Capt. Henry Griffin has been in command of an unusual vessel since 1976.

The 70-ton Cable Queen, owned by New York Telephone, is used to lay underwater cables in the waters around New York City and elsewhere.Griffin, 59, said the ship, which sometimes carries a diver, is the only one of its kind in the U.S. It has laid more than 100,000 miles of cable since it was launched in 1951.

Currently, says Griffin, the ship usually reels out the new fiber-optic cables which are lighter and more efficient than copper cables carrying phone lines.