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Daily Log, September 14

Thursday September 14, 2006

0600 hours

Current Position:Anchored in Haverstraw Bay
Latitude: 41˚ 10.611'
Longitude: 073˚ 54.503'

A big day! Today is both the fifth and final day of the first leg of our Voyage of Discovery, and Day One of the second leg.

The winds we experienced late in the day yesterday heralded the coming of intense rain during the night. By morning, the downpour has softened into on-again, off-again rain and mist, but the forecast predicts that what we see out that gunport is what we can expect for the next few days.

0700 hours

With the weather turned foul, breakfast is served on the orlop deck. Some of the students opt to eat in the galley, which -- as was typically the case in the age of sail -- is the warmest, driest place on the ship.

0800 hours

Our student crew is now mere hours away from the end of their Voyage of Discovery. However, just because the students have now completed their educational projects doesn't mean they're free from their duties

We want to be docked at nearby King Marine in three hours, and there's much to be done before then. Fortunately, one item on the list is making a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the crews of both legs to enjoy.

What's this? Have the stormy skies unveiled a lawn gnome stowing away on board? No, it's just Tori, shielding herself from the rain.

0830 hours

Captain Reynolds gathers the crew below decks to explain our plan for the day. First up: We need to weigh the anchor one last time.

0930 hours

Current Position:Anchored in Haverstraw Bay
Latitude: 41˚ 10.611'
Longitude: 073˚ 54.503'

We're anchored in fairly shallow waters, and have only paid out 75 feet of anchor rode, so raising the anchor doesn't take long. Charlie, Shaé, and Tori finish off the job on the capstan.

Down in the galley, Robert and Zora keep watchful eyes on the cooling cookies while they transcribe some of Mrs. Barton's recipes for Mrs. Lawler's benefit on the second leg of the voyage.

1000 hours

We're now motoring across Haverstraw Bay. Our final destination, King Marine, is just around the bend. Despite the weather, Rebecca B. serves a long shift at lookout with nary a complaint.

Meanwhile, her crewmates are hard at work scrubbing, sweeping, and otherwise cleaning the orlop deck so the next crew will find it in as fine a condition as they did when they first came on board.

As part of cleaning the orlop deck, the students (and any other crew members who aren't staying on for the second leg) make sure to pack up their gear and be ready to go.

For now, all the outgoing bags and bedrolls are piled up in the center of the orlop, where they're out of the way and can stay dry. When we reach port, the crew will work in unision to relay everyone's belongings on shore.

1030 hours

We reach King Marine, but the current and the winds are both working against us by pushing the ship away from the dock.

Mr. Morel and Mr. Morency are dispatched to the Zodiac to help push us into the right position.

1130 hours

Current Position:Docked at King Marine, Verplanck, NY
Latitude: 41˚ 15.24'
Longitude: 073˚ 58.028'

It takes three passes, but with the help of Randy King's family, we safely secure our docklines. Captain Reynolds steps onto dry land for a quick inspection.

1300 hours

We gather our crew together to hand out official -- and exclusive -- crew shirts to all of our crew members who have now successfully completed their first voyage on board the Half Moon. You can see our new crew members receiving their shirts on the Crew Page.

After bonding together so tightly for a week, some of our crew members find their imminent separation -- as they return to their separate schools and home towns -- a little overwhelming.

But they can always come back; Sarah Read, who served as a senior crew member on our Three Rivers Voyage of Discovery this past summer, is one of several current Half Moon volunteers who first joined the crew as middle school students in 1999 and have remained friends ever since.

1345 hours

And with that, the students' Voyage of Discovery is complete (or nearly so; they'll return for our arrival in Albany on the 19th). Having offered their final farewells, the first-leg students pile onto the bus and return to their lives and families ashore.

But wait -- the day isn't nearly done. Let's turn back the clock...

1230 hours

Just past noon, the student crew for the second leg of our Fall 2006 Voyage of Discovery arrives. They quickly get to work transferring their gear to the ship, while the first-leg students transfer their gear onto the bus.

For our new crew, this is their first glimpse of the Half Moon -- a bright splash of color on an otherwsie gray and dreary day.

1245 hours

"Like ships passing in the night," as the saying goes, the second leg crew climbs on board while the first leg crew prepares to disembark. Our new crew members immediately shift down to the relatively warm and dry orlop deck to get their bearings, stow their gear, and write their biographies for the Crew Page.

1345 hours

The first-leg crew has departed, so the Half Moon is now entirely under the control of our newly arrived sailors. Before we can cast off our lines and depart, however, we need to replenish our water supply. First, Mr. Dawson recruits Marty and Craig to help lay out hose to refill our primary water tanks for the head and galley sinks. Following that, many of the students lend a hand to filling our potable water bottles and porting them back to the ship.

1430 hours

What in that bucket could be so fascinating? It's the crabs our students collected in New York Harbor. While we make our departure preparations, Mr. Swartwout and a few students walk the crab bucket back to the shoreline to return our little captives to their native environment.

1445 hours

Our new crew is already growing familiar with the ship's operations. Our educators have walked each student through the basics of standing at lookout and helm, and they now assign the students to their duty watches, dividing them into Port and Starboard Watch.

1600 hours

Current Position:Docked at King Marine, Verplanck, NY
Latitude: 41˚ 15.24'
Longitude: 073˚ 58.028'

With Rebecca G. monitoring the hose in the galley pantry, we've nearly topped off our water tanks. We'll soon be ready to leave.

1630 hours

All our preparations are now complete. The time has come to depart. Captain Reynolds calls all hands on deck for a safety briefing and to formally introduce our new crew to the Half Moon.

1715 hours





1730 hours


1745 hours


1800 hours

Current Position:Motoring North past Bear Mountain Bridge
Latitude: 41˚ 20.013'
Longitude: 073˚ 58.435'

Dinner is served as we motor through the Hudson Highlands. Warm bean soup staves off the chill and damp of the day.

2000 hours

Current Position:Setting anchor off Beacon, NY
(Readings not recorded)

Due to our late departure, Polappel Island is just a black shape in the night as we pass it. Famously home to Bannerman's Castle, this island marks the end of the Hudson Highlands, signaling that we've reached our destination for the night. Within a few minutes, we've set anchor just off Beacon, NY, with the lights of Newburgh glowing on the far side of the bay.

After we set anchor, Captain Reynolds calls the crew together for their first anchor watch briefing. Once that business is settled, there's time for some fun...

2030 hours

Another leg of the journey, another birthday! This time it's Mrs. Fountain celebrating. Mrs. Hausler also has cause to celebrate: She's marking her wedding anniversary (but more on that in coming days.)

After everyone enjoys cake and ice cream, the students settle down to update their journals. Lights out comes promptly at 2200 hours, after which everyone but crew members on their anchor watch shift snuggle into their warm bunks.


On this date in 1609:

The fourteenth, in the morning being very faire weather, the wind South-east, we sayled up the River twelve leagues, and had five fathoms, and five fathoms and a quarter lesse; and came to a Streight between two Points, and had eight, nine, and ten fathoms: and it trended North-east by North, one league: and wee had twelve, thirteene and fourteene fathomes. The River is a mile broad: there is very high Land on both sides. Then wee went up North-west, a league and an halfe deepe water. Then North-east by North five miles; then North-west by North two leagues, and anchored. The Land grew very high and Mountainous. The River is full of fish.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.