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Day Two: Friday, September 10, 2010

0700 hours

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

Day Two of the Fall Voyage of Discovery.

We rise bright and early for what will be the complete crew's first full day on board. We have a long way to travel today, and we'll be muscling against moderate northerly winds the entire way (and traveling against the current as well for part of the journey), so we need to get moving right away to reach tonight's destination.

Mouse over to walk the capstan!
The capstan team walks around the capstan, turning the massive winch.

0745 hours

After the crew rummages their gear on the orlop deck, we're ready to weigh anchor. This is one of the most complex operations we perform on the Half Moon, and it requires all hands to pitch in.

On the weather deck, the capstan team consists of Alyssa, Rianne, Wouter, and Mr. Beiter. As they turn this winch, they'll haul in the anchor rode (line) we deployed last night.

Directly below them, on the orlop deck, Jeanine, Marije, and Lauren guide the anchor rode as it wraps around the lower capstan, preventing overrides (tangles).

By the stairs, where Emily is stationed as communicator, Gabrielle helps haul the rode back toward the bow of the ship after it's traveled around the capstan.

Behind Gabrielle, the rode continues to Mr. de Leeuw and Mr. Lyke at the "bits." They act as a failsafe, ready to secure the rode at any moment in case any other part of the system goes wrong. After the rode passes over the bits, it passes on to Harmen and Dakota, who fake (neatly fold) the line for storage until its next use.

During the procedure, Brian is at helm, following Captain Reynolds' commands to keep the ship steady.

0815 hours

Once the capstan team has raised the anchor to the water line, the fore deck team takes over. Mr. Burmester and Ms. Waiboer sweat and tail the anchor taekel (block-and-pulley), manually hauling the anchor clear of the water. Kortnee, meanwhile, stands lookout, informing the captain on the Quarter deck of the anchor rode's bearing.

Finally, the channel team of Mr. Woodworth and Mr. Hensel secure the anchor on the channel and insert the fid, a wooden "carrot" that tethers the anchor to its taekel.

With the anchor secure, we're on our way!

0830 hours

Mr. McLaughlin serves breakfast as we approach the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and re-enter the Upper Harbor.

0845 hours

A few students will have to wait a moment before eating, however. The senior crew has started guiding the students through the use of the various scientific instruments they'll be using for the Deck Log and their presentation projects, and for one of those presentations, data collection has already begun! The Salinity team needs to collect water samples at regular intervals (starting first thing this morning, before we weighed anchor) as he head upriver. Mr. Beiter leads the way during the second salinity sampling, showing Dakota how to collect water with a canvas bucket.

0900 hours

Their work done for the moment, Dakota and Mr. Beiter move to the cargo hatch to grab a traditional Dutch breakfast, prepared to Ms. Waiboer's specifications: a spread of good bread, cheese, peanut butter, jam and preserves, Nutella, and sliced meats.

While they eat, other students are already stepping in to continue collecting water samples. We'll analyze these samples later, during our data collection layover.

0915 hours

Deck wash! The decks have gotten a bit sticky with the passing of a few meals, so out come the hose and brushes. I want that deck so clean I can see myself! Or see Dakota's reflection, at any rate.

This morning marks the first opportunity for Starboard Watch to rotate through their watch duties.

As Alyssa takes the helm for the first time, Mr. Hensel shows her how to steer with the whipstaff.

1000 hours

As we reach mid-morning, ship operations are fully underway. Harmen helps Mr. Van Aken fly the ship's colors.

Meanwhile, the ship's educators have broken out the science gear, in its colorful new cases.

1015 hours

Mr. de Leeuw takes a team of students up on the fore deck to introduce them to the quadrant and the concept of celestial tracking. If we get clear skies, this will become a student presentation project.

1045 hours

Alyssa and Lauren take up the task of collecting salinity samples while we motor past Manhattan.

1100 hours

Oh dear! Trouble on the fore deck! The skies are growing more thickly overcast by the hour, placing the celestial tracking project in peril. No fear; we're also tracking weather patterns for the AMVER SEAS programs, so that data will serve as an understudy in case this presentation project proves impossible.

1215 hours

As the afternoon begins and Port Watch goes back on shift, the Rensselaer students take the opportunity to undergo harness training and hang tests. Our students are now all qualified to climb the rigging.

Down in the cargo hold, we see what becomes of old, retired science gear cases: Mr. Woodworth installs them as shelves in the tool alley!

1230 hours

Harmen and Mr. Beiter continue taking salinity samples as we continue on our way between Yonkers and the Palisades. It's in this general region that we should start seeing shifts from a marine to a brackish environment.

A few feet up and to the right, we wrap up harness training with Alyssa cautiously taking her hang test.

1245 hours

Mr. Burmester has recruited his first team of students to help him with our AMVER SEAS reporting. Lauren, Jeanine, and Rianne will spend the next few hours taking various weather readings and reporting back to him.

1300 hours

We've reached our intended anchorage for the night, just south of Piermont and Dobbs Ferry, but for now we keep on our way upriver. When Mr. McLaughlin produces make-your-own burritos and wraps for lunch, the students quickly devour it all.

1400 hours

As we approach the Tappan Zee Bridge, we prepare to set sail.

Gabrielle receives the command to come about. Steering the Half Moon on a windy day is great for building upper body strength!

Mouse over to overhaul the dousing lines!
Harmen overhauls the main sheet dousing lines.

1415 hours

Overhaul! With the courses set, we ride the winds back south, past Piermont and toward our destination.

With the winds and our course steady for now, Marije belays and coils the clew line.

Meanwhile, the AMVER SEAS team relaxes between readings.

1430 hours

Work continues belowdecks as the afternoon winds on. Dakota is fully geared up for maintenance duty, while Wouter spends his hour on galley duty cleaning every nook and cranny.

1500 hours

Ms. Waiboer brings up a treat from the galley, circulating chocolate chip cookies among the crew.

1530 hours

The Half Moon's grown peacefully quiet. The ship is traveling under sail, and Mr. Burmester and our educators are busy training more students to take AMVER SEAS readings as part of the Deck Log.

After the briefing, Kortnee and Gabrielle retreat to the orlop deck to compare notes.

1545 hours

Sometimes, life can be a little too easy. With the northerly wind this strong and steady, we have little need to tend the sails once they're set. The downside of this, however, is that it means our mast teams aren't getting much practice adjusting the sails.

Mouse over to set sail!
The main mast crew sets the course.

Let us remedy the situation forthwith! Mast captains Waiboer and Burmester have their teams douse and set the courses a few more times, giving them further opportunity to master their sail handling skills.

Harmen hauls the port sheet home. The powerful wind engages him in a vigorous game of tug-of-war, but he successfully secures his line.

1715 hours

Mr. Woodworth, man of many talents, is spending the hour making adjustments to a new fish net we've acquired. He's adding a fine mesh, which will allow us to capture tiny wildlife specimens when we send out Zodiak expeditions tomorrow.

Outside, we've doused the sails; and are turning around to once again head upriver under motor.

1730 hours

Under heavily overcast skies, Mr. Burmester tends to a wet-dry hygrometer, a device we're using to measure relative humidity levels.

He's joined on the fore deck by a coalition of Frisian and Rensselaer students. The Frisian students are teaching their new friends a few essential Dutch phrases, such as, "You sat on my puppy."

Belowdecks, Gabrielle helps prepare an artistic dinner.

1745 hours

We are currently motoring north, hugging the lee of the Palisades; by shielding ourselves from the wind, we've managed to add half a knot to our speed!

Mr. de Leeuw convenes all of the students on the weather deck for a special briefing, presenting everyone with their Crew Rating Logs.

For the rest of the voyage, the students will have the opportunity to rise in the ranks by demonstrating their nautical skills and historical knowledge to Captain Reynolds.

The students quickly warm to the idea, and spend the rest of the briefing quizzing Mr. de Leeuw and each other on the questions, judging how much knowledge they've already learned.

To allow all of the students to gather while the ship is in operation, senior crew members take their places in the galley and at lookout.

Captain Reynolds takes over at the helm.

1800 hours

We're nearing our anchorage off the northern Palisades, so Captain Reynolds calls an end to the meeting. He needs to return to the Quarter deck so he can make the fine navigational adjustments needed.

1845 hours

We serve dinner on the weather deck again tonight, with a comforting meal of macaroni and cheese and tossed vegetables.

A few minutes later, the anchor teams are summoned to their positions, with Mr. Hensel on the fore channel once again.

1915 hours

When the captain gives the command, Mr. Hensel pulls the fid and lets fall the anchor. The below deck team controls the anchor rode as it runs out, making it off at 150 feet.

A moment later, Mr. Beiter runs up the anchor light to mark our status and position for other vessels.

Ending Position: Anchored off Piermont Marsh.
Latitude: 41˚ 01.1' N
Longitude: 073˚ 43.4' W

With the anchor teams back from duty, Mr. McLaughlin can finally declare dinner open for seconds. The line quickly stretches out of the galley.

"Yes, Kortnee, you may have some more."

1930 hours

We're trying out a new anchorage tonight, between Piermont and Dobbs Ferry (home of the Masters School). We're positioned just off of Piermont Marsh, a component in the Hudson River National Estuary Research Archive. We'll go exploring in the Zodiac tomorrow.

As the sun sets, the students are eager to start rising in the ranks. Students cluster around Ms. Waiboer to trade answers and advice...

2000 hours

...and they're still at it well after sunset, when Captain Reynolds convenes the nightly Anchor Watch briefing!

Tonight demonstrates that Anchor Watch is no trivial matter, because we actually drag anchor during the meeting! Fortunately, we've given ourselves plenty of room to move. Captain Reynolds lets out another 50 feet of anchor rode, a standard first response, and we decide to stay put and monitor the situation from here.

Before lights out at 2200 hours, the captain warns the crew that he would certainly like everyone to sleep soundly, but if we start dragging again it may be necessary to weigh anchor and move the ship in the middle of the night. Fortunately, however, this proves not to be the case, and our eagle-eyed Anchor Watch reports no unusual movements through the night.

Next: Team Projects!

Robert Juet's Journal

Having remained at anchor in Raritan Bay since September 5th, d'Halve Maen weighs anchor at noon and continues working its way around Staten Island. d'Halve Maen has not yet reached the Hudson River; Juet's mention of "the River" likely refers to the Narrows, current site of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge our starting point this morning.

On September 10th, 1609:

The tenth, faire weather, wee rode still till twelue of the clocke. Then we weighed and went ouer, and found it shoald all the middle of the Riuer, for wee could finde but two fathoms and a halfe, and three fathomes for the space of a league; then wee came to three fathomes, and foure fathomes, and so to sueuen fathomes, and Anchored, and rode all night in soft Ozie ground. The banke is Sand.

Robert Juet's Journal.

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