Travel Theme: Orange, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Orange.

As we travel around New York Harbor in our kayaks, we see quite a bit of orange. Orange is, of course, the premier color for high visibility, and many warning signs, buoys, floating booms, parts of barges and ships, are bright orange.

But there is just one large boat in the harbor—actually, a whole fleet of them—that, from bow to stern, top to bottom, is entirely orange: the Staten Island Ferry.

White seems to be the most common color for ferries everywhere, and most other ferries in New York Harbor are white. Originally, the Staten Island Ferries were white, too. But in 1926 the color was changed, indeed to make the ferries more visible in fog and snow, to reddish-maroon, and then later to the present “municipal orange.” Today, the orange Staten Island Ferries are iconic—almost as iconic as the Statue of Liberty.

Staten Island Ferry 1
Staten Island Ferry 2

After a couple of close encounters, Johna is especially wary of the Staten Island Ferry. It’s hard to avoid it. We have to cross its path, sometimes twice, on almost every trip through the harbor. It moves fast and it always seems to be where we don’t want it to be.

And so, we are always scanning the water for that big orange boat.

Sometimes, we come upon it docked, with passengers still getting on, so we know we have at least a few minutes to sneak past and get safely out of its way before it departs.

Staten Island Ferry 3
Staten Island Ferry 4

Sometimes it’s too late—we have to wait. But it gives us a chance to admire the beast close up.

Staten Island Ferry 5
Staten Island Ferry 6
Staten Island Ferry 7

And sometimes, we have to rub our eyes and look again. A Staten Island Ferry coming down the East River? “A planet might as well leave its orbit.”

Staten Island Ferry 8
Staten Island Ferry 9

Fortunately, Johna has not developed a fear of other kinds of oranges

33 responses to “Travel Theme: Orange, Take Two

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme: Orange | Wind Against Current

  2. Reminds me when as a kid, my parents would take us into the city on The Staten Island Ferry, minus the car.


    • I used to take it too when I first came to New York. I haven’t been on it now for many years, unfortunately. Perhaps something will come up on Staten Island for which we have to take the ferry, as opposed to the kayak… :-)


  3. The boat is certainly eye-catching in orange :)


  4. Great for the post….had no idea it would be painted orange…Love seeing things like this…with some ionformation about it…thanks!


  5. Seriously, Vlad… the ferry is *that* orange?


    • It is indeed. I was actually thinking these photos didn’t show it in its full orange glory. Sometimes, when the sun strikes it, it just glows.

      But actually, it could be more orange still. It isn’t, for instance, fluorescent blaze orange. And the paint is a bit faded and dirty on some of the boats…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a huge orange ferry! :)


  7. No that is a boat you won’t miss! A serious case of orange. :)


  8. Reblogged this on Hadel.


  9. I would be so scared…


  10. Pingback: Travel theme: Orange | northumbrian : light

  11. Wonderful images for the challenge. :)


  12. Really a good choice for the challenge. The waves in the last pictures look very big. And a bit scary to me, at least if you are going by kayak?


  13. I’ve often wondered… do you find you have to straighten a lot of your photos?


  14. Beautiful Fall color here. My son is a boat captain in Alaska. I do not know If I ever mentioned that to you.


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