Dec 14, 2008

Boat Graveyard

I spent today photographing a boat graveyard on Staten Island. I navigated slowly and carefully through a maze of rotting wooden docks and decks, avoiding rusty spikes, hulls and cables while I made my way to solid resting points. Just a couple of weeks ago while crawling through the Red Hook Grain Terminal, I thought I had finally been to the most dangerous site of all. Wrong; today was worse. Each step had to be carefully tested before applying the whole weight of my body. The creaks, groans and debris falling into the water below me was absolutely unnerving. (all part of the fun)

It was quite a journey to get to Arthur Kill on Staten Island. I left my house taking the 1 Train at 6:45am. I got to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal an hour later and caught the 8:30 ferry across the NY Harbor arriving on Staten Island at 8:45. I had to wait for the SIR Train to come at 9:30 and I took it all the way south to Huguenot. From here I rode my bike across the island (10 minute ride) and I ended up at the site at 10:15.

After walking up and down Arthur Kill road, I could not find a way in. With all the traffic and locals out and about, I wasn't about to climb over the fence around the scrap yard that hid the boats. There was a house adjacent to the scrap yard which had back yard access to the boats but the owner had posted signs warning me not to trespass. I decided to give it a shot and just knock on the door. An old man with a funny look on his face told me he was so delighted that I actually asked for his permission that it would be his pleasure to allow me access! Sweet.

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