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Daily Log: Thursday, October 16th

0700 hours

Current Position: Anchored off the Palisades.
Latitude: 40˚ 54.7'
Longitude: 073˚ 55.5'

Day Seven of the 2008 Masters Voyage of Discovery.

This also marks the final day of our student crew's time on board; tonight, they'll be back sleeping in their own beds.

As we rise this morning off the Palisades, we discover that the remarkably calm weather we've experienced all week may have finally come to an end. A storm front is skirting past just to the north, bringing with it a drop in temperature, fog, and even some light winds. The question is whether it will bring rain as well...

0830 hours

After we wrap up a simple breakfast of leftovers -- cereal, bagels, spinach quiche, and more -- Captain Reynolds gathers the crew to read mail call. Thanks for your letters!

0845 hours

We are due to arrive at the Yonkers pier at 1440 hours. Until then, this is a day for the crew to celebrate their accomplishments...

...and there's no better way to do that than to present all our new crew members with the exclusive shirts that mark them as official Half Moon crew. Visit the Crew Pages to see the Masters School crew members receive the shirts they've rightfully earned.

Shirts in hand, the crew proudly suits up in their crew uniforms for the rest of the day.

0900 hours

After the shirt presentation ceremony, Captain Reynolds briefs the crew on what to expect once we reach Yonkers and lays out our plans for the day.

First up: the students head back below to rummage and clean the orlop deck. This space has been their home for the last six days, but now they need to gather up their gear in preparation for their departure.

Photo by Jennifer Reilly


While the student crew works below decks, the senior crew have plenty of work on their hands as well. Fortunately, Mr. Schuijer is an expert at multitasking.

0945 hours

With everyone's gear stowed and collected down below, we return our attention above decks, calling for one last deck wash. We want the ship to look its best for our arrival!

1100 hours

For the final time, our student crew members reports to their positions to weigh anchor.

Once the capstan and belowdecks teams have done their work, Andrew and Mr. Schuijer report to the fore deck to assist Ms. Reilly with some additional "beefcake."

Sweating the tackle, they soon hoist the anchor onto the fore channel and it is quickly secured.

1145 hours

We're in luck! While the storm in the region is reportedly dousing the entire Hudson River Valley from just north of Yonkers to at least as far as Albany with pouring rain, it's brought us a stiff, southerly wind -- enough to sail!

Mr. Morel takes command of the fore deck, sending several of our experienced sail handlers aloft to unfurl the course while the rest prepare lines to set sail.

Mouse over for
a wide view.
Natalie unfurls the main course.

While the foredeck team work on setting the fore course, Mr. Schuijer climbs into the main mast rig with several students to unfurl the main course as well.

1200 hours

Before weighing anchor this morning, we sent the Zodiac out on a quick trip to pick up a local videographer, who will record our arrival. With him as come several copies of today's Journal News, containing the story on us and photos by our visitors on Day Five, reporter Stacey Anderson and photographer Angela Gaul.

The crew is eager to read all about themselves (and to catch up on news of the outside world).

At midday, we make our first pass past Yonkers.

As we sail along the waterfront, we fire a series of salutes from the ship's swivel guns.

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. Chase fires the starboard swivel gun.

On October 2nd, 1609, the crew of the original Half Moon utilized weapons like these after becoming embroiled in a battle with a local band of native Americans along this stretch of the river.

Mouse over to fire again!
Ms. Reilly fires the port swivel gun.

Today, our thunderous barrage of gunfire are entirely peaceful -- mere salutes to honor to our host city of Yonkers.

1245 hours

As we swing around to the south for another pass by the city, Mr. Morel readies the main mast team.

Mouse over to set the main course.
Mr. Morel and the students set the main course.

The student crew sets the main course beautifully.

With the sails set, the students are once again free to spend their remaining time on board focusing on their favorite activities. For their part, Jena and Evi are set on completing their fancywork project.

1315 hours

The student crew eagerly gathers at the port rail as we make our final approach toward the Yonkers pier.

1330 hours

We can already see the gathering crowd waiting for us as we approach. A few drops of rain are starting to come down, but by now no one's about to let that spoil their day. (And in the end, a few drops of rain is all we get; bono fortuna indeed!)

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. Chase fires the foreward port falcon.

1445 hours

On the orlop deck, we fire a volley of salutes with the cannons (or Falcons, as Robert Juet referred to them) as we make our apporach.

First, Mr. Chase fires the fore port cannon. He's immediately followed by Mr. Hourigan and the aft port cannon, pictured below.

Mouse over to fire the falcon!
Mr. Hourigan fires the aft port falcon.

It's about at this time when, for some inexplicable reason, all the smoke alarms on board the ship start going off. Go figure!

As we turn in for our final approach, we douse the sails and prepare one last volley of salutes from the Quarter deck.

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. McLaughlin fires the starboard swivel gun.

We fire so many salutes that we can include every member of the senior crew who wants to give the guns a try. Here, Mr. McLaughlin touches off one of our final salutes.

This photo has not been retouched, by the way -- that ray of flame is very real!

As we close in on the pier...

...we find the press and a collection of Half Moon volunteers crowded along the water's edge -- the former to record our arrival for posterity, the latter to accept our dock lines.


Behind them roars a crowd teeming with our crew's friends, family members, and classmates from the Masters School.

The primary mission of yesterday's scouting expedition in the Zodiac was to ensure that our mainyard would clear this balcony. Having braced that yard hard to starboard on our final approach, we can now clear the balcony with plenty of room to spare.

As we toss out our dock lines, our experienced line handlers haul in the slack and make them off.

With the Half Moon secure, Captain Reynolds orders all crew to gather on the weather deck.

One by one, our crew members excitedly climb the rail and step onto dry land.

Eventually, we even manage to lure Peter down from the fore top!

1500 hours

As we work our way into the crowd, our distinguished well-wishers have been refreshing themselves with drinks and hors d'oerves catered by the restaurant above the pier, X2O.

Without delay, everyone gathers around the podium for our arrival ceremony. John Peckham, longtime friend of the Half Moon and owner of Peckham Materials, serves as master of ceremonies. He introduces dignitaries from as near as Yonkers to as far the Netherlands to welcome the ship and its crew.

John Peckham,
Primary Voyage Sponsor

Phil Amcone,
Mayor of Yonkers
Andrew Spano,
Westchester County Executive
Maureen Fonseca,
Head of the Masters School
Steve Sansone,
Director of Yonkers
Downtown/Waterfront BID
Michael, Botwinick,
Director of the Hudson River Museum
Eric Niehe,
Netherlands Ambassador
for 2009 Activtities
William "Chip" Reynolds,
Captain of the Replica Ship Half Moon &
Director of the New Netherland Museum

1530 hours

After the warm words from our distinguished guests, Captain Reynolds asks each student to step forward in turn, awarding them with certificate of accomplishment.

With that, the arrival ceremony -- and the inaugural Masters School Voyage of Discovery -- comes to a successful end, and the student crew members mingle with their friends and family in the crowd.

Congratulations to our entire crew for all of their many accomplishments. We're already looking forward to returning for the second Masters School Voyage of Discovery in 2009!

On a more immediate note, the Half Moon will remain at the Yonkers Waterfront for through October 31st. Throughout that time, on weekdays we will be offering school tours in collaboration with the Hudson River Museum. On weekends, in our role as the centerpiece of Half Moon Fest, the ship will be open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM. Please come visit for a tour!

Revisit these pages at the end of the month for one more update on our dockside activities in Yonkers.

On October 4th, 1609, and Beyond:

The fourth, was faire weather, and the wind at North-Northwest, wee weighed and came out of the River, into which we had runne so farre. Within a while after, we came out also of The great mouthe of the great River, that runneth up to the North-west, borrowing upon the Norther side of the same, thinking to have deepe water: for wee had sounded a great way with our Boat at our first going in, and found seven, six, and five fathomes. So we came out that way, but we were deceived, for we had but eight foot & an halfe water: and so to three, five, three, and two fathomes and an halfe. And then three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten fathomes. And by twelve of the clocke we were cleere of all the Inlet. Then we tooke in our Boat, and set our mayne-sayle and sprit-sayle, and our top-sayles, and steered away East South-east, and South-east by East off into the mayne sea: and the Land on the Souther side of the Bay or Inlet, did beare at noone West and by South four leagues from us.

The fift, was faire weather, and the wind variable betweene the North and the East. Wee held on our course South-east by East. At noone I observed and found our height to bee 39.degrees 39.minutes. Our Compasse varied sixe degrees to the West.

We continued our course toward England, without seeing any Land all the way, all the rest of this moneth of October: And on the seventh day of November, stilo nouo, being Saturday: by the Grace of God we safely arrived in the Range of Dartmouth in Devonshire, in the yeere 1609.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.

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