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Day Five: Monday, September 13, 2010

1300 hours

Starting Position: Docked at King Marine in Verplanck, NY.
Latitude: 41˚ 15.5' N
Longitude: 073˚ 57.8' W

Day One of the second leg of the Fall Voyage of Discovery.

This chapter of the ship's log begins with our new student crew taking the reins of the ship from their departing peers while the ship is docked at Verplanck, New York. Click here if you prefer to start with the arrival of our new crew members instead.

Our new student crew are all from the greater New York capital region, with representatives from Albany, Schenectady, and Taconic Hills in our ranks. These are the fresh and eager sailors who will carry the Half Moon the rest of the way to Albany and complete the Fall Voyage of Discovery.

1315 hours

But first, grab a broom! The students need to thoroughly clean the orlop deck, which will serve as their new home for the next few days.

Once the orlop deck is ship-shape, the students can spread out their gear and lay claim to sleeping spots.

1345 hours

Now that the students are settling in, Ms. Niehaus prepares a new Duty Roster to provide everyone with their work schedule. She and Mr. Budros offer introductory explanations of each position to the crew.

1400 hours

While Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Woodworth are off on a short reprovisioning run, we take a few minutes to sweep up after Corey Cummings' birthday party. From one deck to the next, the ship has soon regained a proper, orderly appearance.

1430 hours

We begin to introduce our new sailors to the basic shipcraft skills they'll need to master to prosper on board. At the portside rail, Ms. Niehaus shows Tahjha, and Cassie how to belay lines while Jacob observes.

Once Cassie and Tahjha and have their turn, Ntando, Jacob, Colton, and Lilly step in. In a short time, all of our new sailors have learned out to correctly belay and coil the ship's running lines.

Meanwhile, Kevin, Ellie, and Ms. Backman have found something else to catch their interest. They're among the first to undergo harness training, and at the moment they're observing as the ship's bosun, Ms. Waiboer, demonstrates how to take a hang test.

Down in our modernized cargo hold, Mr. Burmester teaches the students what is arguably the most vital onboard skill of all: how to properly use the ship's head (bathroom).

Back up on the weather deck, the students have already progressed from watching Ms. Waiboer in the rig to climbing aloft themselves. Ellie practices maintaining three points of contact as she moves into position for her hang test.

1445 hours

We've refilled our water tanks and the cook has returned from his reprovisioning trip, so the Half Moon is rapidly approaching the time of departure. Captain Reynolds convenes the entire crew on deck to officially welcome them on board and to present a briefing on personal safety and ship operations.

1500 hours

As is our standard, Captain Reynolds details the various procedures we follow on board to prevent falls, fires, flooding, and man overboard emergencies. At the moment, he and Mr. Burmester are showing the students how to safely climb onto the fore deck.

Mouse over to practice proper hygiene!
The crew practices washing their hands.

Lastly, we discuss personal hygiene. In Henry Hudson's day, disease often wiped out ships' entire crews. Our modern understanding of proper hygiene, however, gives us the advantage. Even with 24 people all sharing a confined space, we can prevent the spread of communicable diseases (such as an autumn cold) with simple practices.

1515 hours

Captain Reynolds concludes his introduction by presenting the students with their personal Crew Rating Logs.

By masting nautical and historical skills and knowledge, the students should soon be able to rise in the ranks. On the last leg of the voyage, we had several students reach the rank of Able-Bodied Sailor/Volmatross, and Dakota was even promoted to Watch Captain! Can our new crew meet that challenge?

1545 hours

After the briefing, we turn our attention to the ship's imminent departure. The students hustle down to check the Duty Roster for their assignments.


At the moment, the river's current is nearly slack with just a touch of flood, and we have a light south-easterly wind pushing the ship away from the dock. Captain Reynolds informs us that these are nearly ideal conditions for us to sail off the dock!

On the fore deck, Jerryangelo is assigned to lookout, while Kevin is ready and waiting to bracing the fore course to starboard.

All line handlers report to their positions. With the help of our dockside assistants, we quickly haul in our mooring lines and are away, leaving the dock under wind power alone.

As we slip away from King Marine, our new crew's Voyage of Discovery has truly begun. We also bid farewell to senior crew members Van Aken and Lyke, who must return to their shoreside responsibilities.

1600 hours

Mylah and Jacob haul on the starboard sheets as we brace the sails to starboard, using the wind to push the Half Moon around and place the ship on a northerly course.

These winds are too light to propel the ship on its way, however, so we soon switch to engine power and continue upriver. The sail teams clear their lines, including Courtney, seen here attentively coiling the main course clew.

Colton is our first crew member at the helm, steering the Half Moon past the nearby town of Peekskill.

1630 hours

Peter takes a look at a modern navigational chart of the lower Hudson River, with Ms. Waiboer and Mr. Brudos helping him interpret it. From it he can see that we're about to pass under Bear Mountain Bridge...

1700 hours

...and half an hour later, we've done just that. The ship has now entered the rugged Hudson Highlands. In 16o9, these mountains formed a natural boundary between the lands of the Delaware nation, whom Hudson's crew viewed with suspicion, and the Mohegans, with whom Hudson struck up a swift friendship.

1715 hours

As we look upriver with Cassie, we see West Point coming into view.

This famous military installation has watched over the Hudson River since the Revolutionary War, when its chain famously blocked the progress of the invading British fleet. Students like Tahjha and Colton are quick to grab their binoculars and take a close look.

1745 hours

Ms. Waiboer has gathered another group of students for harness training, but in this case, Courtney, Ntando, Peter, and Jerryangelo will have to wait to take their hang tests. The weather is rapidly deteriorating, with predictions calling for rain and a chance of hail. Sorry, guys; we can't allow climbing during storms.

In the background, the looming shape of Storm King Mountain shows that we are already approaching the northern end of the Hudson Highlands.

As we finish our course through the highlands, the students and senior crew are taking some time to get to know one another. Ms. Niehaus and Tahjha chat at the starboard rail, discussing cloud formations and the surrounding scenery.

1800 hours

The rain has caught up with us at last. Fortunately, however, rather than the predicted storms and hail, all we experience is some light drizzle.

It isn't even enough rain to persuade Ellie to move to shelter!

Pallopel Island (also popularly known as Bannerman's Island) marks the northern gateway of the Hudson Highlands. In the mist and drizzle, Bannerman's gutted "castle" looks suitably melancholy today.

1815 hours

As we pass the island and enter Newburgh Bay, however, an entirely different scene greets us. The skies begin to clear and a remarkable double rainbow appears to emanate from the castle itself!

In fact, the double rainbow stretches the full length of Newburgh Bay!

It's quite the remarkable mood changer after our wet start.

1830 hours

With the sun sinking low in the western sky, Newburgh Bay is our destination for the night. We continue across the bay to approach our anchorage, just south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

Ms. Waiboer joins the fore channel team for her first opportunity to set the anchor.

Mouse over to sweat the anchor tackle!
Mr. Burmester and Ms. Niehaus sweat and tail the anchor tackle.

Using a block-and-tackle pulley system, Mr. Burmester and Ms. Niehaus "sweat and tail" the line supporting the anchor, lowering it to the water line.

Mouse over to let fall the anchor!
The anchor splashes below the water's surface.

When Captain Reynolds gives the command to "Let fall!" Ms. Waiboer yanks out the fid (a wooden "carrot" that affixes the anchor to its tackle), sending the anchor plunging to the bottom.

Ending Position: Anchored at Newburgh Bay.
Latitude: 41˚ 28.8' N
Longitude: 073˚ 59.9' W

With the ship secured for the night, the students are free to relax for the time being. Jacob, Mylah, and Kevin enjoy themselves on the fore deck, checking out the scenery.

Ms. Waiboer is also pleased with her first time releasing the anchor, and chats with Mr. Woodworth and the fore deck team before climbing back inboard.

1845 hours

The ravenous crew digs into their first dinner on board. Tonight we're enjoying lasagna, salad, and garlic bread.

1915 hours

Some students are already intent on rising in the ranks. On the fore deck, Ntando and Courtney study Courtney's Crew Rating Log and quiz each other.

1930 hours

As the sun sets behind the Newburgh skyline, Mr. Burmester gathers groups of students together to teach them how to use the instruments they need to collect weather data for the AMVER SEAS program.

Meanwhile, othe members of the senior crew have climbed aloft to furl the sails. Mr. Hensel gets a head start on the starboard side of the main course while waiting for a partner to climb aloft and take care of the port side.

2030 hours

Well after dark, we conclude the first day of our Voyage of Discovery by meeting on deck for our first Anchor Watch briefing. Tonight, alonside monitoring the ship's position and anchor light, the students will also collect weather data for the Deck Log.

The night is cool and quite damp, but we manage to avoid encounting any additional rain.

Next Time: Orientation on the Lange Rack!

Robert Juet's Journal

d'Halve Maen continues four miles upriver in the morning, then sets anchor to wait out the ebb tide. While waiting, they trade for oysters with the local Lenape. Once the tide turns to the flood again in the afternoon, they sail another eight miles or so before anchoring for the night, most likely at the southern end of Haverstraw Bay. The "high point of Land" Juet sees is the highlands beyond what is now Tarrytown.

On September 13th, 1609:

The thirteenth, faire weather, the wind Northerly. At seuen of the clocke in the morning, as the floud came we weighed, and turned foure miles into the Riuer. The tide being done wee anchored. Then there came foure Canoes aboord: but suffered none of them to come into our ship. They brought great store of very good Oysters aboord, which wee bought for trifles. In the night I set the variation of the Compasse, and found it to be 13.degrees. In the after-noone we weighed, and turned in with the floud, two leagues and a halfe further, and anchored all night, and had fiue fathoms soft Ozie ground, and had an high point of Land, which shewed out to vs, bearing North by East seuen leagues off vs.

Robert Juet's Journal.

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