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Day Eight: Thursday, September 16, 2010

0700 hours

Starting Position: Anchored off Peckham Materials at Athens Channel.
Latitude: 42˚ 16.1' N
Longitude: 073˚ 48.0' W

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

0800 hours

Our final full day on board the Half Moon kicks off with a sunny morning and hot spinach quiche, all six of which vanish quickly.

After breakfast, the students take a few minutes to update their accomplishments on the Task Matrix.

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

0845 hours

We have a lot to do today, and it all starts with weighing anchor. Once again, we've rotated the students into new positions.

As the capstan team reels in the anchor rode up above, Mylah and Colton tend the lower capstan belowdecks.

After the rode passes around the capstan, Jerryangelo helps haul it back toward the bow of the ship...

...where Mr. Burmester and his fakers, Courtney and Ellie, are tending the bits. Thanks to everyone's combined efforts, the anchor is soon up and we're underway once more.

0915 hours

Once Ellie's relieved from her position at the anchor rode, she climbs aloft, helping peers like Jacob unfurl the sails.

She heads straight up to the main top to unfurl the top sail while Colton, Ms. Waiboer, and Mr. Brudos unfurl the course.

Meanwhile, Jerryangelo is having a fine time at the helm.

At this point in the voyage, our student crew members have gained enough experience to start becoming teachers themselves. On the fore deck, Mylah helps Ms. Backman practice her knots.

0930 hours

Although most data collection took place yesterday, the Mechanical Advantage (Distance) team would like to take a few more readings before they shift into preparing their report. No problem!

Meanwhile, another deck down, Peter is spending his time on galley duty chopping carrots for tonight's dinner.

1045 hours

We've set the fore course and are now continuing under sail. Mr. Burmester is on his way up to the fore top to help set the foretopsail.

While Mr. Burmester climbs, Mr. Hensel readies the foretopsail's dousing lines and lookout Cassie observes.

This morning is our last chance to set sail on this voyage, for reasons that will soon become clear. Better take the opportunity while we can!

This far upriver, the Hudson has narrowed considerably from the vast expanse we saw even as far north as Verplanck. We bet Captain Hudson never had to maneuver around tugboats and barges loaded with concrete or scrap metal!

Meanwhile, belowdecks, the Mechanical Advantage (Distance) team has finished their data collection and moved on to making preliminary drafts of their presentation graphs.

This is a climactic day on the Half Moon: This evening, all of the research teams will be making oral reports to the crew!

Despite that looming excitement, however, standard ship's duties still remain in effect. In the galley, Jacob has taken over for Peter and is busy making sandwiches for lunch.

Meanwhile, in the helm hutch, Kevin has nearly finished his shift steering the ship.

We need to continue monitoring other responsibilites as well. Ellie is updating the Deck Log with weather data for our AMVER SEAS reports.

1100 hours

Time has come to furl our sails one last time; the ship will continue upriver under motor. Students like Colton help furl the sails (and take in the view) before coming back down to the deck to return to their projects.

1130 hours

The students will spend much of the rest of the day deeply focused on completing their projects. To help them concentrate on their work, the senior crew takes over most ship duties, such as helm and lookout.

Meanwhile, we find the Celestial Tracking team reviewing their data with Mr. Prime, their senior crew advisor.

Belowdecks, Colton and Jacob are hard at work preparing preliminary graphs for their team's mechanical advantage (force) project.

1200 hours

As we enter the afternoon and the watches change shifts, we find the Mechanical Advantage (Distance) team preparing their visual displays.

1215 hours

With Lilly and Courtney currently occupied crafting a working display model of their simple machine, Ellie and Tahjha fill in the display graph of their data.

Mylah is busy just a few feet away, working on the Mechanical Advantage (Force) team's own graph.

In the meantime, we've arrived at our anchorage for the night: Henry Hudson Park, located not far south of Albany itself. Mr. Hensel sounds the depths as we maneuver into position, out of the main shipping channel. Once the captain gives the command, we let fall the anchor and come to a stop.

Ending Position: Anchored off Henry Hudson Park.
Latitude: 42˚ 32.6' N
Longitude: 073˚ 45.5' W

1230 hours

With the ship at rest, the students turn right back to their work. Ellie and Tahjha are putting the final touches on their team's presentation graph.

1245 hours

By now, the students have largely finished creating the presentation materials for their projects. Sounds like a good time to take a break for a light lunch!

1300 hours

As the meal winds down, ship's duties pick up again. It's Lilly's turn to spend an hour helping Mr. Burmester make weather observations for the AMVER SEAS program.

1415 hours

The students have finished their graphs, but their work is not yet done. Up on the fore deck, the Celestial Tracking team is meeting to plan and rehearse their roles in the oral presentation.

Meanwhile, two decks down, the Mechanical Advantage (Force) team is doing the same with their advisor, Mr. Brudos.

1430 hours

During their meeting on the fore deck, the Celestial Tracking team noticed a few corrections they needed to make to their calcultations. They shift operations down to the anchor rode to prepare a new graph.

1445 hours

Even here in the home stretch, AMVER SEAS reporting continues unabated.

1530 hours

While the students rehearse and ready themselves belowdecks, the senior crew bundle up in their rain gear to tackle a major task.

The Dunn Memorial Bridge spanning the river between Albany and Rensselear just downriver of our final destination, and the Half Moon's fore and main masts are too tall to clear it. To reach our dock at the Albany Water Station, we need to lower the topmasts.

We start with the foremast. While crew members Burmester, Niehaus, Prime, Waiboer, and Woodworth walk the capstan, Mr. Hensel and Captain Reynolds guide the mast (and the crew) from the fore top.

The job is time-consuming, but once it's all been properly rigged gravity does most of the work. (Raising the masts again after we leave Albany, however, is a different story!)

1615 hours

Their projects ready, Courtney and Mylah have chosen to brave the rain to offer the senior crew invaluable moral support.

Mouse over to layer that lasagna!
Colton and Mr. McLaughlin prepare dinner in the galley.

While the senior crew shifts from the fore mast to the main, Colton is busy in the galley, layering lasagna for tonight's dinner with Mr. McLaughlin.

After a brief intermission, the senior crew are back on the capstan. Time to raise the main topmast!

1745 hours

The masts are up, the projects are ready, and the big event has finally arrived. Taking shelter from the weather, the entire crew clusters before the main mast on the orlop deck, buzzing with excitement.

1800 hours

The time has finally come for our student sailors to reveal the results of their voyage-long projects.

First to take the stage is the Mechanical Advantage (Force) team of Colton, Jerryangelo, Jacob, and Mylah. They are followed by their counterparts in the Mechanical Advantage (Distance) team: Courtney, Ellie, Lilly, and Tahjha. The Celestial Tracking team of Cassie, Kevin, Ntando, and Peter round out the evening.

Each team spends about ten minutes presenting their findings, including a practical demonstration of the methods and materials they collected their data. Team (Distance) even builds a working model of the simple machine!

Click here for a more detailed look at each team's presentation.

After team presents their findings, they conclude by taking questions from Captain Reynolds, their teachers, and most of all, their peers in the audience.

1945 hours

And just like that, the presentations are done! The students celebrate by wolfing down their dinner.

2000 hours

While the students eat on the orlop deck, the senior crew is busy down in the galley, serving two dozen chocolate-chip-brownie sundaes. Oh, very well, we'll share them with the students as well.

2200 hours

It's been a long day, as tiring as it was exciting. After dinner, the students retreat to their sleeping bags and spend the remaining time before lights out reading or updating their journals.

And that goes for the senior crew too!

We end our evening with a quick Anchor Watch briefing, and our final night onboard passes quietly.

Next: The Grand Conclusion!

Robert Juet's Journal

The crew of d'Halve Maen spends the day anchored within sight of the Catskills. After a disappointing attempt at fishing, they spend the rest of the morning trading with the Mohicans for corn, pumpkins, and tobacco. After the crew spends the afternoon replenishing the ship's stores of fresh water, the ship weighs anchor in the evening and continues upriver another forty miles, anchoring somewhere in the vicinity of modern Athens/Hudson or Coxsackie.

On September 16th, 1609:

The sixteenth, faire and very hot weather. In the morning our Boat went againe to fishing, but could catch but few, by reason their Canoes had been there all night. This morning the people came aboord, and brought vs ears of Indian Corne, and Pompions, and Tabacco; which wee bought for trifles. Wee rode still all day, and filled fresh water; at night wee weighed and went two leagues higher, and had shoaled water; so wee anchored till day.

Robert Juet's Journal.

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