The Ida May Project is now flying code flags high over their outdoor display at the Christeen Corp boatyard on West End Avenue. Inside there is a new viewing platform for you to get a good look into the ship to see the progress. It is truly a work of art, hand fashioned and one-of-a-kind made by project manager Ed Peterson of Syosset and longtime volunteer William Shephard of Plainview.
Board member Larry Schmidlapp (Centre Island mayor and harbormaster) donated a bag-o-flags with varying code messages on them. They used to fly over his wooden rum-runner Gatsby. Not enough to write a cogent word, but sufficient to let the world know that the Ida May Project is alive and doing well. FYI: the solid yellow flag stands for quarantine and the blue and white checkerboard flag announces racing.
Peterson and Shephard organized the display of the original keels of the 1925 Ida May and the 1883 Christeen, on blocks of wood visible behind the chain link fence on West End Avenue. Overhead, the code flags are flying.
Interestingly, the older Christeen keel looks newer. That is because it was kept pristine inside its boat-body for most of its life, while the Ida May has been out in the elements for several years as its next use was contemplated. At first it was going to be the centerpiece of a marine center building, when Fritz Coudert was a presence with great ideas, vim and vigor steering the WaterFront Center.
Take a good look at the lumber to understand the way each wooden ship is created piece by piece, one item at a time.
Visitors are welcome on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers are still needed to help finish the ship. Al Miller said, “It’s a real hoot. Where else can six to seven old men go on Tuesdays and Thursdays and enjoy themselves.” He said this as he straightened and swept the area getting it all ready for visitors on Bay Day, which took place on June 5.
Incidentally, if you are looking for a worthwhile project to support, donations can be made online at www.idamayproject.com or by check made out to the Christeen Corp and mailed to P.O. Box 386 Oyster Bay, NY 11771. For more infor
mation, call 516-305-9204.