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Photo by Vincent Desjardins (CC 2.0)


Her departure, a day later than first anticipated, due to the threat of Tropical Storm Hermine, barque Peking was eased away from her home at the South Street Seaport for the past 40 years and gently towed to Staten Island to prepare for her long journey across the Atlantic in the Spring.

As many of you already know, Peking is headed back to Hamburg, Germany, where she was built over 100 years ago. The German government has allocated 120 million euros to restore the vessel, where she will become the star attraction of the city’s new harbor museum.

Rick Spilman of Old Salt Blog was dockside at the South Street Seaport yesterday morning, together with a crowd of well-wishers, to bid Peking a fond farewell. (video by Rick Spilman)



This morning, the 1911 built, steel, four masted barque, Peking, left South Street Seaport, its home for more than 40 years, for the last time. For those of us who have known the ship for almost as long, it was both a sad and joyous day. The South Street Seaport Museum lacked the resources and even the berth space to support the Peking. The museum worked very hard to find a good home for the historic ship and they succeeded. Read more from Old Salt Blog here…

posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee


On Tuesday 31 March, 2015, the Working Harbor Committee held their annual film night at the Community Church of New York. The feature film was a very compelling documentary, “Liemba!”, about the 100-year-old vessel that ferries people along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika between Kigoma, Tanzia and Mpulungu, Zambia. Lake Tanganyika is the world’s largest freshwater lake and stretches through central Africa.

We witnessed the colorful lives of people approaching MV Liemba in small boats to pick up or drop off passengers, to buy or sell goods on the ferry or to transport goods elsewhere. Scintillating interviews entertained us as did the East African music soundtrack.

After the movie, we enjoyed interesting speeches by special guest speakers James Wong Director of Ferries, NYCEDC, Peter Flynt Portfolio Manager for Ferries and Maritime at NYCEDC, and Rick Spilman author of Old Salt Blog and two novels: “The Shantyman” and “Hell Around the Horn”.

We must have all felt a link with the riders of MV Liemba as we heard about future plans to expand community ferry service in NYC to remote areas lacking other public transportation options.

We then enjoyed food, wine and beer with excellent company!

Panel Discussion. Photo by John Skelson

Speakers James Wong, Rick Spilman, Peter Flynt and WHC Chair Roberta Weisbrod. Photo by John Skelson

James Wong, Rick Spilman, Peter Flynt. Photo by John Skelson

Esteemed guests enjoying the film. Photo by John Skelson

Enjoying refreshments and conversation. Photo by John Skelson

Author Rick Spilman signs one of his books for a fan. Photo by John Skelson

More exciting chit-chat after the documentary. Photo by John Skelson

Sharing warm conversation on a chilly night. Photo by John Skelson

James Wong chatting with guests. Photo by John Skelson


Thanks to everyone who came out despite the rain to support the Working Harbor Committee!


Photos by John Skelson and words by Phyllis Featherstone, generously shared with the Working Harbor Committee

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