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Day One: Thursday, September 9, 2010

0700 hours

Starting Position: Docked at Atlantic Salt on the Kill Van Kull, Staten Island.
Latitude: 40˚ 38.7' N
Longitude: 074˚ 05.7' W

Day One of the Fall Voyage of Discovery. The Half Moon is waiting for its new crew at Staten Island after arriving a few days ago.

0730 hours

Our Frisian crew members are looking much refreshed after a good night's sleep.

0815 hours

Now that the students have recovered from their jet lag, Captain Reynolds provides them with a fuller safety briefing and an overview of the morning's activities.

0845 hours

First, Ms. Waiboer leads the students through their harness training and hang test (and Mr. de Leeuw through his refresher course). It's all a necessary part of working in the rig.

1030 hours

In the great cabin, the senior crew is hard at work preparing for our AMVER SEAS reports for NOAA. Ms. Niehaus has been in charge up to this point, but she (and Ms. Ducharme, who has also remained on board to assist in voyage preparation) will be staying on shore when the ship leaves port. She spends the morning training Mr. Burmester, who will be the senior crew member in charge of AMVER SEAS reporting, and Mr. Lyke, who will assist.

Meanwhile, the Dutch crew is nicely comfortable on the ship.

1100 hours

When Mr. McLaughlin announces his lunch plans to his galley helpers, we discover that corn on the cob is uniquely American cuisine (emphasis on "on the cob"). Our Frisian crew members receive their first-ever opportunity to shuck corn.

1145 hours

The Rensselaer crew has arrived, right on time! Everyone helps to load their gear on board.

Our Dutch and American crews then take a moment to formally introduce themselves.

1315 hours

While the senior crew are busy with last-minute departure operations, the real introductions begin as the students mingle and hang out in the shade of the orlop deck.

1330 hours

Captain Reynolds convenes the entire crew on the weather deck to present an introductory safety briefing and to lay out our plans for the day. He invites everyone to study a river chart of the New York Harbor region and follow our planned course through the Narrows and out into Gravesend Bay.

1345 hours

At the end of the briefing, Ms. Waiboer presents the students with the Duty Roster, officially assigning everyone to their shipboard work schedules.

1400 hours

After the briefing, it's time for a quick lunch of baked chicken.

1415 hours

Our departure time has arrived. The Atlantic Salt crew offers us what might be considered some minor help in removing the heavy steel gangways.

1430 hours

Our crew is already prepared to set sail as we ride the swift currents out of the Kill Van Kull.

1445 hours

As we approach the mouth of the Kill Van Kull, the full vista of New York Harbor comes into clear view. Photo op!

We begin our Voyage of Discovery on a cool and clear (but overcast) day, with steady, strong winds blowing in from the north.

1515 hours

Our new sailors are already settling into their positions. In the galley, Mr. McLaughlin assigns Emily the task of chopping lettuce for tonight's cole slaw.

Up on the fore deck, Dakota is working as part of the fore mast sail handling team. He stands at the ready to brace the yard square as we turn south from the narrow Kill Van Kull channel into the broad harbor.

Mouse over to set the fore course!
Ms. Waiboer, Dakota, and Rianne set the fore course.

Overhaul the clews, bunts, and martnets! With Ms. Waiboer guiding the way, Dakota and Rianne set the fore course.

Well, the course doesn't look quite right once set, but that's not the fault of our mast team. The winds are so strong that they're pressing the sail against the lines in the beak (the very front of the ship, also known as the head); this produces enough friction to prevent gravity from doing its job.

We quickly loosen a few lines for the spritsail; in a moment the fore course is drawing the wind and looking lovely.

1530 hours

The rest of the crew keeps busy on the weather deck as we continue on through the Upper Harbor.

Marije is spending her hour steering the ship, and seems to find it easy going for the moment.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hensel teaches groups of students how to properly handle lines on the pin rail.

First he shows the students how it's done...

...and then he observes as they do it themselves.

1545 hours

Photo op! Kortnee snaps a picture as we pass under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and enter the Lower Harbor.

As we sail into Gravesend Bay, Mr. Hensel continues his line handling lessons. Here, Brian shows him how to correctly coil a line.

1600 hours

As we sail well out into Gravesend Bay, coming into view of the Coney Island beach, Captain Reynolds calls for course corrections to best take advantage of the wind.

The students prepare to brace the sails to the wind as we turn.

On the main course, Jeanine and Brian are working the sheets. These lines haul the lower corners of the sail back toward the aft of the ship. Along with the tacks, which pulls the sail corners toward the bow of the ship, they help fine tune the sails to grab the wind.

Mouse over to haul that sheet!
Jeanine hauls in the starboard main course sheet.

Haul that sheet, Jeanine!

1615 hours

We've been underway for several hours now, and the students are circulating through their watch duties.

Rianne asks the captain for permission to take the helm. Permission granted!

Meanwhile, Mr. Hensel, the main mast captain, continues to help his team visualize the effects of the running rigging on the sails.

1630 hours

Powerful winds have the ship heeling well to starboard as we glide across the bay.

In fact, they're a bit too powerful for the captain's liking as we turn to approach our anchorage for the night. Rather than battle the winds, we douse the sails and close the short distance remaining under motor.

With the sails soon doused, the sail teams take in the scenery as we close in on the Brooklyn shoreline.

1645 hours

Mr. Hensel is wrapping up his individual line handling lessons, showing Marije how to secure a running line.

Meanwhile, Mr. McLaughlin has produced a watermelon for today's snack. The Frisian sailors dig in...

...and so do the Rensselaer crew.

In fact, it looks like everyone's getting in on the action!

1715 hours

Even with the sails doused, the wind is still strong enough to heel us over. Our new crew members had better develop their sea legs quickly!

1730 hours

As we approach our anchorage, Emily, Alyssa, and Jeanine cluster on the orlop deck, chatting and getting to know each other as they wait to watch the anchor chain run out.

1800 hours

Ending Position: Anchored at Gravesend Bay.
Latitude: 40˚ 35.7' N
Longitude: 074˚ 00.9' W

We set anchor without a hitch, and Captain Reynolds has everyone give themselves a pat on the back for a highly productive first day of sailing.

1830 hours

We serve dinner on the orlop deck to avoid the gusting winds. Mr. McLaughlin has provided us with pulled pork, cole slaw, and beans.

1845 hours

While the students eat, members of the senior crew climb aloft to furl the sails (lashing them tightly to prevent high winds from battering them). Ms. Waiboer and Captain Reynolds are obviously working hard on the main course.

1900 hours

Mr. de Leeuw and Mr. Hensel handle the fore course, wrapping it up in due course.

As so often happens on these voyages, the fore deck has spontaneously become the students' favorite hangout. Mr. Hensel pauses to relax on his way belowdecks.

The furling teams soon head down to the galley, where dinner has been set aside for them.

1945 hours

The students continue to relax as the sun sets behind the Staten Island skyline. Before dark, Mr. Beiter brings out the Task Matrix, introducing the students to the various jobs and experiences they can look forward do over the next few days.

2030 hours

After sunset, Captain Reynolds convenes the crew on deck for an anchor watch briefing. At the end of the meeting, the Frisian delegation presents him (and the Half Moon) with gifts to show their appreciation, including a wimple (banner) in the bearing the Frisian colors; a perfect match for the flag they gave us last year!

2030 hours

After some quiet time for journals and reading, it's lights out. The windy night passes quietly.

Next Time: River Science!

Robert Juet's Journal

d'Halve Maen remains anchored at Raritan Bay. Operating under the belief that any Lenape who come out to the ship may be from the same hostile group that has just killed John Coleman, they rebuff any overt attempts to trade, suspecting treachery. They attempt to take three Lenape men hostage, but one of them leaps overboard.

The remaining two captives will remain on board for nearly a week. This kidnapping will eventually lead to a significant battle on October 2nd, 1609, as d'Halve Maen returns downriver and past everyone they've already encountered (for good or ill).

On September 9th, 1609:

The ninth, faire weather. In the morning, two great Canoes came aboord full of men; the one with their Bowes and Arrowes, and the other in shew of buying of kniues to betray vs; but we perceiued their intent. Wee tooke two of them to haue kept them, and put red Coates on them, and would not suffer the other to come neere vs. So they went on Land, and two other came aboord in a Canoe: we tooke the one and let the other goe; but he which wee had taken, got vp and leapt ouer-boord. Then we weighed and went off into the chanell of the Riuer, and Anchored there all night.

Robert Juet's Journal.

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