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Daily Log: Friday, October 9th

0700 hours

Starting Position: Anchored off the Palisades.
Latitude: 40˚ 52.2' N
Longitude: 073˚ 56.6' W

Day Seven of the 2009 Masters Voyage of Discovery.

This is our last day on board; tonight, the student crew will be back to sleeping in their own beds.

0815 hours

We serve our final breakfast down on the orlop deck. The weather this morning is cold and overcast, and the forecast warns that a storm is headed our way. It appears that the end of our voyage is perfectly timed!

0830 hours

The students are still on duty, but their presentations are complete and the bulk of their work is done. This is a morning for celebration, so the students start their day by hanging out on the orlop deck, where they can stay warm and dry.

0915 hours

Captain Reynolds convenes everyone around the capstan for our final crew briefing. He explains our schedule for the rest of the day and the sort of activities and attention the students should expect to encounter once they reach Yonkers.

0930 hours

After the crew briefing, it's time to reward the students for all of their hard work. By completing a Voyage of Discovery and proving themselves capable sailors, they've all finally earned their official orange crew shirts -- the only way to acquire "the orange!" Visit the Crew Pages to see each of our new crew members receiving their own shirt.

It's nearly time for us to move on, but before we leave, we need to pick up a special guest. We dispatch the Zodiac to pick up our guest from the nearby marina at the foot of the Palisades.

Our guest is videographer Matteo Pungello, who has already worked with us several times this year. He's here this morning to record the students for the Masters School.

0945 hours

With the Zodiac back out of the water, it's time to weigh anchor and continue north toward Yonkers. Our capstan team leans into their bars one last time.

Dante is the currently assigned lookout, so it falls to him to indicate the lay of the anchor rode to assist the captain.

1000 hours

Grace is our communicator this morning, linking the Quarter deck to the orlop deck.

The anchor give us little trouble on its way up this morning. It's soon securely lashed on the fore channel, and the belowdecks team turns toward preparing the rode for the next time we need to deploy it.

The anchor and chain do come up muddy, however. Once the belowdecks team finishes their work, they assign washing their hands to their next priority.

1015 hours

We are now officially underway, closing the short distance between us and Yonkers. To prepare for their imminent departure, the students rummage their gear, making sure that everything is stowed away and ready to be offloaded.

1030 hours

As we continue on our way, Mr. Ormond has started recording individual interviews with the Masters students and faculty.

Meanwhile, at the far end of the weather deck, the students take one last chance to update their status on the Task Matrix.

1045 hours

And just in time! The weather has taken a turn for the worse, with the first drops of rain speckling the planks of the deck. Ms. Daley passes out hot chocolate to dispel the chill.

1100 hours

Have we reached our destination an hour early? Well, yes, but we aren't heading in just yet. Right now we're just taking a close run to inspect the dock before we make our final approach at noon. We do notice that a handful of well-wishers have already arrived, however!

1130 hours

After passing the Yonkers Pier, we come around to the south again. With a light breeze now at our backs, we set the fore topsail -- one last chance at sail handling.

For the most part, however, the crew has retreated belowdecks, where Mr. Ormond is currently conducting group interviews.

1200 hours

We've swung around again and are now making our final approach to the dock. As we close in on Yonkers, we send a few experienced climbers, such as Brandon here, up into the rig to hail the crowds.

Mouse over to salute Yonkers.
Mr. Van Grondelle and Ms. Laufer fire a swivel gun off the Yonkers waterfront.

Meanwhile, down on the weather deck, Mr. Van Grondelle and Ms. Laufer fire a series of swivelgun salutes to our welcoming host city.

As we arrive at the Yonkers Pier, we get our first clear look at the waiting crowd.

Friends and family from the Masters School are clustered along the rail, sensibly waiting under the cover of the restaurant above.

The few folks standing out in the rain are there to assist us, including the return of Woody Woodworth.

We hang our protective fenders in place as we pull up to the floating dock.

Mr. Collens hops across to assist Mr. Woodworth on the dock. Within a few minutes, they've secured the ship's dock lines.

The crowd cheers us on as we secure our lines and prepare to step on shore.

Final Position: Docked at Yonkers Pier, Yonkers, NY.
Latitude: 40˚ 56.1' N
Longitude: 073˚ 54.3' W

The Half Moon has reached its final destination on this Voyage of Discovery, bringing the students back home to Yonkers. Our rig teams promptly returns to the deck as we prepare to head on shore.

1215 hours

With the ship secure, the crew heads on shore to meet the waiting crowd.

The students are understandably eager to seek out friends and family.

Who knows what future sailors may be here? Last year, our camera happened to find Ben mingling in the crowd with the rest of his schoolmates.

1230 hours

After a few minutes of warm greetings, we gather for the official arrival ceremony. A series of dignitaries step up to address the audience, but due to the rapidly deteriorating weather, they keep their comments brief.

The first speaker is John Peckham of Peckham Materials, the primary voyage sponsor and the proud father of an alumnus from the inaugural Masters Voyage of Discovery last year.

He is followed by Andrew Spano, the Westchester County Executive.

Representing the Masters School Everett "Doc" Wilson, Middle School Headmaster.

Next to the microphrone is Yonkers Assemblywoman Andrea Stuart-Cousins...

...followed by Janet Langsam, Director of the Westchester Arts Council.

Michael Botwinick, Director of the Hudson River Museum, starts the process of wrapping up the ceremony...

...followed by Steve Sansone, Director of Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront BID, and Pat McDowd, District Councilwoman.

Last but not least, Captain Reynolds steps up to address the crowd. After a few words, he moves on to the important part of his speech:

...awarding the students with their certificates of accomplishment.

1245 hours

The ceremony ends, and with it we reach the official conclusion of the 2009 Masters Voyage of Discovery. We hope to continue the tradition next year!

As for the Half Moon, it will remain at the Yonkers Pier through the end of October. Visit the Related Programs page for a glimpse at our dockside tours and activities.

Robert Juet's Journal

After months of exploration, Robert Juet enters the final entries in his journal for the voyage. On the morning of October 4th, the VOC Halve Maen sails back out of the mouth of the Hudson River -- what Captain Hudson called the "River of Mountains" -- and into what is now known as the upper New York Harbor. They encounter unexpectedly shallow water on their way through the Narrows, but by noon have sailed out into Raritan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. Preparing for their oceanic voyage, they secure the ship's small boat (or sloep) on the ship and set the main course, both topsails, and the spritsail, heading out to sea.

The next day, they continue on their southeasterly course. For the next month, the Halve Maen sails back across the Atlantic, a quiet and uneventful trip from Juet's perspective. On November 7th, the ship arrives back in Europe -- but their destination is not Amsterdam, as Hudson's contract had specified! Instead, Hudson sailed back to Dartmouth, Devonshire, in his home country of England. Why? 400 years later, his reasons remain the subject of much speculation. The Halve Maen's successful return to Europe from the "River that Flows Both Ways" may have marked the end of his maiden Voyage of Discovery, but the tale of New Netherland was just beginning; visit the History page for more.

On October 4th, 1609, and Beyond:

The fourth, was faire weather, and the wind at North North-west, wee weighed and came out of the Riuer, into which we had runne so farre. Within a while after, we came out also of The great mouth of the great Riuer, that runneth vp to the North-west, borrowing vpon the Norther side of the same, thinking to haue deepe water: for wee had sounded a great way with our Boat at our first going in, and found seuen, six, and fiue fathomes. So we came out that way, but we were deceiued, for we had but eight foot & an halfe water: and so to three, fiue, three, and two fathomes and an halfe. And then three, foure, fiue, sixe, seuen, eight, nine and ten fathomes. And by twelue of the clocke we were cleere of all the Inlet. Then we tooke in our Boat, and set our mayne-sayle and sprit-sayle, and our top-sayles, and steered away East South-east, and South-east by East off into the mayne sea: and the Land on the Souther-side of the Bay or Inlet, did beare at noone West and by South foure leagues from vs.

The fift, was faire weather, and the wind variable betweene the North and the East. Wee held on our course South-east by East. At noone I obserued and found our height to bee 39. degrees 30.minutes. Our Compasse varied sixe degrees to the West.

We continued our course toward England, without seeing any Land by the way, all the rest of this moneth of October: And on the seuenth day of Nouember, stilo nouo, being Saturday: by the Grace of God we safely arrived in the Range of Dartmouth in Deuonshire, in the yeere 1609.

-- Robert Juet's Journal.


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