The Big Apple
by Maureen Bonner
September 30, 2005
The Arctic Sunrise docked in New York City in the early evening on Wednesday. The international crew had a field day taking pictures of the New York skyline, the Empire State building and the Statue of Liberty as we made our way to our new home for the weekend, Chelsea Piers.
Chelsea Piers is a large complex full of leisure activities. There is a bowling alley, roller-skating rink, health club and more. We are docked at the end of a 48-person driving range and from our port side we have a view of golf balls soaring at us from 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Our only protection is a net (and the fact that most golfers can’t drive the ball that far). But the net has at least one hole in it, because a golf ball came bouncing into the hold yesterday.
Movie buffs will appreciate this isn’t the first time a Greenpeace ship has been attacked by golf balls. In the opening scene of Armageddon, Bruce Willis’s character is an oil driller, and his rig is being protested by a Greenpeace ship. He obviously isn’t pleased about the protest, so he is driving golf balls at the ship, aiming for the activists’ heads. Seven years later, the same scenario is being played out, but this time 48 people are using us as target practice. And people said that movie wasn’t realistic!
I’m sure this will prove to be a busy weekend. Last night we had over 60 supporters onboard for a reception, and we’re hosting another one tonight. Saturday and Sunday we’ll have more Open Boats and Monday we begin the transit down to Miami. Meanwhile, crewmembers are frantically trying to trade shifts with each other, hoping to catch a Yankees game, an afternoon at the Met or an evening at the Philharmonic Orchestra. Personally, I’m happy just to walk around the city and take in the sights. After living in Washington, D.C. for three years, skyscrapers have become a novelty.