Saturday, November 02, 2013


After having some sustenance at one or two of the many food booths at the festival and checking out a few of the craft booths located under the big tent I then headed over to the waterfront dock where the Tall Ship Mystic and the John J. Harvey fireboat were docked:

I bypassed the Mystic which is actually a fairly new ship and one that you can book passages on as it has a number of cabins for passengers on board. Though I did admire some of the details of the boat as I walked past:

Instead I headed for the retired New York Fire Department fireboat the John J. Harvey. Built in 1931 and it worked New York harbor until 1994. It was the first modern fire boat because it was not steam driven but, used gas engines. It was called back into service during the after math of the September 11th attack too. Climbing on board I was amazed at the access we visitors had to the boat and the things that were to be seen. Which is why I spent most of the afternoon on board. I started down in the engine room:

Which was filled with diesel engines, pumps and electric motors:

The Harvey operates is also a "bell boat" which means (other than steering) it was controlled from the engine room via commands sent down from the helm via a mechanical telegraph system which is on display in the engine room:
It is one of the last boats in the U.S. still operating this way. There is also another telegraph up at the helm and that's how the Captain and engine room crew communicate:

I was glad to learn that the John J. Harvey uses Electric Propulsion to turn the boats props. It has been operating with electric propulsion for over eighty years. Which bodes well for BIANKA's auxiliary electric  propulsion to last for a long time too!

Heading back up topside I came upon a display of extra nozzles for firefighting.

One of the things I found out is the Harvey is not just about fighting fires with the deck mounted spray nozzles.

It has manifolds located on the deck that  extra fire fighting hoses can be connected to if needed:

For a final treat of my tour on the John J. Harvey we were allowed to stay on deck as the crew put on a pumping display (which they did every half hour during the festival):

It was fun to watch the pumping from on board.

Even if the wind did shift and I and others on deck got a little wet toward the end of this video seeing the rainbow from the boat's spray was worth it:

What a great way to spend an afternoon. If you want more info on the John J. Harvey check out their website

So that was my second day at the 30th annual Oyster Bay Oyster Festival. There were many of the food booths I did not get to sample and a few other things I did not get to do like take a tour of the Mystic. But, I think I may make this even an annual part of BIANKA's sailing season. I'm looking forward to sailing back next year with BIANKA.

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