All three of our boats departed Liberty Landing Marina around 1 am: Captain Joel picked up Bertrand Piccard and crew at Pier 25, Captain George had Andre Borschberg's family aboard, and the Solar Impulse media team set up their cameras on my boat.
The boats met at the Statue of Liberty to await the solar plane's fly-by, which began around 2 am. It was a spectacular sight: The plane's wings, spanning that of a Boeing 747, were lit from the underside and looked like no other plane that's ever flown over the harbor.
Party boat captains were putting out calls on the radio asking if anyone knew what those strange lights were. We were happy to explain.
Pilot Andre Borschberg made about four laps over the city and the Statue of Liberty. The plane was completely silent as it flew slowly overhead at a cruising speed of around 25 knots.
Bertrand Piccard, who will be piloting the next leg across the Atlantic, was narrating the arrival on camera aboard New York Media Boat.
The plane's batteries charge during the day via solar arrays on the wings and power the electric motors throughout the night. Solar Impulse's mission is to promote clean energy on this flight around the world, which began in Abu Dhabi in March last year.
The crew of New York Media Boat is honored to have had the opportunity to work with the Solar Impulse team in both 2013 and this year, and to have had both Piccard and Borschberg aboard.