Inside the Mary Whalen


In “No City for Old Tankers,” published today in the New York Times, John Leland talks to PortSide New York founder Carolina Salguero about the impending homelessness of her retired oil tanker, the Mary A. Whalen. These pictures were taken by Kerri MacDonald in 2010, just before its move to the Atlantic Basin for a summer of fun including film screenings, tours, and yoga on board, which we drew attention to (and raised some money for) through a fundraiser. Now its future is uncertain, but you can sign the petition to the city to secure a home for the ship or donate directly to PortSide. 

From the story:

MS. SALGUERO was eager to describe plans for future events on the ship: an opera based on Gabriel García Márquez’s novel “Love in the Time of Cholera” or a program of gospel music and spirituals, which often use water imagery. Or maybe several ships could band together in the channel as a destination for water taxis. “There’d be much less review,” she said.

But she also faced up to a grim prospect: if she gave up the Mary Whalen, she said, it was uncertain whether anyone else would want it, especially with a nonworking engine. “That means she gets scrapped,” Ms. Salguero said.

As for herself, she said she had no idea what she would do if she were suddenly to return to life on land. “I’d like to go to sleep,” she said. “I’d like to have a proper vacation. For six years I’ve been the ship keeper; I have to watch over the ship. I would take a breather. But I’d rather not have to take it.”

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