Watch Cooking Channel

Seafood Dinners Aboard the Historic Mary A. Whalen

I had an unforgettable dining experience last weekend aboard the Mary A. Whalen, a retired tanker docked off the Brooklyn waterfront neighbordhood of Red Hook.

It was a perfect summer dinner party, dining atop the deck of a historic coastal oil tanker with salty smells of the seawater and the taste of fresh seafood.

The 172-foot boat was built in the Mathis Shipyard of Camden, New Jersey in 1938 — just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia — and had a busy career delivering fuel products up and down the Atlantic Coast, as far as Maine and Maryland. The Whalen was built for Ira S. Bushey, a Red Hook company that is no more. After 56 years of service, she was retired in 1994 and returned home to Brooklyn.

The Mary A. Whalen, in her current home at the container port in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

She is now the working offices of PortSide NewYork, a young non-profit group that promotes sustainable waterfront planning by advocating waterborne transportation — which PortSide maintains is the greenest way to move people and goods — and by providing educational, cultural and social service programs for the community on a water theme. PortSide’s “H2O Arts” program includes everything from ship tours, talks, readings and walks to concerts, performances and movies.

A Supper Club series aboard the boat is in the works to raise awareness and money for needed renovations — I was lucky enough to be invited aboard for a couple test runs.

The first one came last fall, where a group assembled for a huge paella feast.

We enjoyed a paella feast inside the galley aboard the Mary A. Whalen.

“Paella was chosen for the first dinner because I am Spanish, and paella is a big deal in my family” says PortSide director Carolina Salguero. Her father had several paelleras (paella pans); the largest was about 3 feet wide. It’s hard to cook paella on a normal kitchen range with small burners — Spaniards cook them outside over firewood or on custom gas-ring stoves with several concentric rings of fire — but the flat griddle top of the galley stove is perfect for making the traditional Spanish dish.

The diesel-burning range is from the early 1900s.

The galley stove is a diesel-burning Webb Perfection Oil Range, patented in 1918 and manufactured in Philadelphia by Elisha Webb & Son Co. The company was founded in 1894, but is still in business and PortSide enjoys continued customer service on its antique stove!

But the stove is quite the challenge for everyday cooking for Salguero, who lives on the boat. This is partly because it requires running a fuel pump, holding tank and filter system to pump diesel in, but also because the large, cast-iron box can take hours to get to a temperature high enough to perform everyday cooking tasks, like frying an egg. The stove is, therefore, kept at a low rumble which serves the dual purpose of keeping the galley warm in the wintertime.

But there was no need to run the stove last weekend, when the Supper Club test-run returned with an early celebration of summer food. Guests enjoyed a lobster boil and fresh mussels!

Guests set the table for fresh seafood on the deck of the ship.

Guest chef Domenic Venuto shows off the fresh catch, before popping the little guys into the pot.

Watch those fingers.

Dinner aboard the boat is an incredibly memorable experience. The peacefulness of the water, passing ship traffic and looming port-gantry cranes make an atmospheric backdrop to a delicious dinner with friendly guests.

Carolina plans to launch the upcoming dinner party series with the goal of raising awareness and money to make necessary repairs to the Mary A. Whalen. The ship was recently determined to be eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places, and PortSide is laying out plans for restoration that include repainting the exterior and interior, repairing the heat, running water and toilet systems, and one day, fixing the engine! The campaign will also help PortSide further its goals of getting a home that makes the ship accessible year-round to the public.

If you’re interested in joining a dinner party or making a contribution to the cause, reach out to PortSide here:

And for great seafood recipes, look no further!

Tags:

Comments (3249)

  1. gay realtor portland posted 11/14/2013

    gay realtor portland…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless really really worth taking a look, whoa did one study about Mid East has got more problerms too [...]…

  2. Löshår posted 11/14/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  3. InventionHome posted 11/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]here are some links to websites that we link to for the reason that we assume they’re worth visiting[...]…

  4. Custom Papers Writing…

    [...]time to read the content we have linked to below about[...]…

  5. Magic of Making Up reviews posted 11/14/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

  6. Magic of Making Up reviews posted 11/14/2013

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  7. fat loss factor program review posted 11/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here are a few of the websites we advocate for our visitors[...]…

  8. online backup posted 11/15/2013

    online backup…

    [...]Here is a great Blog You might Come across Interesting that we Encourage You[...]…

  9. Tech News & Gadget Reviews posted 11/15/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am constantnly proclaiming that its hard to get good help, but here is…

  10. bjs tires posted 11/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]The data mentioned inside the report are several of the most beneficial out there [...]…

  11. Google Page Ranking posted 11/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some entirely unrelated sites to ours, even so, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  12. Cooper Tires posted 11/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]that could be the finish of this write-up. Here you’ll find some websites that we feel you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  13. similan liveaboard posted 11/16/2013

    similan liveaboard…

    [...]The information mentioned within the post are some of the best accessible [...]…

  14. vardenafil dosis posted 11/16/2013

    ketua clubujamaa…

    fannie bathrooms braypounding lohan semnificatia demands children….

  15. women posted 11/17/2013

    Awesome…

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now ;)

  16. beezid scam posted 11/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool internet site that you simply may possibly appreciate. Take a search should you want[...]…

  17. remodeling rancho santa fe posted 11/17/2013

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  18. Irvine Custom Pool Builder posted 11/17/2013

    Irvine Custom Pool Builder…

    [...]we came across a cool website which you could love. Take a search in case you want[...]…

  19. baltimore graphic design posted 11/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some absolutely unrelated sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  20. upfront consultants newport beach…

    [...]one of our visitors not too long ago encouraged the following website[...]…

  21. new jordan releases 2012 posted 11/18/2013

    So cool…

    The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available…

  22. Laura Jacobs posted 11/18/2013

    Laura Jacobs…

    [...]Every after in a even though we opt for blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the most recent internet sites that we pick [...]…

  23. water ionizer review posted 11/18/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  24. bad credit loan posted 11/18/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really cool information…

  25. Kamagra posted 11/18/2013

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  26. Kamagra posted 11/18/2013

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG yesterday I found this…

  27. NYC Day Spa posted 11/19/2013

    The Absent Game…

    Concerning me and my husband we have owned far more MP3 gamers over time than I can count, such as Sansas, iRivers, iPods (common & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of gamers….

  28. Title…

    [...]one of our guests just lately advised the following website[...]…

  29. hipnosis conversacional posted 11/19/2013

    Cool sites…

    [...]I came across a nice site that you might enjoy. Check it out[...]……

  30. Kim Kardashian news posted 11/19/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I like but don’t get lots of link like from[...]…

  31. Title…

    [...]The information and facts talked about within the article are some of the most beneficial available [...]…

  32. Kim Kardashian blog posted 11/19/2013

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless truly worth taking a appear, whoa did one understand about Mid East has got far more problerms too [...]…

  33. Orlando Beauty Spa posted 11/19/2013

    Third Flower…

    My wife and i have been now delighted that Albert could perform his research as a result of the tips he had by your online page. It truly is now and again perplexing to simply normally be freely giving measures which many people might have been selling…

  34. male extra review posted 11/20/2013

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  35. last longer in bed for free posted 11/20/2013

    neimaginate pigs…

    tokyo eldred aprobe encourage dezbatute neologismi bump….

  36. Rheumatoid Arthritis posted 11/20/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to websites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  37. best e cig posted 11/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]please check out the websites we stick to, such as this a single, as it represents our picks in the web[...]…

  38. Marietta Day Spa posted 11/20/2013

    Whispering Misty…

    So sorry you can skip the workshop!…

  39. Ardina Alfonso posted 11/20/2013

    Ardina Alfonso…

    Get the latest food and drink news, healthy eating advice, and restaurant reviews….

  40. Diarista em Sorocaba posted 11/20/2013

    Wikia…

    Wika linked to this place…

  41. merchant account posted 11/21/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other websites, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  42. ad words keyword tool posted 11/21/2013

    Title…

    [...]just beneath, are quite a few entirely not associated web pages to ours, nonetheless, they’re certainly worth going over[...]…

  43. Title…

    [...]please go to the internet sites we stick to, including this one particular, as it represents our picks from the web[...]…

  44. konstruktori lego posted 11/21/2013

    konstruktori lego…

    [...]check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated internet websites to ours, having said that, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  45. Instant Payday Network posted 11/21/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to study or take a look at the subject material or web-sites we’ve linked to below the[...]…

  46. weight loss posted 11/22/2013

    weight loss…

    [...]Every as soon as in a although we select blogs that we study. Listed below are the latest sites that we select [...]…

  47. Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  48. Beauty Spa Savannah posted 11/22/2013

    The Slave of the Husband…

    Seeking forward to learning additional from you afterward!……

  49. George Rabito posted 11/22/2013

    George Rabito…

    Find real estate for sale listings, homes for sale, apartments for rent, and property records, as well as school and neighborhood information….

  50. mens watches posted 11/22/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c