I Sail with a Sprit

(July 21, 2023) I was wrong.  Initially I thought Brooklyn was a terrible place to sail from.  You don’t go up the Hudson, see midtown, and get the views that an ocean liner is supposed to get.  But the view from Brooklyn’s Pier 12, the Cruise Terminal at Red Hook is spectacular.  From the back you look up the East River toward the Brooklyn Bridge, to the Starboard you can see the Statue of Liberty, and Governor’s Island fronting downtown Manhattan.  You sail past the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, under the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge out through the passage between Breezy Point and Sandy Hook to the Ambrose Pilot station where the old Ambrose Light Ship used to be stationed.

This sail out with Suzi, two grandkids, Liam and Fiona and Brian I was accompanied by another person, the spirit of my grandfather.  He lived in a flat in Jersey City and we could see the Statue of Liberty from his fire escape.  We sat there looking at the ships that went to sea.  He had been a steward on White Star Line, ran away to sea at 13 and ended up in New York.  He loved to take me on boat excursions, at first the day boats to Keansburg (The SS Pocahontas), then to Rockaway Beach (The MV Liberty Bell) and finally to Bermuda (SS Queen of Bermuda) and to Ireland (SS United States and SS America.)  Everytime he passed Miss Liberty on a boat he stood with his hand on his heart and tears in his eyes in his salute.

Before we passed, I called the kids, who were playing in the pool and told them we were passing Liberty They should take a minute and look.  As we passed Miss Liberty and the band played “New York, New York” I stood with my hand on my heart, tears streaming down my cheeks, standing with grandpa’s spirit beside me, thankful for a country that welcomed strangers, hoping that never changes, thankful for the sacrifices he made to come to this country, for his hard work and the hard work of my parents.  Happy that I can share this travel experience with the grandkids, and especially happy that we live here.

3 thoughts on “I Sail with a Sprit

  1. With tears in my eyes, I thank your Grandfather, too. Great words, Rich!

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