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John B. Caddell headed past Governor’s Island this drizzly morning for another load of oil and . . .

almost crossed paths with Mary Whalen, floating ambassador of Portside New York, getting shifted up to Pier 2 to host graduation ceremonies for New York Harbor School, a very special Brooklyn high school.

Notice one of four NYC waterfalls, that lattice structure rising just beyond the white Governor’s Island ferry.

Just south of pier 2 the tow does a counterclockwise 180 degrees; watch the orientation of Taurus and Mary Whalen relative to Manhattan in the background.

Counterclockwise . . .

(Imagine this spin to tango music)

. . . and then once inside the piers



Fancy driving;

precision movements.

Once the bowspring line is on a bollard,

the spin ends. Soon all lines are made fast and gangplank deployed. Behold a spectacular graduation platform for Harbor School, currently a high school in Bushwick. Read a post I did about this school over a year ago.

Taurus backs away and does a repeat

clockwise turn and reports for . . .

the next assignment, another local shift or something longer. Meanwhile, the ambassador, is prepping for pomp and circumstance. Join me in extending congratulations to the high schoolers; I hope these seniors read this to get a sense of the “fancy driving” that set up the evening to honor them. And honored they should be.

To quote Portside’s press release: “In 2004, Bushwick High School’s graduation rate was 23%. It was then divided into three small schools, one of them being New York Harbor School, an Urban Assembly school. Working with the same population of low-income minorities, the Harbor School has achieved new levels of excellence: This year, they expect a graduation rate close to 80%. Almost all graduates have applied and been accepted to college. The 2008 class slogan is ‘Finally, out of the fish tank into the sea.'”

Photos, WVD.

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June 2008