Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

     I used to explore alone. I think it's great how now, people from all over are reaching out to me and I'm getting to explore with them. At the time, this trip was with my largest group yet (a whopping five people). It helps to have good contacts. One of my guys told me that this site was possible to access legally...just knock on the door of the little white house and ask. There's a guy who comes up, sees you with a camera in your hand, and says, "You're probably here to see the boats. Well, they're out the back." I'm not going to disclose the exact location but I will say that you can see this place from a certain Staten Island bus...hit the yellow tape when you're there and start up your adventure.

     Also known as the Witte's Marine Salvage, the boats here were planned to be scrapped by the Donjon Iron and Metal Scrap Processing Facility. Unfortunately, because the owner of the place had been getting boats quicker than he could scrap them, many of the vessels are now left rotting, rusting and in decay.

 I do suggest that you come here. However, I will give you some bits of advice if you do. Firstly, go at low tide. You will see a lot more cool stuff by going at a strategic time. Try to choose a sunny day. Secondly, bring boots. If you want to actually get onto the boats, you will have to track through muck which will suck you in. If you do go out on the boats, be careful. The weather and the waters have rusted the metal, and planks of wood easily break off. Good balance is a must here. Be physically capable of navigating your way around. It's not easy. I'm pretty light, and I still managed to poke a hole in the rust of a ship. I didn't fall in but I was lucky that time. The last thing we need here is an accident that will result in the place getting sealed up. 

Do some research. Many other sites feature this location. Opacity is a great one. Keep in mind that the photos taken there are from five years ago. The location is in worse condition now. The place is even featured on NYC Go, so perhaps it can already be considered a tourist attraction. Make sure to read up on it, and know before you go. This is an under-appreciated, incognito part of New York City's history, so going there is definitely an experience.