Dock Update: Yes we Can(dock)!

Candock floating a car. Yeah, it can handle our kayaks.  :)

Candock floating a car. Yeah, it can handle our kayaks. 🙂

Our plans for purchasing a used dock from the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club chanced on a sprinkling of Murphy’s Law: donations to our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor (Earth Day New York) were returned because of an address change. During that delay while they were being mailed again, the old dock was sold instead to the LIC Community Boathouse (a group founded earlier by Erik Baard, HarborLAB’s founder). May it be used safely and happily by adults recreating there.

HarborLAB will instead purchase a modern, modular Candock with a recent sponsorship from TF Cornerstone, which is developing part of the LIC waterfront. Thank you TF Cornerstone! We look forward to launching exciting educational tours, filled with residents and especially CUNY students, from our Hunters Point South district dock in May.

Volunteers who became among the first to grow HarborLAB previously assembled this kind of modular dock at Governors Island two years ago, in preparation for City of Water Day. It’s durable, easy to assemble, and safe. Our plan is to start small, at 8′ by 14’3″, with an additional stabilizing perimeter. This is adequate for our relatively small throughput of paddlers (typically groups of fewer than 20, with only three people on a dock at once) and we can add modules as HarborLAB grows!

A Candock module.

A Candock module.

The HarborLAB East River Ferry!

HarborLAB's morning crew of volunteers and supporters. Photo by Scott Sternbach.

HarborLAB’s morning crew of volunteers and supporters. Photo by Scott Sternbach.

HarborLAB is very grateful to NY Waterway for its exceptional generosity in providing a special City of Water Day ferry for our boats and volunteers to reach Governors Island in time to provide services. Storms threatened to disrupt the day, according to forecasts earlier in the week. Because we were to commence the public kayaking program on Governors Island at 11AM, we didn’t have the scheduling luxury of “playing it by ear.”

NY Waterway is a sponsor of both HarborLAB and the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, which produces City of Water Day. The company also runs special ferries from Manhattan to Governors Island in support of City of Water Day.

When HarborLAB Founder Erik Baard called NY Waterway CEO Arthur Imperatore and Operations Chief Alan Warren to explain our worries, they kindly offered a special East River Ferry to get our volunteers, educational literature, boats, tables, canopy, and other needed items to the island before 10AM. This also saved us the trouble of delivering some items to City of Water Day producer Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s offices in Manhattan. HarborLAB extended this offer to Green Shores NYC, LIC Community Boathouse, Newtown Creek Alliance, North Brooklyn Boat Club, and other waterfront and environmental groups. We were happy to bring longtime Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point Library community leader Mark Christie among our fellow passengers, along with Claudia Coger, President of the Astoria Houses Tenants Association (thanks to NYCHA Community Outreach professional Howard Hemmings).

The ferry captain and crew members were very courteous and kind, and quick!  Our gratitude to them too!

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HarborLAB Operations Manager EJ Lee exults in the morning sun and breeze aboard the special East River Ferry provided by NY Waterway. Somewhere Celine Dion is smiling. Photo by Scott Sternbach.

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HarborLAB Facilities Manager Patricia Menje Erickson shows her Con Ed pride! Not only is Con Ed a HarborLAB sponsor and a City of Water Day sponsor, but it’s also her employer. Photo by Scott Sternbach.

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A beaming Mrs. Coger represents NYCHA residents, specifically the Astoria Houses. We’re very grateful to Howard Hemmings for helping HarborLAB learn directly from the community about needs and goals.

 

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Boats below deck while volunteers enjoyed fresh morning air. Photo by Erik Baard.