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Day Three: Saturday, September 11, 2010

0800 hours

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

Day Three of the Fall Voyage of Discovery.

After rising at 0700 hours and rummaging their gear, the students are ready for a hot breakfast to kick off what will be a long, busy day.

0900 hours

The students have divided into three presentation teams, each studying a different topic. They'll spend today collecting data for the presentations they'll give tomorrow.

Up on the fore deck, Mr. de Leeuw gets an early start with his celestial tracking team. They'll continue to collect data into the early afternoon.

0915 hours

Before we dive headlong into our scientific research, there's a bit of old-fashioned shipwork that needs doing. We call for a quick deck wash to remove a few days' worth of grime from the weather deck.

0930 hours

And it's back to work! Lauren, Harmen, Kortnee, and Alyssa all play a part in recording the sun's position as it rises through the morning sky. Their goal is to determine the moment of true local noon, and then to use that information to determine the ship's current latitude.

0945 hours

Inbetween celestial readings, Mr. de Leeuw grills his students on topics from the Crew Rating Log. Everyone's in a hurry to rise through the ranks!

Meanwhile, Ms. Waiboer has a goal of her own; she's practicing her knot-tying skills.

1000 hours

The students have started analyzing the water samples we collected during our trip upriver for their salinity content. Mr. Beiter makes sure that all of the students circulate through the work and learn how to use the refractometer.

The senior crew has also started work on the mechanical advantage team's experiment. Captain Reynolds looks over some early schematics for the block-and-tackle rig.

1030 hours

Work on the Half Moon is in full swing now, but there's still time for some fun excursions. Mr. Woodworth spends our time at anchor taking groups of students out on expeditions in the Zodiac to explore the nearby Piermont Marsh. He's just returned from his first expedition with a clump of marsh grass. It may not look like much, but when he chops it down to size and places it in the aquarium, we'll start to see what creatures are currently hiding in that mud.

On the fore deck, Mr. de Leeuw is training all of the students to use the quadrant and directional compass to help with his team's project.

Meanwhile, back on the weather deck, Wouter is studying his Crew Rating Log while waiting his turn to see the captain.

Marije is with the captain right now, undergoing her first crew evalutation. She passes with flying colors, becoming the first crew member on this voyage to rise to the rank of Ordinary Sailor/Lichtmatroos.

A few feet away at the capstan, Lauren and Harmen are being trained on the refractometer.

Mouse over to get the captain's stamp of approval!
Captain Reynolds gives Jeanine his stamp of approval.

Jeanine is the next applicant to face Captain Reynolds. Our second Lichtmatroos! The captain loves using his official stamp.

1045 hours

We catch up with Brian as he sorts river samples for his salinity team.

1100 hours

The Frisian students aren't the only ones gunning for promotions, of course. The Rensselaer students are hot on their heels, quizzing each other in their moments of free time.

1115 hours

The second Zodiac expedition is ready to head out. We ensure that everyone has good, high boots to get around in the muck.

Gabrielle is the first Rensselaer student to face the captain, and a few minutes later become this voyage's first American Ordinary Sailor.

By the end of the day, all of the students will have attained this rank, and will be eager to continue climbing the ladder tomorrow.

The Zodiac expedition is away! The tide is coming in, causing the marsh to slip beneath the waves, so this may be a relatively short trip.

Students also have time to pursue personal interests on board in between data collections. Brian climbs the foremast to take in the view.

1200 hours

The second Zodiac expedition has returned, leaving just one to go. Meanwhile, the sediment is settling in the aquarium, revealing our collection. Dakota takes a particular interest in identifying the various species.

1215 hours

Wouter's chance to see the captain is almost here. He asks Ms. Waiboer to give him a bit more training in coiling lines before he ascends to the Quarter deck.

1230 hours

The students are all interested in learning basic knots (no doubt knowing it's a key element in reaching the rank of Able-Bodied Sailor/Volmatroos. Ms. Waiboer leads a knots lesson on the weather deck.

1245 hours

This soon draws the attention of Captain Reynolds, who steps in to offer his own brand of guidance. But first, a quick lesson in dancing the hokey-pokey.

With the dance lesson over, the captain teaches the student crew a special way to tie a bowline. A bowline knot produces a loop which (unlike a lasso) does not cinch tight under pressure. This is an incredibly useful knot, and never more so than the variety he's teaching now.

Specifically, the students learn how to tie a bowline around their own waists, using only one hand. Should they ever find themselves in need of rescue, be it overboard or at the bottom of a ravine, they now know how to tie a rescue line around themselves in a way that won't tighten around their torsos. This is a skill that no one wants to ever have to use, but a handy one to have nonetheless.

1315 hours

Lunch is ready! Dakota and Mr.McLaughlin have finished preparing a hearty helping of subs and pasta salad.

1400 hours

The salinity team consists of Brian, Emily, Wouter, and Jeanine. Mr. Beiter calls them all to the capstan to begin analyzing their data in earnest.

By dividing the work and operating as a team, they quickly compile a full set of data points, measuring recorded salinity levels from Gravesend Bay to the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Students aren't the only crew members who like to climb in their free time. Mr. Burmaster heads aloft after overseeing the latest Deck Log readings.

1500 hours

Mr. Woodworth has returned to Piermont Marsh for the third and final Zodiac expedition.

1530 hours

By now the tide has come in, submerging the marsh, so this expedition doesn't get much chance to walk around in the muck. They still collect their share of specimens, however.

1600 hours

Back on the ship, Dakota is still busy identifying our aquatic animal specimens. He's also eager to show off the green crab carapace discovered on an earlier expedition.

Work on data collection has started to wind down, with the celestial tracking team having now gathered all the readings they need to determine local noon and our latitude.

With more time on their hands, the Frisian contingent has requested to treat the crew to a traditional Dutch meal tonight.

1615 hours

Mr. de Leeuw and the students all pitch in (including Wouter, who happened to be busy elsewhere at the moment the chronicler blew through the galley). So what's the meal? We'll tell you after the dinner bell.

Abovedecks, more students are taking the opportunity to climb aloft. Kortnee and Gabrielle take in the scenery with Ms. Waiboer at the main top.

1645 hours

Time for one last major experiment, now that the senior crew have worked the kinks out of their simple machine. The mechanical advantage team consists of Dakota, Gabrielle, Marije, and Rianne. They'll be testing different rigs while lifting a jug of water two feet off the deck.

Mr. Hensel has an project of his own. He's spent the day studying the running rigging, and he now wants to practice setting the fore topsail by himself, just to see if (and how well) it can be done. Mr. Hansen and Ms. Waiboer stand by to lend advice.

1715 hours

The mechanical advantage team has made good progress, and is now close to wrapping up their series of experiments.

1745 hours

With all presentation teams having now collected their data, it's time for our layover to reach its end. Following our brief episode of anchor dragging yesterday evening, we've had to remain extra vigilant while remaining here. Thus, Captain Reynolds would prefer to move on. (Plus, we'd all like to experience more of the river.)

Kortnee is stationed as communicator while we once again weigh anchor. Her job is to relay commands between Captain Reynolds and the teams working on the orlop deck.

Dakota and Mr. Lyke are ready at the bits. Once again, Mr. Lyke's job will be to control the anchor rode, while Dakota will be faking.

Mr. de Leeuw works with Alyssa and Gabrielle to tend the lower capstan.

Mouse over to walk the capstan!
Students walk the capstan.

And away we go! The capstan team leans into their bars, quickly hauling the anchor back up to the surface.

1800 hours

It's all up to the fore deck team now. Mr. Woodworth and Mr. Hensel hook the anchor on its tackle, which Mr. Burmester than sweats up out of the water.

Mouse over to sweat the anchor!
Mr. Burmester and Mr. Van Aken sweat the anchor tackle.

1815 hours

The anchor's feeling a little heavy today, so Mr. Van Aken lends a hand to finish the job.

It's a short hop ahead of us. The Half Moon will travel just an hour or so into lower Haverstraw Bay before we set anchor again. The crew kicks back and relaxes while underway.

1900 hours

Our special dinner is served! The full meal is called Indonesische rijst tafel, which translates as an Indonesian rice table. An (obviously) Indonesian meal which migrated to the Netherlands in the golden era of the Dutch East India Company, the core entree is a rice dish called nasi. To turn this into a full Indonesische rijst tafel, they've added a full range of side dishes, including pickles, chicken, fried eggs, and peanut sauce.

1915 hours

Shortly after sunset, we pass under the Tappan Zee Bridge and reach our destination, anchoring off the southwestern shore of Haverstraw Bay. It was somewhere in this bay that the crew of the original Halve Maen found themselves embroiled in a full battle with a Delaware tribe during their return journey out of the river in 1609. We, on the other hand, expect a fairly quiet night.

2015 hours

Ending Position: Anchored below Hook Mountain on Haverstraw Bay.
Latitude: 41˚ 07.4' N
Longitude: 073˚ 53.9' W

With most of their work behind them, the students seem energized as they wait for tonight's Anchor Watch briefing to begin.

We give the students an additional responsibility during Anchor Watch tonight; they'll monitor and record weather phenomenon (including air temperature and wind speed) for the Deck Log through the night, allowing us to continuing collecting data for our AMVER SEAS reporting around the clock.

There's a chance of rain tonight, so we put up some tarps before lights out, but in the end the night passes without anyone getting wet.

Next Time: Student Presentations!

Robert Juet's Journal

d'Halve Maen enters what is today known as the Upper New York Harbor, and the crew instantly recognizes its value as a port. Local Lenape row out to the ship to present gifts to their European visitors. Captain Hudson and his crew accept these gifts, yet remain wary of another potential attack.

On September 11th, 1609:

The eleuenth, was faire and very hot weather. At one of the clocke in the after-noone, wee weighed and went into the Riuer, the wind at South South-west, little winde. Our soundings were seuen, sixe, fiue, sixe, seuen, eight, nine, ten, twelue, thirteene, and fourteene fathomes. Then it shoald againe, and came to fiue fathomes. Then wee Anchored, and saw that it was a very good Harbour for all windes, and rode all night. The people of the Countrey came aboord of vs, making shew of loue, and gaue vs Tobacco and Indian Wheat and departed for that night; but we durst not trust them.

Robert Juet's Journal.

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