Aurora & Carnival Triumph in Manhattan
Dramatic scenes in New York City when Aurora visited and my friend Howard Paulman was on hand to photograph her.  I met Howard on the Queen Elizabeth 2 in June 2008 during her penultimate call to Geiranger.  He has been photographing passenger vessels in New York City and elsewhere for over thirty years.  After working in the engineering profession, he now works as a commercial photographer, contributing material to ShipPax Information and other industry publications as well as Norwegian Cruise Lines and other travel-related and tourism agencies.  Howard is also a member of and contributor to the Steamship Historical Society of America and the World Ship Society - Port of New York.  While he has never sailed on Aurora, he has sailed on Oriana and a voyage on her younger sister is on his future cruise list.  She had the 101.509grt Carnival Triumph, which debuted in 1999, for company in Pier 90.  This is Howard's report of those two days.

On the 7-8Sept09 the
Aurora made her annual call to New York City.  Carnival Triumph was also in New York for a Canada cruise turnaround on 7Sept09.  With Carnival Triumph entering service a year before Aurora, I headed to New York City for a few comparison photos from the New York Waterways ferry and the Intrepid Air Sea and Space Museum.
USS Growler on the north side of Pier 86 at the Intrepid Air Sea and Space Museum with Aurora berthed on the south side of Pier 88 at the Passenger Ship Terminal in New York.
On 8Sept09, with Aurora scheduled to leave at 18:00, I headed to Weehawken, New Jersey to photograph her departure.  With the last of her stern lines being hauled onboard, Aurora casts off at 18:14.  As her port bow thruster having pushed her close to the USS Growler, Aurora slowly begins to go astern at 18:17 with Margaret Moran providing assistance.
Aurora has cleared the Pier 88 slip but having not backed into the center of the Hudson river as is usually done, she just clears the USS Intrepid at Pier 86 with her port bow thruster and the Margaret Moran both working to pivot her around.  She is not picking up any speed at this point and shows little or no wake at the stern.  With subtle whiffs of black and gray smoke coming from the stern beneath the Alexandria Restaurant, Margaret Moran continues to help Aurora turn to face downriver.  At this point, twelve minutes after casting off, the lack of a wake or bow wave is apparent and Aurora’s main electric generators are off line. 
Using emergency power to the bow thrusters, Aurora is facing down river while Margaret Moran changes position alongside the starboard side of the vessel.  There is no bow wave or wake as she continues to drift down the Hudson River.  At 18:33, nineteen minutes after Aurora left Pier 88, a second tugboat, the Cape Cod from Moran Tugs, comes to her rescue as Aurora continues to drift down the Hudson River.  Aurora continues down the Hudson River without headway as Margaret Moran takes up position forward on her starboard side while Cape Cod prepares to take the same position on the port side to guide Aurora while the engineers work to restart her main electrical generators.
Aurora has now drifted down the Hudson River for almost 26 minutes after departing Pier 88 and has only gone 14 blocks from 44th street to 30th street along the west side of Manhattan.  Power has still not been restored and discussion is underway about the need to return her to Pier 88.  A decision to return to Pier 88 was made at 18:44 and she will drift a little further south to a wider portion of the river before being turned by Margaret Moran and Cape Cod.
At 18:55, Cape Cod and Margaret Moran continue the turn to port as Aurora drifts slightly towards Lincoln Harbor at the south end of Weehawken, New Jersey with the Lincoln Harbor New York Waterways ferry heading to 39th street in Manhattan passing near her stern.  At 18:57, forty-three minutes after she left Pier 88 in Manhattan, Aurora’s main propulsion is back in operation and she begins to head back to Pier 88 under her own power with Cape Cod staying on her starboard side and Margaret Moran on station off her stern.
Cape Cod and Margaret Moran carefully place Aurora alongside Pier 88 at 19:33.  Two minutes later, at 19:35, the shortest ocean liner Cruise to Nowhere in the history of New York will be over, eighty-one minutes after it began.

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© Howard Paulman 7th & 8th September and Liner Lovers 12th September 2009
Not to be reproduced without permission