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Daily Log: Friday, October 9th

0700 hours

Ending Position: Anchored south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.
Latitude: 41˚ 30.8' N
Longitude: 073˚ 59.5' W

Day Three of the 2009 Masters Voyage of Discovery.

It's clear, cold skies as the sun rises over Beacon, NY.

The crew is only just starting to emerge from their bunks; for the most part, most people are still snugly tucked into their sleeping bags.

0830 hours

Once everyone's up and the crew members staying on the orlop deck have rummaged their gear, the morning can get underway. Mr. Chase and Mr. Hourigan kick if off by gathering the students for a briefing, reviewing yesterday's events and looking forward to the day to come.

0845 hours

Breakfast is served on the weather deck. Today we have a ham-and-egg cassarole and a selection of cereals to choose from.

Meanwhile, the senior crew gather a few steps away to organize their roles in the students' presentation projects. First things first: selecting topics and assigning senior crew members.

0900 hours

For most of the students, the bulk of their work will come during our data collection layover on the Kill Van Kull, starting the day after tomorrow. FOr Sofia and Isis, on the other hand, data collection begins right now. They will be analyzing the river's salinity levels as we continue downriver, so they need to take their first reading here, at Newburgh, before we get underway.

Speaking of getting underway, Mr. Van Grondelle summons the crew on deck to do just that. To give everyone a full exerience of shipboard duties, we rotate everyone into new positions as we ready to weigh anchor.

Mouse over to tend the lower capstan.
Students tend the anchor rode as it passes around the lower capstan.

0930 hours

Jason and Matt take charge of tending the anchor rode as it passes around the lower capstan. By constantly snugging up on the rode, they force the line to tighten around the capstan's narrow waist, helping to prevent overrides.

Meanwhile, Mr. Berg tends the bits while Grace and Ben fake the road.

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

On the weather deck, Erin, Izzy, Isis, and Sofia have moved up to join the capstan team.

Dante is our current lookout, and he indicates the lay of the anchor rode as it leads up out of the water. At the moment it's running straight up and down (which he indicates with the angle of his arm), which means that the anchor is about to break free of the bottom.

When the anchor reaches the waterline, Ms. Laufer hoses off the accumulated clumps of silty mud before the fore deck team hauls it up onto the ship.

With the anchor soon secure on the fore channel, we can look ahead to the journey before us. Today's leg of the voyage will take us through the Hudson Highlands, now visible looming above the southern end of Newburgh Bay. You can see the city of Newburgh itself to the right; the Half Moon will return here in November, the final public stop in our 2009 season.

1000 hours

As we travel through Newburgh Bay, the students turn their attention toward updating the Deck Log. The Masters faculty lead them through the steps at first, then leave them to collect further readings themselves.

The fore deck has become a popular hangout on this voyage. While relaxing, Isis and Sofia show Taylor and Abigail how to use a refractometer to read the salinity gradient.

1015 hours

Dante's been tipped off that if we catch him being useful in the galley, his parents will gain photographic evidence that he's perfectly capable of helping out in the kitchen at home. Determined not to let that happen, he has nonetheless overlooked the fact that being see peeling apples for Ms. Daley on the weather deck counts too.

1045 hours

We've just passed Storm King Mountain and entered the Hudson Highlands. Mr. Chase uses the mountain slopes to introduce Dante to the concept of sighting fixed points -- a skill he'll need for the presentation project he'll conduct with Erin.

A few minutes later, we pass the town of Garrison, NY. As it happens, we've arrived just as the town is holding a triathlon, in which a friend of the ship is competing.

We want to salute our friend and the competition, and on the Half Moon, "salute" means "loud." Ben braces himself while at the helm.
Mouse over to give fire!
Matt fires a swivel gun salute to Garrison, NY.

To salute Garrison, we fire a swivel gun, recruiting Matt to do the honors. The gun is loaded with just blackpowder, so firing it just creates a burst of smoke and noise.

1100 hours

Taylor lends Sofia a hand as she continues to take salinity readings during our journey through the Highlands.

Meanwhile, off the starboard rail, West Point looms above us as we motor past. Located

1215 hours

After passing the Bear Mountain Bridge, we've rounded the bend at Peekskill and now have Haverstraw Bay in sight.

1230 hours

The town of Verplanck sits on the last outcropping of land on the eastern shore before we reach the bay, and in Verplanck one finds our frequent host, King Marine.

Mouse over to give fire!
Abigail fires a swivel gun salute to King Marine.

We recruit Abigail to fire a swivel gun salute to King Marine and its owner, Randy King, as we pass by. The Half Moon will headed back here at the end of our season, just just a few more weeks from now.

1245 hours

Once past King Marine, we enter the wide expanse of Haverstraw Bay. Some students with free time, such as Ben here, take the opportunity to climb aloft and take in the view.

As you can see, the westerly wind isn't in our favor, so we've been traveling under motor for most of the day.

1430 hours

Grace dutifully takes her hour at helm. Halfway into her shift, she's learned to brace herself against the whipstaff, which can certainly earn its name when the ship hits turbulent waters.

The students continue to orient themselves to our scientific gear as we continue on our way. While Matt checks the wind speed for the Deck Log, Erin practices using a directional compass to sight the bearing of distant objects.

Mr. Berg has continued his sail handling training throughout the day, and has opted for a carrot-and-stick approach. Many of the students are eager to go aloft, but to gain clearance to do so, they must be able to correctly identify the running lines by name.

Having passed their quiz, Abigail and Sofia are cleared to climb to the top.

1445 hours

The weather has been growing steadily warmer over the course of the day, but a chill remains in the air. While she relaxes on the fore deck, Izzy bundles up under a handy Taylor.

In fact, the fore deck gang is busy quizzing each other on the running lines. Izzy points to each pair of lines as she names them: the clews, the bunt, the sheets, and so on.

1530 hours

We're currently passing Dobbs Ferry, home to no other than the Masters School itself. Wave hello!

Mouse over for a closer look.
Mr. Gans teaches Matt how to craft a canvas bucket.

1600 hours

Be it slippery knots or standard wear and tear, our supply of canvas buckets has been dwindling of late. Mr. Gans has taken it upon himself to craft a few new ones for us. After an afternoon of solitary work, Matt takes an interest. Mr. Gans shows him how to wear a palm guard and sew the thick canvas.

1630 hours

As we reach the southern end of Haverstraw Bay, Jason returns to the deck from his own time aloft. He wasn't just up on a pleasure trip, however; he's been helping unfurl the sails.

The light wind has shifted to the north, so we can finally set sail. The fore mast team scrambles under Mr. Berg's instruction.

Mouse over to bunt up the topsail.
Brandon hauls on a topsail clew.

Meanwhile, on the main mast, Brandon hauls on the bunts as we set the main topsail.

1730 hours

With the sails set and drawing, all that's left to do is to clear the lines off the deck. Erin finds himself with a whopper of a coil to deal with.

As the sun sinks toward the Palisades, the top sails and fore course catch just enough wind to gently propel us forward.

Looking ahead, we get our first glimpse of Manhattan.

1800 hours

With dusk falling, we need to put the sails back in their gear for the day so the senior crew can go aloft and furl. Matt, Taylor, and Dante await instruction at the starboard topsail lines.

1845 hours

As we close in on the lights of the George Washington Bridge, Captain Reynolds gives the command to let fall the anchor, bring our day's travel to an end. We'll spend the night here, in the shadow of the Palisades.

2200 hours

Ending Position: Anchored north of the George Washington Bridge.
Latitude: 40˚ 51.9' N
Longitude: 073˚ 56.9' W

After weighing anchor, we round out the evening with a dinner of meatloaf and vegetarian chile. Anchor Watch passes the night illuminated by the glow of nearby New York City.

Robert Juet's Journal

A strong northerly wind allows the VOC Halve Maen to finally continue on its way. Unfortunately, the ship once again runs aground on an oozy shoal. The crew attempts to free the ship by running out an anchor in the ship's small boat, or sloep, and then using the capstan to manually drag the ship back into deeper water, but the ship is too mired in the mud to budge. The crew then has little choice but to wait for the flood tide to free the ship. When the ship is once again under sail, they make good progress, continuing another twelve miles. This brings them near the village of the Mahican elder who invited them home during his most recent trip to the ship. He repeats his invitation, but Hudson compelled to use the favorly wind while it lasts and continues on. Late in the afternoon, the wind turns southerly, so the crew sets anchor for the day. While the Halve Maen sits at anchor, a party led by the first mate and bosun heads to shore to fish, to disappointing results, catching a mere 24 or 25 fish in an hour of trying.

The next day brings more progress, with the Halve Maen sailing twelve miles in the morning and another eighteen come the afternoon. This brings them near the end of the Long Reach, just a few miles north of modern Newburgh and the Hudson Highlands.

On September 27th & 28th, 1609:

The seven and twentieth, in the morning was faire weather, but much wind at the North, we weighed and set our fore top-sayle, and our ship would not flat, but ran on the Ozie banke at halfe ebbe. We layed out anchor to heave her off, but could not. So wee sate from halfe ebbe to halfe flood; then we set our fore-sayle and mayne top-sayle, and got downe sixe leagues. The old man came aboord, and would have had us anchor, and goe on Land to eate with him: but the wind being faire, we would not yield to his request; So he left us, being very sorrowful for our departure. At five of the clocke in the after-noone, the wind came to the South South-west. So we made a boord or two, and anchored in fourteene fathomes water. Then our Boat went on shoare to fish right against the ship. Our Masters Mate and Boat-swaine, and three or more of the companie went on land to fish, but coulde not finde a good place. They took four or five and twentie Mullets, Breames, Bases, and Barbils; and returned in an houre. We rode still all night.

The eight and twentieth, being faire weather, as soone as the day was light, we weighed at halfe ebbe, and turned downe two leagues belowe water; for, the streame doth runne the last quarter ebbe: then we anchored till high water. At three of the clocke in the after-noone we weighed, and turned downe three leagues, until it was darke: then wee anchored.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.

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