Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Continuing Voyages of the Space Shuttle Enterprise (by sea!)

The Continuing Voyages of the Space Shuttle Enterprise



I went over to the 49th Street station and caught the N train to Brooklyn, taking it 59th Street in Brooklyn, where I used to often get off to head to my apartment on 54th Street.  I waited there for an R train to go to 95th Street, in the Bay Ridge / Ft. Hamilton neighborhood of Brooklyn.  The R seemed to take a long time to come…  But it did eventually…

From the 95th Street station it was easy to see what direction to walk, as the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is gigantic (it's so tall that the tops of the towers are several inches farther apart than the bottoms due to the curvature of the Earth).  It was around 3pm or 3:15pm or so then, with the space shuttle scheduled to go under the bridge around 5:30pm, so I was quite early…

I worked my way to a park by the river and there was a long pathway right over the rocks that went, I don't know how far…  I realized quickly that I carried the wrong lens.  I expected to be farther away from the river than I was, so I took the big, long one, instead of one that would give a wider image.  That meant I had to walk a ways to get far from the bridge…  

So, I walked down in the direction of Coney Island.  A bit farther away were some benches and I stopped there to write in my diary.  It was bright and sunny, which hurt my head and eyes a bit.  Several times older gentlemen stopped to ask me if I knew if the space shuttle had gone by yet, or what time it was scheduled.

I spent a while standing against the seawall, watching various boats and ships, taking some pictures of some of them.  A few gigantic cruise ships left New York City on their cruises, with crowds of passengers lining the decks.  A few large commercial ships came into port…   I kept examining them through the camera, zoomed in as far as possible to see if any had the space shuttle on them, but none did…

Each one coming in would sort of round the corner by Coney Island, then head my direction, then turn away and go closer to Staten Island for a while and then finally turn my direction again and work up towards the bridge.  I guess that's how the commercial channels are dredged and marked.

There was a fire department boat around that was spraying lots of water all around for a while.  Then it went down closer to Coney Island.  Once it started spraying again there, I also noticed a few helicopters down there.  Then I kept a closer watch, and saw a tug boat coming around Coney Island…

Then finally, the nose of the Enterprise on a barge…  And then it came completely into view…

I took a few hundred photos down there…  Once the space shuttle came in sight it took a long time to come up the river, following some channel or river traffic lane.  It had an escort of at least one police boat and fire department boat, and a few others that were probably just out for fun, or maybe supervisors from the company doing the hauling.

On the freeway behind me lots of drivers were stopping in the middle of traffic to take photos, while other drivers behind them were yelling obscenities at them.  While people on the sidewalk were laughing at them and yelling things like "take a chill pill!"

The Enterprise passed us, then went under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and passed yet another gigantic cruise ship, with lots of passengers on the side snapping photos of the space shuttle.  That's the sort of thing they'll never see from another cruise ship again…

Then it went around a slight bend in the river and was lost from my sight… 

I worked my way slowly back to the subway station to return to Manhattan.  It started drizzle lightly for a few minutes as I was returning, but didn't last long at all.

I got the R train at 95th Street in Brooklyn, and at 59th Street changed to an N express train.  I fell asleep on it somewhere after Atlantic Avenue - Barclays Center and woke up around 14th Street - Union Square.

The full, repetitive album, with captions on all the photos (since Blogger doesn't bring them in) is on my Picasa albums...


















































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