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Pro-Log: Foreword

We normally open a Voyage of Discovery's Daily Log by proclaiming the date of the student crew's arrival to be "Day One," sometimes encapsulating the days of prep work --and any necessary transit voyages -- that came before as the "Pro-Log" or "Day Zero."

However, this is not your usual Voyage of Discovery, and today has an accordingly unusual structure. Although both our Dutch and American students did board the ship today, they did so near sunset and after long travel. Thus, we simply allowed the new crew to settle in and get some rest, with a momentous day waiting to greet them tomorrow. Meanwhile, the morning's events before the student arrival amounted to far more than a mere "Day Zero."

With all that in mind, let us proclaim this Day One-Half of the first leg of our 2009 Fall Voyage of Discovery. Click here to jump directly to the students' arrival.

L-to-R: Consul General to The Netherlands Gajus Scheltema, New Netherland Museum founder and chairman Dr. Andrew Hendricks, Half Moon captain and New Netherland Museum director William Reynolds.
Photo by Woody Woodworth.

One last note before the Daily Log begins: We offer warm congratulations to Dr. Andrew Hendricks and Captain William Reynolds upon occasion of their honorary knighting. Yes, knighting! On September 7th, in a surprise ceremony at the Dutch consulate in Manhattan, both men were awarded the medal of the Order of the Orange-Nassau, the highest honor Her Majesty Queen Beatrix can bestow on a non-citizen of the Netherlands.

Daily Log: Tuesday, September 8th

0500 hours

Starting Position: Moored at Atlantic Salt, Inc., Staten Island, NY.
Latitude: 40˚ 38.4' N
Longitude: 074˚ 05.5' W

The crew rises well before dawn. The Half Moon has been moored along the Kill Van Kull at Staten Island since the end of August, having arrived for the community's quadricentennial Maritime Festival. Now, having restocked the ship and refreshed the crew, it's time to move on.

0600 hours

The students are not due to arrive until late today, but for the senior crew, a full day awaits, for this marks the beginning of New York City's NY400 Week festival. Today's main event is a flotilla of Dutch naval and traditional vessels, to be led by the Half Moon itself. With all hands on board, Captain Reynolds briefs the crew on the day's schedule and introduces our new crew members to the ship's safety procedures.

0645 hours

The turbulent waters of the Kill Van Kull (a heavily trafficked waterway whose industrial potential was noted even in 1609) make for a tricky mooring. To protect the ship, two massive, six-foot-diameter fenders keep the ship away from the seawall. All well in good when the gangway is in place, but now that the crew has removed it crossing the gap to get back on board will be a challenge! Bosun's mate Laufer walks a plank to reach the rigging, leaving only bosun Van Grondelle ashore to tend our dock lines.

When all lines are cast off, Mr. Van Grondelle must step down and cross the fender itself to reach the ship. The massive fenders spin freely, making any crossing a potential log-rolling contest -- and that's not as fun as it sounds!

Mr. Van Grondelle quickly crosses using a safety line rigged to pull free once he's on board.

With our bosun safely reclaimed, it's time for the Half Moon to pull out.

0745 hours

After we leave the Kill Van Kull and cross the main harbor, the crew works together to haul the ship's Zodiac on board. While having an inflatable tender boat hanging off the side of the ship may be convenitnent for ship operations, it's not exactly photogenic!

Mouse over to sweat and tail!
The crew sweats and tails on the tackles to haul the Zodiac onto the weather deck.

Heave it on in!

Once the tender is secured above the main hatch, we camoflague it with a tarp. (You may notice that we've already hidden the emergency life raft.)

As we close in on Manhattan, we see the other Dutch vessels gathering and are greeted by the Hudson River Valley's other resident Dutch replica, the Onrust.

The Replica Onrust was completed this year for the quadricentennial, and had its maiden voyage during River Day back in June. The original was built by Dutch trader and explorer Adrien Block and his crew in 1614 to replace their original ship, the Tyger, after it was destroyed by fire. As such, the Onrust was the first European-style vessel ever to be constructed in the New World.

0800 hours

The NY400 is comprised of two fleets: the Naval Fleet, which we'll see more of later, and the Historical Fleet. Headed by the Half Moon and Onrust, the Historical Fleet is also joined by well over a dozen tradition Dutch flatbottom boats, which have been shipped overseas from the Netherlands just for this celebration.

The weather remains hazy and overcast throughout the day, but in the days to come we'll look back and just be glad that the rain held off as long as it did.

Our crew's cameras start clicking as we close in on the traditional flotilla.

This vessel is the skutsje Hoop & Vertrouwen, built in 1913 -- nearly making it a contemporary of the first Half Moon replica, built in the Netherlands for the New York Tricentennial a full century ago.

As the ships muster, the flotilla begins its jaunt up the Hudson River.

We're as excited to see the Dutch vessels as they are to see us!

As the flotilla continues upriver, we can catch the barest glimpse of another NY400 event taking place back in the harbor behind us: the Flying Dutchman Sailing Race. 56 Flying Dutchman-class sailboats, representing ten nations, will compete in the "1609-2009 International Flying Dutchman Class 400th anniversary of New Amsterdam Regatta." The race begins today, then continues through the 10th, with the 1609-2009 International Flying Dutchman Class Centennial World Championships following on September 12th. (We later learn that the team of Klaas Tilstra and Paul van der Pol will be in the lead at the end of today's leg.)

0815 hours

As we continue upriver, we'll just let the images speak for themselves for a bit.


0830 hours


0845 hours

As we near the flotilla's destination, the USS Intrepid, we send crew members aloft to brighten our yards (and to rescue snagged wemples).

Voyage of Discovery Alumni Collens and Laufer ascend the fore mast...

...while Mr. Hensel and Mr. Woodworth are stationed on the mainyard.

0900 hours

Mr. Van Aken and Mr. Smit climb atop the captain's cabin for a better view of the proceedings.

The USS Intrepid is just coming into sight now.

Everyone in your places!

When the flotilla reaches the Intrepid, the Hr.Ms. Tromp will pull ahead and fire a 21-gun salute. The Tromp wasn't chosen to be here by coincidence; the Crown Prince served on board during his military service in the Royal Netherlands Navy.

For now, the Naval Fleet is hazily visible, running along a parallel course on the western side of the river.

0915 hours

The flotilla has reached the USS Intrepid (external link). This Essex-class aircraft carrier now serves as the centerpiece to the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum.

As we draw near, we can see a throng of spectators gathered on the USS Intrepid, on the pier, and even on the cruise liner Aurora!

The Naval Fleet now maneuvers into position, with the Hr.Ms. Tromp taking the lead.

The Hr.Ms. Tromp fires its 21-gun salute; the percussive blasts are quite impressive in person. However, due to the sheer scale of the ship, a photo can't truly capture the moment; you may notice the ongoing salute here in the form of a puff of white smoke rising from behind the conning tower. The rest of the white dots are the crew, standing at attention along the starboard rail.

Speaking of dwarfing scales, let us look to the Intrepid, where we can see the NY400 Week opening ceremony awaiting the flotilla's arrival on the flight deck.


Looking closer, we spot the dignitaries on board looking back, including His Royal Highness Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Her Royal Highness Maxima of the Netherlands, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Dutch Minister for European Affairs Frans Timmermans.

The 21-gun salute marks the end of our involvement in the NY400 Week opening ceremonies. The flotilla continues upriver for now, with the various vessels now heading toward different destinations for the day.

0930 hours

The Naval Fleet pulls ahead of the Historical Fleet to gain room to maneuver before turning around. We get another look at the Tromp as it passes us by. To imagine this image in motion, just picture the opening shot of Star Wars -- the ship just keeps going, and going, and going.

The Historical Fleet now takes its turn to disperse. Some vessels are continuing a bit north, while others, like the Half Moon, will shortly turn around and head back down to the harbor.

We pass the Onrust once more as the flotilla disperses. Following Harbor Day on the 13th, the Onrust and the Dutch flatbottoms will also be heading up the Hudson River, with a scheduled arrival in Albany on the 20th.

Mouse over to set the courses.
Setting the fore and main courses off the Manhattan shoreline, one right after the other.

0945 hours

A steady northerly wind prevented us from setting sail as the Half Moon traveled upriver, but as we turn south we can finally overhaul the dousing lines and enjoy a few hours of smooth sailing.

1415 hours

We arrive at our destination for the day: Battery Park, located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan. This was the original site of New Amsterdam, the trading village that formed the heart of the New Netherland colony.

Mr. Van Grondelle runs Ms. Oosterloo over to shore in the ship's tender so she can handle our docklines. In the hours while the Half Moon was leading the flotilla, the immense fenders which protected the ship at Staten Island have been relocated to our new berth.

Mr. Woodworth offers a visual guide to the captain as we come in to dock, helping him align the ship with the waiting gangway.

1430 hours

Ms. Oosterloo soon has our lines secure despite the rolling surf.

Mouse over to swing ashore.
Mr. Van Grondelle uses the mainyard brace to swing ashore at Battery Park.

1500 hours

"Secure" is a relative term, however; we still need to run the gangway across a wide gap before the crew can cross (or any visitors can possibly hope to come aboard).

Stepping lightly across the rolling fenders won't work here, so Mr. Van Grondelle and Mr. Collens summon their inner swashbucklers to get ashore, using the mainyard brace as a swingline. Working with Ms. Oosterloo, the trio attach the gangway to a cargo tackle and move it into position.

1515 hours

Ending Position: Moored at Battery Park, New York City, NY.
Latitude: 40˚ 42.1' N
Longitude: 074˚ 00.9' W

With the gangway in place, the crew can now step on shore.

Mouse over to rock the boat.
Ms. Laufer applies chafing gear while the Half Moon rocks wildly at port.

1530 hours

The Battery presents a docking challenge; due to its exposed position at the convergence of the Hudson and East Rivers -- and the turbulence created by the neighboring ferry station -- the resulting wave motion can make it feel as though we're still on the high seas.

Keep applying that chafing gear, Ms. Laufer -- we'll need it!

1645 hours

As the sun sinks invisibly behind the overcast sky, the Half Moon is moored securely -- if not sedately -- at Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. Two separate groups of students have spent the day on their way to meet us, and we get word that the first group has arrived.

Captain Reynolds greets the our new Dutch crew members as they come on board, fresh from an international flight and passing through U.S. Customs. We would expect them to be a bit tired, but they're abuzz with excitement.

Welcome Yoram, Jon-Eric, José, and Ellis, here from the Province of Friesland (or Fryslân in West Frisian) with their teacher, Menno de Leeuw.

1745 hours

While our new crew stows their gear below decks and gets comfortable, Captain Reynolds entertains more guests up on the Quarter deck: Dr. Andrew Hendricks (recently knighted alongside Captain Reynolds), and his wife Mary. They'll rejoin us on September 13th: Harbor Day.

1900 hours

The crew settles in for dinner as the sun sets.

2030 hours

Well after dark, our American student crew finally arrives, having taken a bus down from the New York Capital Region after attending a full day of school -- the first school day of the year, in fact!

2100 hours

Despite their excitement, our new crew members are all tired, so our goal for the day is simply to see them settle in comfortably on the orlop deck and get some rest.

Not long after the American students' arrival, the piercing beacon of the annual 9/11 memorial illuminates the clouds, continuing to do so for a few hours. We'll see it again during the voyage, but it's particularly striking from our vantage point at the Battery. The former site of the World Trade Center rests just north of Wall Street, which follows the former path of the wall which protected the northern border of the village of New Amsterdam. As we look at the 9/11 Memorial, we are looking from one edge of the original Dutch colony to the other.

Next Time: A Royal Visit!

Robert Juet's Journal

We join the voyage two days after the crew has suffered its only fatality: an English sailor named John Coleman (Iohn Colman in Juet's journal), who was killed in a Lenape attack while exploring a waterway known today as the Kill Van Kull, which separates Staten Island from New Jersey. Yesterday, on September 7th, 1609, the crew buried Coleman's body on shore, at a site they have named Coleman's Point. Located on the southern shores of Raritan Bay, Coleman's Point is today considered part of Keansburg, New Jersey.

On September 8th, 1609:

The eight, was very faire weather, wee rode still very quietly. The people came aboord vs, and brought Tobacco and Indian wheat, to exchange for Kniues and Beades, and offered vs no violence. So we sitting vp our Boate did marke them, to see if they would make any shew of the Death of our man; which they did not.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.

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