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Daily Log: Monday, September 14th

0700 hours

Starting Position: Anchored off the Palisades, near Yonkers, NY.
Latitude: 40 ˚ 57.9' N
Longitude: 073˚ 54.4' W

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

As we emerge from our sleeping bags this morning, we witness a strange sight above us, something we dimly remember from ages long past...

...blue skies! Yes, after a voyage full of stormy skies, we can finally enjoy a sunny day.

0830 hours

NY400 Week is finally over, so today our crew starts adjusting to a more relaxed standard schedule. As we start the morning, the students continue to focus on improving their shipcraft skills to advance in rank.

Meanwhile, down below, Mr. McLaughlan is ready to serve breakfast. He's prepared a pair of quiches, one cheese and one spinach.

0845 hours

The crew hungrily digs in.

0945 hours

After breakfast, we treat the ship to a deck wash, making sure to clean the channels while we're at it.

Not only do deck washes keep the ship clean, they help keep it watertight; the deck planks swell as they absorb water, thus tightening their seal.

1015 hours

Below decks, Emily and Pwint are keeping themselves occupied by looking through the ship's library of nature guides. Although we haven't had as much opportunity to focus on the Hudson River's natural wildlife on this voyage, we have had a few opportunities for birdwatching.

1030 hours

Another day brings more students eager to advance in the ranks. Here, Captain Reynolds is testing Ellis' square knot (platte knoop). If you've taken a copy of the Crew Rating Log for yourself, you may already know that this means she is advancing to the rank of Able-Bodied Sailor (Volmatroos).

Mouse over to promote Emily!
Captain Reynolds stamps Emily's Crew Rating Log.

Emily is the next candidate to enter the dragon's lair. In her case, she's looking to qualify for her first promotion. After her test, a few official stamps, and the captain's signature, Emily walks away an official Ordinary Sailor (Lichtmatroos).

As a note, partially as a result of last night's roundtable discussion on language barriers, Captain Reynolds is now asking all Crew Rating Log questions in his very best Dutch. Both the Frisian and the American students seem to understand it equally well.

1100 hours

It appears that Eli has set some manner of devious trap for passing crewmates. Well, perhaps not. In truth, the educators among the crew have spent most of this voyage debating how to fit a traditional student presentation project into the hectic schedule of this leg of our Voyage of Discovery. As of this morning, they've settled on a solution. Due to the condensed timeframe remaining, the entire crew will work on a single project, studying the principles of mechanical advantage. The rig here is the simple machine the students will use in their experiment.

1115 hours

Since Starboard Watch is still on duty, Mr. Beiter leads the Port Watch students through an introductory lecture on mechanical advantage.

1130 hours

Enough talk; it's time for action! Off to the orlop deck!

The students' experiment is to use a simple machine to lift this lead ingot off the deck. Their goal is to understand why adding more leads to the machine

1145 hours

As a member of Starboard Watch, Dennise simply observes the experiment from afar. Although she is on duty, she's not actually occupied, however; only the Galley and Maintenance duties continue while the ship remains at anchor. While watching the experiment, she uses her free time to study for the rank of Able-Bodied Sailor.

For a more detailed look at the mechanical advantage experiment, visit the Presentations page.

1315 hours

This afternoon brings a simple, satisfying lunch of hot dogs.

1330 hours

Menno Smit has been on board since Staten Island, but he must depart first thing tomorrow moring to return to New York City and catch his flight home to the Netherlands. After lunch, he presents Captain Reynolds with a farewell gift to the ship: a fishing rod & reel, in memory of the time he spent fishing with senior crew member Daniel Scott Dawson in 2006.

Mr. Smit presents us with a second gift as well: photos! A few months ago, while driving along in the Netherlands, Mr. Smit's attention was suddenly called to this flower sculpture -- similar in structure to the floats we might see in events like the Rose Bowl Parade. The entire neighborhood had flower sculptures on display, but Mr. Smit snapped photos of this one in particular for the obvious reasons. This Halve Maen stands nearly two stories tall!

1400 hours

We're now a few hours past the midday shift change. At the top of the hour, Port Watch members Pwint and Ben check to see if and where they're needed for the next hour. Meanwhile, Emily fetches her notebook.

A few minutes later, up on the weather deck, Emily joins the rest of Starboard Watch for a repeat performance of Mr. Beiter lesson on mechanical advantage. From here, the group will proceed back down to the simple machine awaiting on the orlop deck to repeat the experiment.

1530 hours

While Starboard Watch wraps up their work belowdecks, the rest of the crew find themselves with a bit of free time remaining to them before we're due to depart. Eli, Vincent, and Pwint take the opportunity to spend more time aloft.

Meanwhile, other crew members get their first chance to catch up on their own adventures in these logs.

1600 hours

The flood tide has finally arrived, so it's time for us to prepare for an imminent departure. The crew musters around the capstan while awaiting orders from the captain.

Not coincidentally, the flood tide also brings the appearance of the Dutch Historical Fleet, lead by the Replica Onrust.

Time for us to get to work. By now, our capstan team is so experienced they no longer even need the capstan bars!

1615 hours

Once we've run the rode around the lower capstan, it's everyone to their places. Dennise and José are Ms. Laufer's faking team this afternoon...

Mouse over to tend the rode.
Joram and Ellis tend the lower capstan.

...while Joram and Ellis tend the rode.

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

The capstan team lean into their bars as they make the final push to break the anchor free from the grasping mud below. In a few more minutes, the anchor is secured and we're off.

By the time we're underway, most of the Dutch fleet has caught up with us. We'll spend the next few days leapfrogging with the flat-bottoms as we and the fleet make our separate, overlapping journeys up the Hudson to Albany.

1800 hours

We serve dinner during today's short journey up into Haverstraw Bay.

Mouse over to let fall the anchor.
Mr. Collens pulls the fid, releasing the anchor.

1830 hours

In the shadow of Hook Mountain on the western shore, Mr. Collens pulls the fid to release the anchor.

Lookout Raynika keeps an eye on the anchor rode, making sure the anchor has a firm grip before we consider ourselves done.

1845 hours

Ending Position: Anchored off Hook Mountain at Haverstraw Bay, NY.
Latitude: 41˚ 07.0' N
Longitude: 073˚ 54.3' W

With the anchor set and holding, Ms. Laufer and Mr. Collens ascend the rig to furl the sails.

2000 hours

Nightfall brings a very different landscape to what we've grown accustomed to this past week. With the lights of New York City now just a ruddy glow on the southern horizon, and just the distant Tappan Zee Bridge illuminating us, we settle into an evening that's actually dark.

2030 hours

Below decks, the students spend their remaining time before lights out updating their journals. Come 2200 hours, anchor watch begins and our day comes to an end. Tomorrow brings the last full day on board for this leg of our Voyage of Discovery.

Next Time: The Main Event!

Robert Juet's Journal

The Halve Maen passes through the Hudson Highlands before anchoring in what is now known as Newburgh Bay.

On September 14th, 1609:

The fourteenth, in the morning being very faire weather, the wind South-east, we sayled vp the Riuer twelue leagues, and had fiue fathoms, and fiue fathoms and a quarter lesse; and came to a Streight between two Points, and had eight, nine, and ten fathoms: and it trended North-east by North, one league: and wee had twelue, thirteene, and fourtene fathomes. The Riuer is a mile broad: there is very high Land on both sides. Then wee went vp North-west, a league and an halfe deepe water. Then North-east by North fiue miles; then North-west by North two leagues, and anchored. The Land grew very high and Mountainous. The Riuer is full of fish.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.

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