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Old September 6th, 2001, 10:04 AM
jon jon is offline
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Default La Belle France - aka Norway

Yesterday afternoon I watched the Norway sail out of New York Harbor for the last time. As I have never seen a ship I love going to the breakers this is the closest I have ever come to that.

It was a SPECTACULAR day to sail - clear blue sky & the the Hudson River almost like a lake. I watched from the sun deck of my health club on 20th street & the Hudson River. As she sailed at 5:00 P.M. she reall y looked beautiful - in some respect it is hard to believe the economics of the situation superceded the beauty of the ship. Despite the addition of decks to her superstructure she maintained a proile that we are not soon to see again. The upper decks were full with passengers. A few passengers chose the Promenade Deck( my favorite place).

It was eerily quiet as she sailed past me - she looked spectacular & it was hard to believe she won't be returning. I watched until she past the Statue of Liberty where a fire boat turned on her hoses in a beautiful salute, entered the Narrows, under the Verrazano Bridge & could no longer see her. Her funnels were the most distinct feature even far away. In the distance it was as if the additional decks had disappeard & the FRANCE was actually sailing on a regular transatlantic crossing.

It was sad to see her go, but something interesting occurred. Amoung the harbor traffic there was a single masted sailing ship (a la Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria) & I realized man's follies & perhaps one day we will see the FRANCE restored or recreated. But for the time being I'll keep my memory of being aboard the FRANCE in MAY 1972 on a sailing day much like yesterday.
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