2008 Masters Voyage of Discovery banner

Daily Log: Day Zero

As any experienced volunteer with the Half Moon knows, Voyages of Discovery actually begin long before the students step on board. A great deal of preparation goes into any trip aboard a sailing vessel. We like to acknowledge these prep periods as "Day Zero," the unofficial first "day" of the voyage.

In the weeks following our successful Fall Voyage of Discovery, the Half Moon has remained in Albany, NY for a busy program of school and public tours.

Now, however, the time has come to set out for the year's final Voyage of Discovery.

Thursday, October 9th

1100 hours

In order to see as much of the river in the coming week as we wish, we've concluded that we need to give the ship a bit of a head start. To that end, rather than boarding the student crew here in Albany, the plan is to have them come on board in Catskill, a few hours' travel to the south.

A large volunteer crew joins us today for this quick hop.

1230 hours

As the Half Moon departs, our friends at the riverside Albany Pumping Station fire off their water cannon display to see us off.

Although there will be little wind today, we still feel fortunate to be enjoying such warm and sunny weather for our voyage.

As we motor under the Dunn Memorial Bridge, we look back to see this vivid rainbow in the water display.

With that as our parting image, we head south, bidding Albany farewell until next year.

The senior crew for the Voyage of Discovery is already on board. Dr. Jacobs takes the opportunity to test our scientific equipment, recruiting several of our younger crew members for aid.

Crew member Devin is particularly eager to assist. He performs several experiments throughout the afternoon; here, Mr. Woodworth helps him collect a water sample for a dissolved oxygen test.

Dr. Jacobs and Devin also test the river's salinity at regular intervals.

1430 hours

We're now well underway and are currently closing in on Athens. This is a good time to highlight a special crew member...

We met Floyd Yearwood while participating in the Hudson River Snapshot Day on October 7th. He's just retired from a career with Amtrak, but in his younger days, he spent years working on sailing vessels in his native Guyana.

He's a master netmaker; here we've asked him to show off his model shrimp net (a full-size version might be some 40 feet across). The attached chains drag along the seabed, roiling up the surface and sending the shrimp swimming up into the net.

Mr. Yearwood deftly weaves several nets for us to examine over the course of the afternoon, recruiting other crew members -- such as Mary DeFazio here -- to assist him.

1515 hours

We have one major task to accomplish before we arrive in Catskill: to once again raise the top masts.

Here, the crew gathers around the capstan to raise the fore mast.

We must lower the fore- and main- topmasts whenever we visit Albany in order to clear the Dunn Memorial Bridge. With the bridge now well behind us, we're eager to raise the topmasts back into position so we can set sail.

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

The topmasts make for a heavy load, but with a full crew walking the capstan the task is accomplished quickly.

As the capstan crew winches up the foretopmast, Ms. Reilly and Voyage of Discovery alumna Nora tend the end of the line, ready to make it off at a moment's notice as a final safety precaution.

1645 hours

Now that both topmasts are up, interested crew members are free to go aloft -- assuming they've completed their harness training, of course.

1745 hours

As the sun sets, we reach our destination at Catskill and start maneuvering into position. There are several sandbars at the mouth of the creek, so reaching the dock can be a delicate procedure.

1800 hours

Captain Reynolds gestures to his mate, Steve Weiss, to throttle up as we come in to port.

Keeping a close eye on our position, we glide smoothly into position and are soon securely moored to the dock.

1815 hours

Our arrival marks the completion of a successful voyage. Now freed from his duties conning the ship, Captain Reynolds can now mingle with the crew and admire Floyd's handiwork.

1830 hours

With the ship secure, our crew for today departs, and the senior crew for tomorrow's Voyage of Discovery settles in for the night.

We'd like to thank today's entire crew (in alphabetical order):

Captain William "Chip" Reynolds, Brea Barthel, Glenn DeFazio, Mary DeFazio, Bob Hansen, Heather Henderson, Peggy Huckel, Mary Ellen Jacobs, Kevin McGlynn, Steve McLaughlin, Mark Morel, Jennifer Morrow, Kevin Morrow, Jennifer Reilly, Jurgen Schuijer, Heather Smith, Charlotte Squarey, David Swatling, Kipp van Aken, Greg Weiss, and Floyd Yearwood, as well as junior crew members Alexander, Devin, Nora, and Patrick.

Not pictured: John W. Mangrum (behind the camera), plus Woody Woodworth and junior crew member Connor, who were caught unawares and still aloft come the last rays of day.

Next: Day One!

Robert Juet's Journal

By October 10th, 1609, the original Half Moon had already left the New World and was enjoying a swift -- and uneventful -- voyage back to Europe. Thus, rather than adhering strictly to the equivalent dates, for this Voyage of Discovery we'll present Juet's entries from the Half Moon's return trip down the Hudson River.

On September 26th, 1609:

The sixe and twentieth was faire weather, and the wind at South a stiff gayle, wee rode still. In the morning our Carpenter went on Land with our Masters Mate, and foure more of our companie to cut wood. This morning, two Canoes came up the River from the place where we first found loving people, and in one of them was the old man that had lyen aboord of us at the other place. He brought another old man with him, which brought more stropes of Beades, and gave them to our Master, and shewed him all the Countrey there about, as though it were at his command. So he made the two old men dine with him, and the old mans wife: for they brought two old women, and two young maidens of the age of sixteene or seventeene years with them, who behaved themselves very modestly. Our Master gave one of the old men a Knife, and they gave him and us Tobacco. And at one of the clocke they departed downe the River, making signes that wee should come downe to them; for wee were within two leagues of the place where they dwelt.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.


Voyage Homepage Daily Log Our Crew Learning Half Moon homepage