Wavertree/Peking: Tale of Two Tall Ships

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Those were not pirate ships in New York Harbor, this September. Those are the two tall ships from South Street Seaport – The Peking and Wavertree, both taking their turns at Caddell Dry Dock for repairs. One ship is done the other one is being repaired.  One has returned to South Street the other is taking a long voyage.  

Here are their stories in a list of comparisons:

1.The Wavertree was named after a district of Liverpool, England and the Peking was named after a city in China.

2. The Wavertree has been restored and is now at South Street Seaport, service as it’s main attraction; The Peking is currently at Caddell, and when it’s restored it will be donated to Germany, where it will remain at Stiftung Hamburg Maritim, a maritime museum.

3.The Wavertree was made of wrought iron in 1885, making it one of the largest surviving wrought iron ships afloat.  The Peking is a steel-hulled ship, a barque with four masts. It was one of the last of the windjammers.

Peking. Photo by Meredith Arout for Life-Wire News Service.

4.The Peking came to South Street in 1975. The Wavertree arrived in New York in 1969.

Today is the first day that the Wavertree is open to the public in its new berth.  South Street Seaport Museum is open 7 days a week in Lower Manhattan.  Visit the Seaport’s website for details.

  • Steven Filoramo, Andrew Moszenberg, and Gregory Perosi with Edward Gregory.


Wavertree photos: 

Peking photos:

Read more at the following links:

New York Times: Seaworthy and Ready for an Early Unveiling.

Staten Island Live: Wavertree Returns to South Street Seaport Museum.

DNA Info: Historic Wavertree Ship Returning to South Street Seaport.

The Gothamist: German Ship Peking Will Leave the South Street Seaport After 40 Years.

Old Salt Blog: Windjammer Peking Returning to Hamburg.

Tall Ships Regatta, Spain

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Rafa Nuca, NWN Photography

Rafa dreams of going to sea like his father.  When the tall ships race came to his hometown of A Coruña, Spain, he saw a great opportunity.

“My father works at sea, and I enjoy taking photographs,” said Rafa Nuca of NWN Photography, a Spanish photo agency featuring the work of people with disabilities. [Rafa spoke via Skype in Spanish, translated by Felipe Alsonso of NWN Photography.]

The tall ships race is an annual regatta that ends this year in A Coruña. The ships sailed on July 7 from Antwerp, Belgium for Lisbon, Portugal.  Then they raced to Cadiz, Spain and finished in A Coruña on August 14.  The regatta is estimated to attract a million visitors.

Rafa joined the throngs of people visiting the ships.  The Lord Nelson (UK) was one of his favorites because it is a ship for people with and without disabilities to sail together. It would be ideal for crossing the Atlantic, something he hopes to do one day. He admired the woodwork on the Stratsraad Lehmkuhl (Norway) the schooner Atyla (Spain). Rafa was also impressed by the crowds visiting the Simon Bolivar (Venezuela).

The race sponsor, Sail Training International, teaches sailing skills to young people of various backgrounds.  They work closely with the world’s sail training tall ships, training organizations and host ports to help young people benefit from the sail training experience.

The Lord Nelson is operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (UK), provides differently-abled people the opportunity to work together to sail specially designed tall ships. The experience helps to break down barriers and foster a more inclusive world.

– This article was written by the Life-Wire News Service staff, with specific contributions by Meredith Arout, Anthony DiFato, Steven Filoramo, Joseph Jones, Andrew Moszenberg, Dolores Palermo, Joseph Padalino, Gregory Perosi, Harry Rodriguez and with Kathryn Carse and Edward Gregory.

Photos: Rafa Nuca, NWN Photography for Life-Wire News Service.

Top 10 Secrets of the Narrows, Entry to NY Harbor

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In honor of Fleet Week 2016, Life-Wire News Service reviews the top ten interesting and surprising facts about Fort Wadsworth and the Narrows in New York Harbor.

1.       Fort Wadsworth is the longest continuously operated fort in the United States. It was open  from 1663 to 1994.

Inside Fort Tompkins. Photo: Joseph Padalino. for Life-Wire News Service.

2.       Fort Wadsworth was open to the public as part of the National Park Service in 1995.

Photo: Joseph Jones for Life-Wire News Service.

3.       During the War of 1812, Fort Wadsworth was one of a number of forts that kept the British out of New York Harbor. They attacked and burned down Washington D.C. instead.

Marine Corps Band. Photo: Dolores Palermo for Life-Wire News Service.

4.       Battery Weed, the fort at the water’s edge, was built during the 1840s, and Fort Tompkins, the fort on the bluff, was built from 1859 to 1876.

Battery Weed. Photo: Dolores Palermo for Life-Wire News Service.

5.       The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which connects Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island and Brooklyn was open in 1964.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Photo: Dolores Palermo for Life-Wire News Service.

6.       The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was named for the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. However, his name was misspelled with only one “z” to name the bridge.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Photo: Joseph Padalino. for Life-Wire News Service.

7.       The population on Staten Island exploded after the bridge was open, increasing from over 220,000 to over 470,000 today.

Photo: Michael Halbreich for Life-Wire News Service.

8.       The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the last great work of Staten Islander Othmar Ammann. Among the bridges he designed are the Bayonne Bridge, the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing, which all connect Staten Island to New Jersey.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Photo: Dolores Palermo for Life-Wire News Service.

9.       There is no pedestrian crossing on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge . There are two annual events during which the bridge can be crossed without a vehicle — the New York City Marathon and the Five Boro Bike Tour.

U.S. Coast Guard Buoy tender. Photo: Joseph Jones for Life-Wire News Service.

10.    Runners gather in Fort Wadsworth before beginning the run over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge during the NYC Marathon. Bikers gather in the fort for a festival after crossing the bridge during the Five Boro Bike Tour.

Anthony Padalino and Joseph Jones photographing the Narrows.

Photos were taken during a Life-Wire News Service photo shoot at Fleet Week 2016.
Text by Anthony DiFato, Joseph Padalino, Anthony DiCostanzo, Meredith Arout, and Adriana Kolari with Kathryn Carse.



Heritage Park on the Kill Van Kull

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Fall at Heritage Park on the Kill Van Kull in West New Brighton.

Lighthouse Kate – A Life on the Reef

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Please join us on our trip to the Noble Maritime Museum, where we talked with curator Megan Beck about Katherine Walker, Lighthouse Keeper at the Robbins Reef Lighthouse. She kept the light burning at all times. To learn more, please watch our video or visit “Robbins Reef: A Home in the Harbor” an exhibition at the Noble Maritime Collection through 2017. -Gregory Perosi and Eddy Gregory for Life-Wire News Service.

  • Gregory Perosi and Eddy Gregory for Life-Wire News Service

Robbins Reef exhibit opens at Noble Collection

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Robbins Reef: A Home in the Harbor exhibit recently opened at the Noble Maritime Collection in Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, Staten Island.  Join our host, Steven Filoramo, for an interview with the Collection’s director, Erin Urban, about the lighthouse and exhibition.

Seven Facts about the Fireboat Fire Fighter

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By Anthony Pabon and Edward Gregory

1-  The Fire Fighter is the first fireboat of the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY) with a diesel-electric propulsion system, making it the most powerful fireboat of its day. It could deliver 20,000 gallons of water per minute.

2-  Originally berthed in Manhattan, the Fire Fighter was stationed in Brooklyn at the Bush Terminals for a time before being relocated to Staten Island in 1967.

3-  The Fire Fighter took part in extinguishing the fires aboard the USS Normandy on Pier 88 on Manhattan’s west side on February 9, 1942.

4-  On June 2, 1973 the Fire Fighter responded to an enormous fire in the Narrows when the Sea Witch collided with the SS Euro Brussels.  28 crewmen were saved from the deck of the burning Sea Witch.

5-  The long career of the Fire Fighter stretched from 1938 to 2010, fighting more than 50 fires in those years.

6-  The Fire Fighter is currently a museum vessel, located in the marina of the Village of Greenport in Suffolk County, NY.

7-  On December 7, 2010, The Firefighter was replaced by the FDNY’s Fire Fighter II, which is quartered at the Staten Island Homeport in Stapleton.

This article is based on information at Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum as well as Wikipedia’s Fire Fighter (fireboat) and Fire Fighter II pages.


Photo: Fire Fighter II by Anthony Pabon for Life-Wire News Service