past the waterfalls art installation in New York, the Statue of Liberty and into the Kill van Kull.

The event was a night for education—not just about the inner workings of the Port but also of the Seamen’s Church Institute. SCI offers support to mariners like the ones who operate the pilot boats in the harbor. Those who take care of the shipping needs in global trade and those who oversee their safe and well-tuned operations need someone to take care of them too.

SCI Trustee Baxter Graham spoke about these important behind-the-scene relationships. After hearing Graham speak and talking with the SCI staff member seated at her table, one attendee remarked, “I realize that we, as ordinary citizens, rely on other people, namely the men and women who work for and aboard these world-traveling ships. The entire industry must run like clockwork, and it is the hard work of these individuals that makes it possible.”

It is hard work that ordinary people seldom see but of which they certainly reap the benefits. Cars, washers, computers, and furniture all come delivered to our ports. “There are real people who make this happen,” said the newly enlightened party-goer, “and the people—specifically the organization [SCI]—who support them in this work are doing a real benefit to the whole world. Without SCI, who would help these people?

The Pilot Boat Cruise also hosted the drawing for SCI’s raffle for a Lindblad Expedition Cruise aboard the National Geographic Seabird. The winner of the 5-day/4-night Baja Escape was Thomas and Charlene Berardino of New Canaan, CT. Bon voyage!

Sponsors of 2008 Pilot Boat Harbor Cruise 2008
Bennett Lawrence Management
Capital Counsel
Polen Capital Management
Private Capital Management