Fleet Week came early this year, as last week the city was visited by USS Cooperstown, which became the first US Navy ship commissioned in New York City since USS New York received that honor in 2009. Named for not just the village of Cooperstown, NY, the ship also honors the 70+ members of the Baseball Hall of Fame that served in the military. The commissioning was attended by baseball greats Joe Torre and Johnny Bench, as well as lesser-known figures, like New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro.
Cooperstown has left town, but next week we will have a new crop of vessels visiting us, some repeat visitors from recent Fleet Weeks, and some exciting new additions. Below is our annual guide to some of the units that will be in town—be sure to check out full schedule of events. The ships will be open to the public starting Thursday, May 25 through Saturday, May 27, and on Memorial Day, 8am–5pm. If you can’t make out to all of these spots during the week, join us on May 24, 26, and 29 for our Fleet Week Harbor Tours with Classic Harbor Line, where we will cruise past all the docking locations, get a waterside view of the ships aboard a beautiful motor yacht, and discuss the rich naval history of the harbor. On our Memorial Day cruise, we will also be doing a live stream of the tour.
Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, and Paul Italia made waves last month when they bought retired Staten Island Ferry John F. Kennedy. While we don’t know where this future comedy club will dock, few people know the inside of the boat as well as Angus McCamy. This native New Yorker and licensed captain and engineer reveals the ins and outs of this New York City icon, from the crowded rail at the Jersey side, to the bowels of the engine room and right under the keel. Join our virtual conversation with Staten Island native and longtime JFK admirer Stefan D-W.
Renowned nautical photographer Jonathan Atkin takes us on a high-flying tour of New York’s working waterfront, which he often photographs from the air to capture container ships, cruise liners, military vessels, and any other type of working craft. For every shoot, Atkin must coordinate logistics among at least 40 people in a high value, high security setting while hoping the weather cooperates. His experience as a merchant seaman and his knowledge of the harbor and its operations are critical to his success. Come along for a ride like no other as Atkin shares a bit of his knowledge and some of his work.
Enjoy this hands-on virtual program with the whole family! Ships are giant structures that can weigh hundreds or even thousands of tons. So how do they get them out of the water? Join us at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s history Dry Dock No. 1 for an exploration of the science behind dry docks and learn how this amazing machine is still used today to repair ships in New York Harbor. After we visit the dry dock, we will then show you how to make your own model of one to “fix” your own toy boats, using items you can find around your house. This video was created with support from the Brooklyn Public Library.
For just the second time in 33 years, Fleet Week New York has been cancelled this year, so instead, we will look back at Fleet Weeks and naval reviews held over the past century in New York Harbor. From the return of the victorious fleet after World War II to OpSails to ships of the contemporary Navy, we will share images and stories of some of the special visits of military vessels to our harbor and to the Brooklyn waterfront. We normally host our Fleet Week tours with our friends at Classic Harbor Line, so they will be joining us to share about their own beautiful fleet of wooden sailboats and motor yachts that take visitors around the harbor.
“Mind the Light, Kate.” From 1890 to 1919, Kate Walker honored this request from her dying husband as he was taken from their home, the lighthouse on Robbins Reef just off Staten Island’s North Shore in New York Harbor. Megan Beck, Curator at the Noble Maritime Collection, joins us to share the story of this remarkable woman who saved dozens of shipwrecked sailors while raising a family alone on a tiny island in the middle of the world’s busiest port. We’ll also get a peek inside this rarely visited site for a glimpse at the Noble Maritime Collection’s ongoing restoration project.