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Daily Log: Saturday, September 12th

0700 hours

Starting Position: Anchored at Bay Ridge Flats, NY.
Latitude: 40˚ 39.8' N
Longitude: 074˚ 01.6' W

Day Four of the first leg of our 2009 Fall Voyage of Discovery.

The skies are still largely overcast this morning, but the gusting winds and heavy rain have been replaced by cool temperatures and a firm breeze. As it happens, today has been declared Frisian Day as part of NY400 Week. Of course, on board, every day is Frisian Day on this Voyage of Discovery!

0930 hours

After breakfast, the students form teams to gather data for the Deck Log, which they will continually update for the rest of their time on board.

1100 hours

As we look to the east from our anchorage late this morning, we can see an armada of sailboats gathering for the final day of NY400 Week's Flying Dutchman races: the 1609-2009 International Flying Dutchman Class Centennial World Championships. Alas, however, we can't stay to see who wins. After its daylong, battened-down layover, the Half Moon is on the movie again.

Captain Reynolds gathers the crew around the capstan to assign positions for weighing anchor. We elect to place everyone back in their previous positions (excepting a few switches imposed by the Duty Roster), simply to give everyone a chance to master the skills they practiced two days ago.

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

Once everyone is in place and the belowdecks team has run the anchor rode around the lower capstan, Captain Reynolds once again gives the command: "Up on the capstan!" With the aid of Mr. Beiter and Mr. De Leeuw, Dennise, Ellis, Joram, and Vincent start reeling in the anchor.

Up on the foredeck, José the assigned lookout for the hour, and assumes the responsibilty of indicating the lay of the rode for the benefit of the captain on the Quarter deck.

Down below, Emily is on her second morning of tending the rode, and she shows new assistant Ben (replacing Eric-Jan, now at the helm) how it's done.

Back at the bits, the original team of Eli, Raynika, and Ms. Laufer return to the familiar task of faking the rode.

In between these two belowdecks teams, Pwint and Mr. Prime help haul the rode from the lower capstan back up to the bits.

1115 hours

As the anchor breaks the surface, Mr. Rodriques hoses it down to wash off any river mud that would otherwise smear all over the ship (both on the outer hull and in the orlop deck).

Once the anchor is clean, the fore deck team hauls it up on a tackle to the fore channel, where Mr. Rodriques lashes it securely in place.

As always, the final step falls to the fakers. After detaching the anchor rode from the chain, Ms. Laufer fakes the anchor chain while the rest of the belowdecks team runs the rest of the rode completely around the capstan and finishes faking it under the stairs. When the rode and chain are shackled together again, the anchor is ready to be deployed once again.

And then Ms. Laufer goes to wash her hands. Even after being hosed down, the anchor chain is particularly muddy today -- you may notice it caking between Ms. Laufer's fingers!

1130 hours

We have a light schedule today, giving the crew time to pursue their interests. On the weather deck, Vincent, Ellis, and Joram practice their knots for their next Crew Rating ranking.

1145 hours

Speaking of crew ratings, Eli has approached Captain Reynolds to qualify for the rank of Ordinary Sailor/Lichtmatroos. He and the captain discuss the manufacture of rope as part of his qualification process.

Mouse over for another view.
Henk Morel photographs Christophell Morel as the latter rests on the fore yard.

1200 hours

Our primary activity today is a parade of sail with the Dutch Historical Fleet past the Battery and up the East River to South Street Seaport and the Brookyln Bridge.

While underway, we send rig teams aloft to unfurl the sails. As Christophell Morel relaxes on the foreyard after unfurling the fore course, we are reminded not only that do the senior crew have family members who enjoy watching their exploits as well, but that some of those crew members are close at hand!

The wind is blowing in from the northeast, so we keep the sails doused as we head up the East River. Joram and Ben man the fore deck as we pass near the bridge on our way to the staging area.

Once we pass under the Brooklyn Bridge, we turn around and point the ship back downriver.

1215 hours

With the wind now at our backs, we set the fore course and both top sails.

After helping set the main top, Mr. De Leeuw returns to the deck as we await the rest of the Historical Fleet.

The Hudson River's other resident replica, the Onrust, is first to appear, with the Dutch flat-bottoms falling into formation over the next few minutes.

1230 hours

The East River is known for its strong currents, and in these conditions the whipstaff can certainly earn its name. José steps into the helm hutch to assist Pwint at the helm.

Now at the head of the Historical Fleet, we are ready for today's parade of sail.

As the flotilla sails back downriver, we pass close by Pier 17 and the South Street Seaport, where a party of Dutch dignitaries, including the royal couple, are on hand to witness the procession.

Wanting to look our best, we continue to adjust our sails as we glide past, occasionally sending crew aloft (as with Ms. Laufer here) to rescue snagged flags or wemples (banners).

Meanwhile, work continues apace for the student crew. Ellis and Emily take their turn to fill in the Deck Log with Dr. Jacobs. On this leg of the Voyage of Discovery, we are collecting salinity measurements, which the student crew on the second leg of the voyage will analyze.

1245 hours

The Wedstrijd skutsje Wylde Wyste swings close by as the flotilla reaches the mouth the end of the procession at the Battery.

Built in 1902, this vessel has plied the waters off the Netherlands since before the first Replica Ship Half Moon was launched in 1909!

1330 hours

When we re-enter New York Harbor, the parade of sail -- and our part in the official NY400 Week festivities -- concludes for the day. The crew takes a break to eat a lunch of made-to-order sandwiches.

Mouse over to clew up!
Raynika and Jose clew up the main course.

Our destination is already within sight, so our mast teams douse the sails...

...and coil their lines to tidy the deck.

Meanwhile, we seem to have a helmsmans' convention underway at the whipstaff.

Tonight's destination is Atlantic Basin, a wharf in Brooklyn in the shadow of the Princess Cruises loading dock. To reach it, we once again bear to port, slipping behind Governors Island.

1345 hours

With a few minutes of free time on their hands, Emily and Pwint practice knots while Eric-Jan and Dennise study their Crew Rating Log books .

Meanwhile, having done his part to help douse the main top sail, Eli takes a minute to enjoy the view before returning to the deck.

1400 hours

Within a few minutes, we slip into Atlantic Basin, where we will spend the night alongside the Dutch flat-bottomed fleet.

With our dock line handlers in place, Captain Reynolds maneuvers the ship into place. The ship has never visited this dock before, so we take our time as we examine the best place to set the ship.

1415 hours

While the captain evaluates our position, Raynika and Mr. Prime take up one Dock Line Three to hold the ship fast.

Students who are not directly involved in this docking procedure remain close at hand on the starboard side of the deck, practicing their knots and keeping alert in case they're needed.

1430 hours

After a brief examination, Captain Reynolds opts to shift the Half Moon down the dock by a shiplength or so. Mr. Collens, Eric-Jan, and Ms. Laufer step on shore to handle our docklines as we literally walk the ship to its new mooring.

Ending Position: Docked at Atlantic Basin, Brooklyn, NY.
Latitude: 40˚ 40.9' N
Longitude: 074˚ 00.7' W

The Borough of Brooklyn began as the settlement of Midwout in 1634. As the Dutch purchased additional land from the Lenape, the settlement expanded to become the Village of Breuckelen in 1646, named for a city in the Dutch province of Utrecht.

With the captain now satisfied with the ship's new mooring position, this is where we will spend the night.

1515 hours

We have a few hours of daylight left available to us, so the crew keep themselves busy. The students hang out on the orlop deck, joking, chatting, and writing in their journals.

1600 hours

The senior crew, meanwhile, works under Mr. Rodriques and Mr. Prime to practices for tomorrow's cannon salute.

To kick off Harbor Day's morning parade of sail, the Half Moon will fire a salute to the Hr.Ms. Tromp. Our goal is to simultaneously fire all seven of our guns: three swivel guns, as seen above and below, and four falconets, such as the one behind Mr. De Leeuw here.

As you might imagine, firing seven cannons on two decks all at once requires a great deal of coordination and even more practice.

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. Beiter test fires a swivel gun.

For our test runs, we insert our blackpowder-laced fuses, but the guns themselves remain completely unloaded, a fact the owners of Atlantic Basin must appreciate, since five of our seven guns are currently aimed directly at their warehouse.

When lit, the tiny amount of blackpowder releases a soft pop of smoke, but nothing more. It's just enough to let our cannon masters judge their gun crew's timing.

While the senior crew continues to drill with the cannons or replenishes the ship's water supplies, the students work with the Deck Log.

1715 hours

The Dutch Historical fleet has arrived and docked just a few hundred feet down the wharf from the Half Moon, so we elect to offer the students a few minutes of shore leave.

The entire crew steps over to dry land to head out. For many of them, this is the first time they've been on shore in nearly a week, and a few discover that they've lost their land legs; while the ship now feels normal to them, they seem to feel the solid ground "rocking" beneath them.

A short walk brings the group down to the flotilla of traditional Dutch boats. Some of these vessels are just a few years old, while others (as noted) have been afloat for a century or more.

The skutsje crews are busy putting their ships to bed, so to speak, so we don't disturb them, simply taking a few minutes to admire their vessels from shore.

1800 hours

After the crew returns to the Half Moon, Henk Morel offers any interested parties an introduction to the arts of marlinspike.

Other students remain intent on working their way up the ranks, quizzing each other on their Crew Rating Logs.

1815 hours

We end the day with a hot dinner.

2015 hours

After dusk falls, the teachers gather the students on the orlop deck for a nightly session of journal writing and discussion. Tonight's question asks each student to choose one task on board which they can do well, and one which they find challenging.

Mouse over for a closer look.
The Empire State Building glows orange on the Manhattan nighttime skyline.

2200 hours

With a different perspective on the New York skyline tonight, we can see that the Empire State Building is glowing a bright orange to honor the city's Dutch heritage.

Although we are not at anchor, we still conduct anchor watch (actually "dock watch" in this case) through the night to monitor our mooring lines and collect data for the Deck Log. Although the skies remain overcast, the overnight weather stays warm and calm. Everyone needs to get a good nights' sleep -- tomorrow brings an early start and a full day!

Next Time: Harbor Day!

Robert Juet's Journal

The Halve Maen enters the Hudson River in the belief that this broad, deep estuary may be their hard-sought northwest passage. The ship is approached by Lenape Henry Hudson records as the Manahata, a tribe which lived on both sides of the river's mouth. Although still distrustful, the Halve Maen crew trades for oysters and beans to add to their provisions. Juet never refers to the Hudson by any name other than "the River"; the Lenape at the river's mouth called it Muhheakantuck, while the Mohicans the Halve Maen would encounter upriver knew it as Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk: "the river that flows both ways." The ship's anchorage tonight is probably located somewhere roughly near the modern site of the George Washington Bridge.

On September 12th, 1609:

The twelfth, very faire and hot. In the after-noone at two of the clocke wee weighed, the winde being variable, between the North and the North-west. So we turned into the Riuer two leagues and Anchored. This morning at our first rode in the Riuer, there came eight and twentie Canoes full of men, women, and children to betray us; bvt we saw their intent, and suffered noone of them to come aboord of vs. At twelue of the clocke they departed. They brought with them Oysters and Beanes, whereof wee bought some. They haue great Tabacco pipes of yellow Copper, and Pots of Earth to dress their meate in. It floweth South-east by South within.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.

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