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Old Family Photos

April 3rd, 2016

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
By Mike Governale

There’s no real reason for this post. I was going through old family photos this weekend and stumbled upon these ones from a boat tour around Manhattan island my wife and I took in 2004. By complete coincidence we sailed directly in front of the infamous Spirit of Ontario I external link (a.k.a. Fast Ferry) on her maiden voyage to Rochester…

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
Like two ships passing in the night, the encounter was a brief one. These shots were snapped through a hazy plexiglass window, but I figure they’re a little bit of history now so I wanted to share them here.

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
The boat was LARGE; 282 ft long, 78 feet wide, and as tall as a five story building with capacity for 750 passengers, 220 cars, and 10 buses or trucks.

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
Inside it featured two movie theater rooms, a restaurant, two bars, Wi-Fi, a duty free shop, and a children’s play area.

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
With a top speed of 55 miles per hour, the ferry made daily trips between Rochester and Toronto for two seasons from 2004-2005 before ongoing mechanical issues and mounting debt shut down the operation.

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
In 2007 Spirit of Ontario was sold and has operated in Europe as the HSC Dolphin Jet external link ever since.

Fast ferry on it's way to Rochester from New York Harbor, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
And just like that, she was gone. But here are a few more photos from around the island…

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Boat tour around Manhattan, 2004. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]

Later that summer…

Fast ferry pulling into Port of Rochester, c.2004.
The big ship turns into the Port of Rochester. She was quite a sight—while she lasted.

• • •

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 at 10:43 pm and is filed under Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Old Family Photos”

  1. Chip Walker says:

    If I recall, the ferry was damaged while docked in NY City…. :-(

  2. Now that you mention it, I think you’re right. The first in a long string of mishaps.

  3. John says:

    Here is an article about the Fast Ferry damage in NYC

    http://wxxinews.org/post/fast-ferry-damaged-nyc-pier-accident

    And thank you for a great website, Love reading the articles and learning more about our history.

  4. Richard Long says:

    Ahhh yes, the famed Edmond FitzJohnson, the boat that should have been scuttled before it was built.

    Oddly, Mayor Johnson who actually lived in Fairport was too busy giving the taxpayers a shaft to notice viability of the ferry ended on September 12, 2001 when new Customs Regulations prevented it from making profit hauling trucks.

    Naturally, the genius who gave Rochester HiFalls or was it “It seemed like a good idea when I was Hi Falls” gave us the ferry with no place to dock in Toronto, and a tremendously expensive place to tie up in Charlotte.

    Hey, he also spent truckloads putting fake superstructure on the 490 bridge over the river, whatever the current name for the Troop- Howell is in 2016.

    Quick kiddies, what positive thing did Bill Johnson do for Rochester? Was it closing Nick Tahos at night? Was it his Point System for Bars and landlords?
    Was it his RETIRING from the Mayor job?


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