They were on fleet.
Sailors aboard the Navy’s USS Kearsarge cruised under the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge — passing a Russian oligarch’s yacht that has floated in Gravesend Bay for weeks — into New York Harbor on May 24, leading the Parade of Ships that marked the first day of Fleet Week. As in years past, Brooklynites gathered along the waterfront to welcome the ship, which arrived with twelve other vessels, and those on board said they were struck by the greeting.
“Everyone was welcoming. The camaraderie was great,” said Petty Officer First Class Tara Virgin, a Floridian on the Kearsarge. “It was just very exciting going into the harbor — seeing the Verrazano so close.”
Hundreds flooded into Fort Hamilton on Wednesday for the salute to ships, a 15-gun salute to the Kearsarge, which shot back with a 7-gun salute. A slew of festivities that included a smokehouse, magic shows, and giveaways followed the ceremony.
Fleet Week, a tradition since 1984, celebrates sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and gives curious locals and tourists a chance to tour the elite military ships.
The city will host more than 3,700 for this year’s maritime fest, which ends May 30.