With storms in the forecast, Staten Island Ferry takes refuge in North Charleston | Company

The new edition of the Staten Island Ferry – an iconic New York passenger service that has been a lyrical inspiration for artists like Bob Dylan and Billy Joel and saved by superheroes Spider-Man and Iron Man – calls North Charleston its port temporary until bad weather clears.

The Dorothy Day ship, one of the boats that make up the ferry service between its namesake borough and Lower Manhattan, docked at the former Navy base this week to weather storms on its journey from Panama City, Florida. , where it was built. He heads for his Big Apple home in Whitehall Terminal.

The boat, now at Pier K in North Charleston, and the five-member tugboat crew towing the ferry are expected to be in town until September 12.

The 4,500-passenger ferry was in the middle of a 14-day trip up the east coast when it arrived in North Charleston on September 8, anticipating bad weather further north. When it arrives in New York later this month, the ferry will be staged at Caddell Dry Dock for cleaning and another round of testing and training. It should carry its first passengers by the end of the year.

The Dorothy Day is the newest ferry to join a rotation of nine boats that carry 22 million people a year — about 70,000 every weekday and fewer on weekends — between Staten Island and Manhattan. The trip, which takes about 25 minutes each way, offers great views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the skyscrapers of New York’s Financial Center. And it’s one of the best values ​​the city has to offer – it’s been free since July 4, 1997. The Tripadvisor website ranks the ferry among the top 10 things to do in New York.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. built the Dorothy Day and two other Ollis-class ferries for the New York City Department of Transportation, which operates the 5.2-mile river shuttle. The Ollis class is named after Michael Ollis, a Staten Island Army sergeant who was killed in 2013 while protecting other soldiers from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. Dorothy Day is named after the Staten Island activist and journalist who co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement, which provided food and shelter to those in need during the Great Depression.

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“These state-of-the-art ferries are now the first ships in the world’s busiest passenger-only ferry system that has reliably served the people of New York, New Jersey and the millions of tourists that the city of New York hosts every year,” Joey D’Isernia, president of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, said in a written statement. With the delivery of the Ollis class, (Eastern Shipbuilding) is proud to continue this centuries-old tradition for decades to come.

The new ferries are larger, incorporate modern technology and will operate more safely in extreme weather conditions. While they feature popular design elements of old Staten Island ferries, they also feature amenities such as phone charging outlets, an upper deck walking track, and state-of-the-art safety and environmental features.

While the big-city vibe might be lacking during Dorothy Day’s short stay in the Lowcountry, the city of North Charleston and the city that never sleeps have at least one thing in common: New Yorkers. The Charleston area has been one of the top destinations for New York residents looking to escape the metropolis, according to the Census Bureaua trend that has been especially true during the pandemic.

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Contact David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_

Lynn A. Saleh