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Daily Log: Wednesday, October 15th

0545 hours

Current Position: Anchored at Grave's End Bay, off Brooklyn, NY.
Latitude: 40˚ 35.3'
Longitude: 074˚ 00.3'

Day Six of the 2008 Masters Voyage of Discovery.

As dawn breaks over the Brooklyn skyline, our day is already underway. In order to take advantage of the flood tide, the crew has risen before dawn to weigh the two anchors which have secured the Half Moon in place since Day Four.

This will be a long day, but deservedly so; in many ways, today -- the last full day the students will spend on board -- marks the true culmination of their Voyage of Discovery.

0700 hours

Since rousing ourselves, we've wiped the sleep from our eyes, rummaged the orlop deck, and reported to duty.

Belowdecks, Mr. Morel oversees the students as they once again haul in the port anchor rode hand-over-hand.

0730 hours

When the anchor reaches the waterline, Mr. Morel joins Ms. Smith on the port fore channel to hose off the mud and hook it to a tackle.

Mouse over to sweat the port anchor.
Andrew, Mr. Chase, and Mr. Hourigan sweat the anchor tackle.

Meanwhile the fore deck crew stands at the ready. When the anchor is hooked, Andrew, Mr. Hourigan, and Mr. Chase sweat the line while Ms. Reilly tails.

Once the anchor is hoisted, Mr. Morel pulls it back onto the channel, where he and Ms. Smith soon secure it. Removing the anchor chain can wait till later -- we still have another anchor waiting down below!

0745 hours

The crew has now rerun the lines on the orlop deck. All is ready, so the capstan crew starts hauling in the primary anchor while Ms. Reilly indicates the lay of the rode.

Mouse over to sweat the starboard anchor.

0800 hours

Once the anchor reaches the hawsehole, Peter, Greg, and Bennett sweat the tackle for Ms. Reilly. In short order the anchor is secure and we are on our way; our layover at Grave's End Bay has come to an end.

0830 hours

Today's breakfast is spinach quiche, which is served as we once again pass under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Temperatures this morning have been positively chilly; a lot of heavy lifting has kept our crew warm so far, but now that they can pause to eat most crew members take their food down to the relative comfort of the orlop deck.

0945 hours

We have now motored through New York Harbor and are approaching the tip of Manhattan. The students are all hard at work, putting the finishing touches on the student presentations due this afternoon.

For most of the senior crew, on the other hand, this is a nice, calm moment to take in the scenery.

Due to their late start, Jena and Natalie still need to perform a few more tests with their mechanical advantage rig.

Mouse over to see their notes.
Ms. Smith works with Natalie and Jena on the weather deck.

As they reconfigure the leads and measure the force needed to lift their ballast ingot, they prepare a series of diagrams and create formulas to explain their results.

1000 hours

The orlop deck is a hive of activity this morning. The students have spread out their notes and papers and are intently plotting out their data with their partners.

1130 hours

We've just passed the George Washington Bridge, putting Manhattan behind us.

This goes unnoticed by some of the crew, who remain entirely focused on their scientific work.

By now, the student's graphs are taking shape. They also write up their hypotheses and conclusions, as well as taking time to practice delivering their presentations with their partners.

As temperatures on deck warm up, Mr. McLaughlin sends up his galley assistant Lizzie with some coffee cakes for a mid-morning snack.

1215 hours

We're now running along the scenic Palisades, with Yonkers in plain view just to the north.

This will be the final anchorage of our Voyage of Discovery. Ms. Reilly climbs out onto the channel to prepare the anchor.

After spending most of her voyage on the channel, Ms. Smith finally gets a chance to run the fore deck. Once the anchor is deployed, she indicates the lay of the anchor rode for the benefit of the officers on the Quarter deck until we know the anchor is secure.

1230 hours

Jena and Natalie's mechanical advantage rig is attracting attention. Ms. Smith is happy to explain when Andrew asks about the principles of this simple machine.

1245 hours

Lunch is served! Today we're having macaroni & cheese and broccoli -- a nice, warm meal to dispel the remaining chill in the air.

1315 hours

After lunch, we gather up our gear and call for another deck wash. Apparently we're a crew of messy eaters!

1430 hours

We're now in the final stretch before the student presentations. Bennett is happy to show off the results of the salinity tests he conducted with Jonathan.

1445 hours

On the fore deck, Ms. Reilly has helped Jena and Nicole rig a special tackle for their presentation -- but more on that in a moment!

1515 hours

Pencils down! Time for the curtain to rise on our student presentations. The entire crew gathers around the capstan.

We draw names at random to pick the order of presenters.

Ross and Greg kick off the proceedings with their report on tidal patterns in Grave's End Bay.

After each team gives their report, they field questions from Captain Reynolds and the senior crew...

...as well as their peers. These questions often involve suggestions for improving these experiments on future voyages -- advice which has often been put to use.

Some presentations also include a hands-on demonstration. As part of their presentation, Jena and Natalie hoist Mr. Chase on their rig and accurately determine his weight.

Lizzie and Andrew also demonstrate how to use a quadrant -- as well as the important technique of using shadows to avoid having to stare directly into the sun!

In all, a very impressive collection of presentations. Click here to see more about each team's presentation in greater detail.

1700 hours

With the weight of their presentations finally off their shoulders, the students are free to spend the rest of the day enjoying themselves. Bennett, Luke, Christina, and Andrew immediately jump at the chance to climb the rig again.

1730 hours

Below decks, Ms. Reilly has recruited Evi and Jena to help with a "special project" for later.

Mouse over to have Greg pilot the Zodiac.
Greg pilots the Zodiac.

Meanwhile, we need to send the Zodiac on a quick scouting mission to the Yonkers pier just upriver. Mr. Schuijer recruits Greg and Ross to come along just for fun.

On the way to Yonkers, Mr. Schuijer hands command of the boat to Greg, who has piloted boats before.

The Zodiac team zips over for a quick inspection of the Yonkers waterfront.

This is where we'll be docking tomorrow afternoon -- and then staying for two weeks of tours -- so we want one final inspection before we come in.

Mouse over to give Ross a boating lesson.
Ross pilots the Zodiac.

1745 hours

On the way back from Yonkers, Mr. Schuijer hands the tiller over to Ross, who has not piloted a boat before. For a first lesson, he does just fine.

1800 hours

The Zodiac team takes a brief detour to the Palisades, examining the waterfront in search of specimens to take back to the ship. Unfortunately, we've never had much luck finding wildlife in the kind of brackish environment found here, so the team heads home.

The Half Moon is still waiting for them when they return.

1830 hours

With all hands back on deck, Mr. McLaughlin serves chili and cornbeard for dinner. Half Moon superstition has long held that serving chili on board the ship summons storms, but this year seems to have definitely "broken the jinx."

Dinner is followed by apple cobbler a la mode for dessert.

As the sun sets and temperatures drop, the crew retreats below decks for their final night on board.

1730 hours

The students hang out on the orlop deck, having fun and telling each other jokes.

Meanwhile, down below, Mrs. Reilly recruits some senior crew members to help her with the final phase of her secret project -- marshmallow rice treats.

2130 hours

With lights out just half an hour away, Mrs. Reilly has Lizzie and Jena escort the snacks up to the unwary students. We give the students the option of eating them all now or saving some for anchor watch.

Shockingly, many of the students only take one treat, or even offer to share theirs with their crewmates.

Actually, this just leaves more treats for the senior crew to eat, so there's not much to complain about.

2200 hours

Lights out and our final anchor watch begins. Tomorrow brings celebrations and the end of the inaugural Masters Voyage of Discovery.

Next: Homecoming!

On October 3rd, 1609:

The third, was very stormie; the wind at East North-east. In the morning, in a gust of wind and raine our Anchor came home, and we drove on ground, but it was Ozie. Then as we were about to have out an Anchor, the wind came to the North North-west, and drove us off againe. Then we shot an Anchor, and let it fall in four fathomes water, and weighed the other. Wee had much wind and raine, with thicke weather; so we roade still all night.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.


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