The Space Shuttle “Enterprise” Sails Through NYC’s Harbor (6/3/2012)

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon as you can see in the photo below, and luckily I had been listening to the news broadcast when they reminded residents of Brooklyn that the Space Shuttle Enterprise was going to be making its way up the Narrows to the Hudson River and heading for its final destination on the U.S.S. Intrepid. For some reason I was confused about the date but since time was still on my side, I rushed down to the Shore Road Promenade and secured a decent vantage point to snap photos as the shuttle passed by our region.

This was pretty cool news of course, and something that was perfect for a photo blog presentation for the readers, so I hoped to get a healthy batch of images for all to enjoy as the shuttle headed deeper into the city. I was using both my Canon DSLR and my ever trusty Panasonic Lumix for this gig, and perhaps this is why some of my shots came out smaller on the upload to the blog than others. Oh well. Each shoot is a learning experience. The shot below shows the vantage point where we would all see the shuttle’s progress. I was very excited. I love this stuff. I didn’t focus too much on the assembled people but you do see some of them in this shot. It’s safe to say that there were hundreds upon hundreds around me for this.

Don’t mind me here with this sailboat shot, I was just testing my zoom capabilities. Currently my best zoom is a 75mm-300mm and while I don’t know more specs on the Lumix can say that it has 12x Optical zoom which serves me great for many situations.

Now I’m just playing with the zoom capabilities to see how up close we could get to the bridge. Given the trajectory of the Shuttle on the barge, I was about seven blocks away from it all. Give or take a block of course.

This ship in the distance fooled me for a second. I thought it might be the barge with the shuttle but I was incorrect in that assumption. Mind you a few other “oohs and aahs” were happening when this came into view so you cannot blame me.

Here we go. Now you could see the tugboat making its way into our vantage viewing point and it is pulling, The Enterprise….

Ahhhh lovely sight to behold. Even if this one never actually went up into outer space. I like that we shall have it for viewing on the U.S.S. Intrepid.

The viewing public was mostly quiet, and I guess they were all just taking in the majesty of something as cool as this. That is nice to see. Cool stuff deserves attention don’t you think?

Here is a closer look, and one of those larger photos I spoke of earlier. I think it would have been cool to be in the Shuttle’s cockpit as it was pulled through the harbor. Sorry, I get silly when I see stuff like this from time to time. The adventurer in me escapes.

I don’t think you will argue about the overall beauty of the Verrazano Bridge. It might be pricey to cross these days, but it sure is awesome to stand near and take photographs of for free when you are in the vicinity. Fortunately for we residents of Bay Ridge, we can do this all the time.

I’ll let these next few shots of the Shuttle go by without much narrative. Enjoy and pardon the slight similarity of the shots. I was clicking away as she moved and there is only so much activity when a craft is being towed through the harbor.

I wasn’t sure what this boat was that was following the barge with the Shuttle on it. I thought it might be a tugboat but I think it might have been a maintenance craft of some kind.

Suddenly a small speedboat zoomed into the shot and I was surprised that there was any actual sea faring craft outside of official ones even allowed on this part of the harbor while the Shuttle made its trip.

The Shuttle was getting very close to the bridge now. Very exciting. Yay.

While the small speedboat surprised me a few shots earlier, I had to say that the massive cruise ship really zapped me. I hope that everyone on board this massive vessel were paying attention to the awesomeness that was happening right outside of their cabin windows.

Before we continue along, let’s give that little tugboat that was doing all the work today a little attention. These boats always impressed me with their power.

As you can see, our Enterprise was moving steadily forward towards the center of the Narrows Harbor. Begin your awed silence as this was happening.

Ladies and gents, we have Bridge visibility now. I am humbled.

I consider these next two to be among my favorites.

Here is the illusion that the ship and the shuttle were heading right at each other but they were in different shipping lanes in the harbor. Plenty of room out there but you do still need to pay attention to what you are doing.

As you can see this was merely an illusion. Still a scary thought to even imagine these two objects meeting by accident.

These next couple of shots show us Fort Wadsworth in the background. I was unable to get a better image of this based on the ship and the timing that the Shuttle had been moving. Sorry.

And now the adventure was almost over, well, at least for my vantage point. It was now time for the rest of the audience assembled down on the Shore Road Promenade to get their eyes locked on the Enterprise. Of course, being right here under the bridge was probably the coolest place to watch this all happening but I digress.

Here’s a better shot of that boat from before by the way. I loved how it had the flag draped upon its bow.

A fire boat was following the journey as well, and I guess it never hurts to have them on duty just in case.

Here I am just seeing how close I could get to the helicopter. Not too shabby.

The cruise ship had made its way past the bridge and was now heading out to sea to some exotic location. As this Holland America Cruise ship passed me, the name rung a mental bell in my head. It was not long after I had pined to be on said ship heading toward the aforementioned exotic locale when I realized that I had actually already been on this very same ship about thirteen years ago on a family vacation. Talk about a coincidence. I still have my coffee mug to prove it, and well, a few hundred shots from that adventure in some photo boxes in a closet somewhere.

Here’s a few more close ups of the Shuttle. I would say “to boldly go” but its been done to death already by the politicians when the news about our getting it happened.

“Alright folks, the show is over, please return to your homes”…..of course they were not saying anything like that but I could not resist in typing it in.

Be sure to get yourself to the Intrepid to see The Enterprise right before your eyes. I think this museum is about $40 to go to but its some worthwhile stuff to explore if you have the time. Hope that you enjoyed our presentation, as I surely was happy to share this with you all.

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