January 08, 2009

Below the mast

Below the mast

On a street shaded by tall buildings and filled with yellow cabs honking their horns, I looked east towards the water and caught a glimpse of a four-masted barque. I could just see the rigging of the sailing ship amidst the steel and glass of the skyscrapers.

On this cold winter morning, the usual tourists who flock to the South Street Seaport weren't there. But the boats were.

I wandered the quiet pier, gazing up at the Ship Made Famous by Irving Johnson. Standing below the huge steel hull, I could imagine it rounding Cape Horn in treacherous winds.

Besides the workers who were doing some kind of construction on the nearest street, I saw only one other person, a woman sitting by herself on the pier, reading an account of a famous sailing voyage. Every few sentences, she'd stop and look up at the boat, as if to assure herself that it was still there.


east village idiot said...

Back when I was an insane over compensating working mother - I threw my son his fifth birthday on that boat...it is a beautiful boat and a shame they may soon tow it away due to lack of funding for preservation.

Anonymous said...

How fantastic.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...


Cloudscome said...

Lovely photo and story.

gina marie said...

Nice perspective. The woman looks so small in comparison to that mammoth of a boat but she was the first thing I looked at. Nice blog.