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Daily Log: Sunday, October 12th

Mouse over for a closer view of the morning mist.
Mist rises off the surface of Newburgh Bay shortly after dawn.

0700 hours

Current Position: Anchored south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.
Latitude: 41˚ 30.9'
Longitude: 073˚ 59.6'

Day Three of the 2008 Masters Voyage of Discovery.

Temperatures have dropped overnight, leaving us with a chilly, mist-covered morning when we arise.

0900 hours

After breakfast, the crew starts its day in the warmth of the orlop deck with a selection of readings from Robert Juet's journal.

0945 hours

By the time we conclude our readings, the morning temperature is starting to rise and the mist has mostly burned off. The students return to their Deck Log research. Here, Ross and Bennett cooperate to use a Van Dorn sampler to collect water from beneath the surface of Newburgh Bay.

A few feet away, Mr. Hourigan observes as Lizzie measures the current wind speed.

1000 hours

The ebb tide isn't due to arrive for at least another hour, but Captain Reynolds decides to take advantage of the light northerly breeze blowing past us while it lasts. As the crew makes preparations to weigh anchor, Greg helps Mr. Hansen raise the flags.

1030 hours

After the flags are in position, Greg moves down to the below decks team to tend the anchor rode with Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Chase.

We generally circulate students into new positions each time we weigh anchor, in order to give everyone the full experience of the entire process. Today, while Mr. Morel tends the bits, he is assisted by rode fakers Jena and Christina.

Mouse over to walk the capstan.
The crew walks the capstan.

Once again we opt to weigh anchor without the assistance of the ship's engine. With our crew walking the capstan, the anchor is soon secure on the fore channel.

Mouse over for a closer look at the Clearwater.
The Clearwater sails past the Newburgh waterfront.

1100 hours

We're now underway, sailing past Newburgh at a... leisurely pace.

Not far away, we note another notable Hudson River vessel sailing by -- the Clearwater.

As soon as the anchor cleared the waterline, we set the fore sails. So far today, we've operated the ship under sail power alone. There is a hitch, however...

1130 hours

...half an hour later, we essentially haven't moved. Although we do have enough wind to hold our position against the flood current, our effective speed reads as 0.0 knots.

Deck Log work continues all the while. On their shift, Luke and Ross check the air temperature, which is gradually climbing.

Since the ship remains effectively stationary, we continue taking turbidity readings and soundings as well.

Mouse over for a closer view.

1200 hours

After a valiant try at sailing, we concede that the winds are not in our favor today and put the courses back in their gear. Meanwhile, students have been ascending to the main top to take wind speed readings from a higher elevation.

1215 hours

As we rev up the engine and continue downriver, lunch is served by the capstan. Today we're enjoying sausage, sourkraut, bread, and potatoes.

1300 hours

After we douse the remaining sails, our experience line handlers make quick work of clearing the decks of the "spaghetti soup" created by loose lines.

Out on the beak, Mr. Schuijer shows Mr. Hourigan how we furl the spritsail.

1330 hours

We are now passing Pollepal Island, northern gateway to the Hudson Highlands. The students are quite excited to see the island -- several of them have written reports on it for school.

Mouse over for a closer look at Bannerman's Castle.
Bannerman's Castle on Pollepal Island.

The island's famous landmark, the ruins of Bannerman's Castle, is clearly visible as we pass by.

1400 hours

As we travel through the Hudson Highlands, we send teams of climbers aloft to furl the sails.

Meanwhile, Deck Log work continues on the weather deck. At the moment, Jonathan helps Dr. Jacobs collect a surface water sample and test its salinity. In order to accurately record the Hudson's salinity, the students must also be able to tell where the sample was taken; this involves using a GPS unit to determine the ship's current latitude, and then using that data -- along with surrounding landmarks -- to find our position on a river chart.

1430 hours

As Andrew climbs aloft for a wind speed reading, we pass by West Point.

Salinity readings continue on deck. We've been in brackish water since Newburgh -- now the question is when the salinity levels will rise high enough to push the brackish ecology into a marine environment.

Students continue to be interested in taking on extra maintenance tasks around the ship, so Ms. Reilly proposes a major marlinspike project: the students will seize the wrap the rails surrounding the main staircase with decorative ropework -- what sailors would traditionally call "fancywork."

A side effect of this project is that we'll need to slide up the supporting crossbar so our workers can reach it. The word quickly goes out that stepping below decks involves crossing a low bridge, so we avoid any unexpected limbo contests.

Jena and Evi will work from the starboard side, while Andrew and Jonathan will work from port -- with other students dropping in as their schedules allow. The first step is to estimate how much twine we'll require. By our measurements, we determine that we'll need three feet of twine for each inch of the rail we cover.

1515 hours

As we pass under the Bear Mountain Bridge, Peekskill comes into view and we begin to pass back out of the Hudson Highlands.

Snack time! Mr. McLaughlin has offered up some lemon cake to liven the crew's late-afternoon spirits. Lizzie takes a break from her duties to deliver a slice of cake to Christina, currently stationed at the helm.

This is Christina's third time at the helm, so Captain Reynolds suggests that she try some more advanced steering techniques. Rather than simply relaying commands for Christina to perform (such as "midships" or "half left"), the captain explains how to find a distant, fixed landmark and use it as a navigational bearing, making steering adjustments as needed to hold that course.

1545 hours

In the galley, Bennett is hard at work dicing cheese for tonight's dinner.

Meanwhile, the student crew has been informed that the orlop deck is temporarily off-limits. Of course, that doesn't stop them from clustering at the head of the stairs to see what all the commotion is about.

We are currently just off King Marine in Verplanck, NY, the Half Moon's winter home. As we pass by, we ready a cannon salute to our host.

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. Chase fires a salute with a port falcon.

1600 hours

Mr. Chase is granted the honor of firing off the salute. He seems impressed with the results!

Once the falcon has been fired, Ms. Reilly cleans it out and the students are again cleared to enter the orlop deck.

1615 hours

Once past King Marine, we enter Haverstraw Bay, our destination for the day.

1730 hours

As we close in on Hook Mountain, the site of tonight's anchorage, Jena has decided to outdo herself. Although she did climb the rig yesterday, she didn't climb all the way into the top. As the afternoon winds down, she intends to achieve that goal. Ms. Smith accompanies her up the shrouds.

1745 hours

After Jena returns to deck, she and Evi turn their attention to a far more challenging problem -- Latin homework! Bene felicitas, ladies!

Meanwhile, Mr. Schuijer and Mr. Morel are hard at work preparing to set the anchor.

1800 hours

As the day's travels come to a close, so too do we bring an end to the orientation phase of our Voyage of Discovery. Over the past three days, the students have grown comfortable with our scientific instruments as they maintained the Deck Log. Now their teachers call for a meeting where they select partners and topics for their presentation projects.

Mouse over to set the anchor.
The anchor chain and rode rushes out the hawsehole.

While the student briefing is underway, the senior crew handles setting the anchor. When the command comes to let fall, Mr. Morel pulls the carrot. As the anchor dives to the bottom of Haverstraw Bay, it drags the anchor chain down with it.

Ms. Smith is stationed at the bits to make off the rode at 150 feet -- and also to ensure that nothing unexpected (like a stray sleeping bag) gets yanked out the hawsehole along with it!

1815 hours

With the ship secure, the crew settle into their evening routine.

For some students, the data collection phase begins right now. Ross and Greg will be tracking the movement of the moon for their presentation. The moon has just risen, so there's no time like the present to get started.

While dinner is being served, Captain Reynolds polls the crew concerning our future schedule. Our initial plan was to remain anchored off the Pallisades for our data collection layover, but with the calm weather we've been having, we now have the option of continuing all the way to New York Harbor tomorrow and having our layover there. Which destination does the crew prefer?

It's unanimous: New York Harbor!

1830 hours

With that matter settled, we dig into dinner: pasta, salad, garlic bread, and ample portions of chicken parm.

1845 hours

As the sun sinks below Hook Mountain, our day technically comes to an end. However, for the students, work will continue into the night -- not only do they have anchor watch duties, most student teams have chosen presentation topics that require them to collect data around the clock. Tonight will serve as a good test of the work schedules they've set for themselves.

Next: Data Collection Begins!

On September 30th, 1609:

The thirtieth was fair weather, and the wind at South-east a stiffe gale between the Mountaynes. We rode still the after-noone, The people of the Country came aboord us, and brought some small skinnes with them, which we bought for Knives and Trifles. This a very pleasant place to build a Towne on. The Road is very neare, and very good for all winds, save an East North-east wind. The Mountaynes look as if some Metall or Minerall were in them. For the Trees that grow on them were all blasted, and some of them barren with few or no Trees on them. The people brought a stone aboord like to Emery (a stone used by Glasiers to cut Glasse) it would cut Iron or Steele: Yet being bruised small, and water put to it, it made a colour like blacke Lead glistering; It is also good for Painters Colours. At three of the clocke they departed, and we rode still all night.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.


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