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Day Nine: Friday, September 17, 2010

0700 hours

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

The fifth and final day of the 2010 Fall Voyage of Discovery.

As we rise this cloudy morning, the students have delivered their presentations and are looking forward to a day filled with homecoming and celebration.

0745 hours

Homecoming, celebration... and swabbing. A quick deck wash after breakfast keeps the Half Moon looking its best for our arrival ceremony.

0800 hours

Speaking of arrivals, we have many more crew members joining us on board today but that must wait! We have an important ceremony to attend to first!

Since stepping on board at Verplanck, our twelve new student crew members (and our new senior crew member, Ms. Backman!) have demonstrated their skills and earned their position as full Half Moon crew members. To mark this occasion, we present them with "the orange," our official (and exclusive) crew shirts. Visit the Crew Pages to see each student receive their honors!

0815 hours

Everyone in the crew, both students and senior crew members, soon change into their official shirts for the rapidly approaching arrival ceremony.

0830 hours

Have we forgotten something! Oh yes! In our rapid voyage upriver, Courtney and Mylah never got a chance to take an excusion in the Zodiac. They've been exceptionally patient, so it's time they were rewarded!

But first, we have to deal with a nasty outbreak of hugs.

Mr. Woodworth takes the ladies out on the river for a quick look around and also to pick up our guests, currently waiting on shore!

In the meantime, the rest of the crew patiently awaits the arrival of the new crew.

0900 hours

When the Zodiac returns, it bears some familiar faces. The students and teachers from the first-leg crew have returned to escort the Half Moon into port, along with a handful of special guests!

While Mr. Woodworth shuttles our returning sailors onto the ship, the current crew is busy belowdecks, running out the anchor rode.

The moment our combined crew has climbed onboard and joined forces, we begin the process of weighing anchor one last time.

With all of our practice (and twice as many hands available to add to the capstan) the task of hauling in the anchor goes by quickly and smoothly. We are soon underway.

1000 hours

An hour later, the Half Moon has reached the Port of Albany.

Kevin has just taken the helm, and our destination is in sight.

However, we aren't due to arrive for another two hours. (Better to be too early than too late!) Our plan is to linger here, at a widening of the river used by large vessels to turn around, until it's time to head into the dock.

While we wait, the crew who aren't on duty are keeping warm on the orlop deck, where they take the time to meet everyone.

1015 hours

Cassie maintains her post at lookout while we hold position, keeping an eye on the Port of Albany's commerical traffic.

While we wait, we make a few final arrangements for our arrival. Mr. Beiter helps set up a swivel gun that we'll be using to fire salutes to the crowd.

1030 hours

Captain Reynolds convenes all hands at the capstan for a final crew meeting, briefing everyone on what they can expect from the ceremony to come.

1045 hours

We'll want the Half Moon to look its best when we arrive, and that means putting our student sailors up front and center. Several students are assigned to climb aloft to add color to our rigging. As the crew gets ready, Mylah inspect's Ellie's safety harness.

1100 hours

Tahjha relieves Cassie at lookout as we enter the final hour of our Voyage of Discovery.

Meanwhile, Ntando takes over from Kevin at the helm.

With our arrival imminent, we check everything to ensure the ship is looking its best. We find Peter re-coiling lines on the weather deck.

1145 hours

We are now entering our final approach. The student rig teams head aloft.

Before us, we see the U.S.S. Slater, the Dunn Memorial Bridge, and beyond them, a water display put on by our hosts at the Albany Water Pumping Station.

Mr. Prime isn't just a teacher and crew member; he's also one of the Half Moon's chief gunners! He's in charge of preparing and firing our blackpowder salutes as we close in on Albany. He opens with a swivel gun salute to the Slater...

...followed by falconet salutes to the cheering crowds. First the port cannon...

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. Prime fires a falconet on the orlop deck.

...and then starboard. "Give fire!"

1200 hours

Time to make our final approach to the dock. All that follows happens in a rush!

The students' excitement builds as we close in on our final destination.

We find Colton up on the Quarter deck, assisting Mr. Prime. He's holding the linstock well away from the swivel gun as Mr. Prime loads another charge.

"Give fire!" Mr. Prime fires a final salute to the waiting crowds...

...as we maneuver the Half Moon toward the dock.

Jerryangelo is our final lookout as we move in closer.

We find a large, excited crowd waiting for us on shore.

Most of the well-wisher crowd is made up of the student crews' family members, teachers, and fellows students from their Capital Region schools.

However, the greeting party at the dock also includes several alums from previous Voyages of Discovery, including Rensselaer natives (l to r) David Ellis (Fall 2005), Casey (Spring 2008), Pwint (Fall 2009), and Emily (Fall 2009).

Of course, that list doesn't even include Rachel Laufer (Spring 2000) or Carolyn Niehaus (Fall 2000), who have gone on to serve as senior crew members (right up to this voyage)!

All hands on deck!

The crew stands by with admirable patience as our assistants on shore receive the Half Moon's dock lines.

Ending Position: Docked at Albany Water Pumping Station.
Latitude: 42˚ 38.6' N
Longitude: 073˚ 44.9' W

The Half Moon is soon secured at the dock. Time to disembark!

The student rig teams return to the deck as we prepare to return to land.

We soon transfer all hands to shore and head up to greet the crowd.

1215 hours

Following tradition, longtime volunteer Steve Weisse (far right) and his brass quintet provide the score for our arrival at Albany.

We celebrate our arrival with a great deal of pomp and circumstance. Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings is first to address the crowd.

In addition to congratulating the students, Mayor Jennings serves as master of ceremonies, introducing the speakers to follow, including Assemblyman Robert Reilly and Commissioner of General Services John Egan (who would shortly leave that position to become the new Director of the Renaissance Foundation).

Last but not least, we hear from Captain Reynolds himself.

1230 hours

The captain uses his time at the podium to thank everyone who had contributed to the voyage, and to congratulate our student crew members.

After a few words, he awards certificates of accomplishment to each student crew member, commemorating the successful completion of their Voyage of Discovery.

1245 hours

After the arrival ceremony concludes, the students are free to mingle with the crowd. While some students rejoin their families...

...others give interviews to the press, be it print journalists...

...or the local TV news.

But the students aren't quite done yet! They'll spend the rest of the afternoon rummaging their gear and helping clean the ship and prepare it for tours before heading home.

So concludes the 2010 Fall Voyage of Discovery. Congratulations to all of our student and senior crew members, and remember that you're always welcome back on board!

From here, the Half Moon remains in Albany through the end of September, offering public and school tours. On October 2nd, the ship once again leaves port, en route to the 2010 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery, which will take us back to the Connecticut River. Follow us there!

Robert Juet's Journal

Since our Voyage of Discovery arrives in Albany a few days early this year, we'll use this final log entry to cover the full conclusion of d'Halve Maen's 1609 voyage upriver, culminating in its arrival near the site of modern-day Albany.

On September 17th, 1609:

The Halve Maen continues upriver. Assuming the ship weighed anchor somewhere between Hudson/Athens and Coxsackie, and if Juet's travel estimation of six leagues (roughly 18 miles) is accurate, then the ship is likely somewhere near New Baltimore or Castleton when it repeatedly runs aground on shallow shoals. After hauling themselves free twice in one day, the crew sets anchor for the night.

The seuenteenth, faire Sun-shining weather, and very hot. In the morning as soone as the Sun was vp, we set sayle, and ran vp sixe leagues higher, and found shoalds in the middle of the channell, and small Ilands, but seuen fathoms water on both sides. Toward night we borrowed so neere the shoare, that we grounded; so we layed out our small anchor, and heaued off againe. Then we borrowed on the banke in the channell, and came aground againe; while the floud ran we heaued off againe, and anchored all night.

Robert Juet's Journal.

On September 18th, 1609:

The Halve Maen remains at anchor, still most likely somewhere in the vicinity of modern New Baltimore or Castleton. In the afternoon, Captain Hudson's first mate accompanies an elder Mohican tribal leader to the latter's longhouse, where he reports being greeted with warm hospitality. Robert Juet was not Hudson's mate on this voyage; the identity of this individual is lost to history.

The eighteenth, in the morning was faire weather, and we rode still. In the after-noone our Masters Mate went on land with an old Sauage, a Gouernor of the Countrey; who carried him to his house, and made him good cheere.

Robert Juet's Journal.

On September 19th, 1609:

The Halve Maen continues upriver another six miles or so, likely anchoring near Vloman Kill, in the area of what is now Henry Hudson Park or the Port of Albany. This is the farthest point upriver the ship itself will travel. The crew trades with the local Mohicans, buying grapes and pumpkins for the ship's stores, and most notably, trading iron tools for the beaver skins which would become the cornerstone of New Netherland's economy.

The nineteenth, was faire and hot weather; at the floud being neere eleuen of the clocke, wee weighed, and ran higher vp two leagues aboue the Shoalds, and had no lesse water than fiue fathoms: wee anchored, and rode in eight fathomes. The people of the Countrie came flocking aboord, and brought vs Grapes, and Pompions, which wee bought for trifles. And many brought us Beuers skinnes, and Otters skinnes, which wee bought for Beades, Kniues, and Hatchets. So we rode there all night.

Robert Juet's Journal.

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