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ProLog: Monday, October 4th, 2010

0700 hours

Starting Position: Anchored at Bay Ridge Flats.
Latitude: 42˚ 08.7' N
Longitude: 073˚ 53.9' W

Day Three of our transit voyage to New London.

To begin today's log with a brief recap of yesterday's events, we spent much of the voyage so far with the intention of passing through the East River and Hell Gate early this morning, which would have entailed rising at 0400 hours to catch the flood tide. Yesterday evening, however, Captain Reynolds adjusted his plans, deciding that catching the afternoon flood would suit us just as well.

That being the case, we've chosen to spend the morning anchored at Bay Ridge Flats, just off the Brooklyn shoreline. The rain that moved into the area last night remains, and is still predicted to accompany us throughout the rest of the voyage.

It's a wet, low-key morning today, as the crew busy themselves with general upkeep, including a deck wash.

The galley is always a popular hangout on days like this, so Ms. Bruijn has no shortage of assistants helping her prepare lunch and dinner.

1330 hours

As the afternoon begins, the tide begins to turn. We need to ride the flood through the rapid East River in order to make any reasonable progress, so all hands report to their stations as we prepare to weigh anchor.

Fortunately for the sake of this log, we've color-coded our capstan crew. Otherwise it can be hard to identify the clusters of hooded figures who replace our happy crew on blustery days!

Mouse over to walk the capstan!
The crew walks the capstan.

Perhaps motivated by the weather, the capstan team wastes no time in hauling in the anchor rode. The anchor is soon secure and we're away.

1415 hours

Once again we slice through the waves, rounding Governor's Island to approach the southern mouth of the East River.

1515 hours

The East River is a scenic change of pace for us. Despite the rain, the crew hangs at the rail to take in sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the United Nations.

Checking our position, Captain Reynolds notes that we're racing along at nearly 9 knots. In fact, however, we're barely adding 3 knots to the East River's raging current; no wonder he opted against fighting the ebb tide last night!

Mouse over to experience Hell Gate!
The Half Moon rolls across the turbulent Hell Gate.

1530 hours

After making record time, we've reached Hell Gate, where the East River spreads into a network of waterways surrounding numerous scattered islands, eventually transitioning into Long Island Sound. Hell Gate takes its name from the erratic currents, eddies, and tides often seen here.

With Mr. Kelley at the helm, we soon pass through the churning waters and pass under Hell Gate Bridge.

1600 hours

As we continue to adjust our schedule to suit the weather, we've opted against switching to a 24-hour watch rotation, as we've usually done during these transits through the Sound. With Mr. Swartwout now at the helm, Captain Reynolds and Mate Hansen guide the ship toward our next destination.

1630 hours

Our target is a special anchorage along the northern Bronx shoreline, near SUNY Maritime. As the ship maneuvers between moored barges, bosun-in-training Hensel and Mr. Stevens return to the the fore channel to sound the depths. When they report a depth of 3-1/2 fathoms, we've hit just the right spot.

Mr. Hensel and Mr. Stevens secure the lead, switching their attention to the anchor.

The foredeck team, consisting of Mr. Traub and Mr. Wilber, lower the 400-lb. anchor to the waterline.

Mouse over to pull the fid!
Bill Stevens pulls the fid, releasing the anchor.

After observing the procedure yesterday, today it's Mr. Stevens who has the honored position of pulling the "fid" the wooden pin that tethers the anchor to the block-and-tackle holding it aloft. When the order comes to "Let fall!" he does, and the anchor instantly vanishes into the briny depths.

1645 hours

Meanwhile, belowdecks, Mr. Noonan remains in charge at the bits. He controls the rode, letting out 150 feet before making fast the line.

1700 hours

Ending Position: Anchored Between Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and Throgs Neck Bridge.
Latitude: 40˚ 48.6' N
Longitude: 073˚ 48.9' W

With a short day of travel done, the crew turns their attentions back to other vital matters such as mashing the potatoes for tonight's dinner!

1815 hours

Two more crew members have reached the end of their journey. Alexander Sharpe needs to get back to school and family in New York City, and Carolyn Niehaus needs to get back to the New Netherland Museum's office in Albany!

Mr. Hansen zips the pair in to the Bronx, where Mr. Sharpe's mother is waiting to pick them up.

1845 hours

Our remaining 18 crew members will remain with us all the way to New London. For now, however, as the sun sets and the wind and rain picks up, the crew simply retreats to the warmth and comfort of belowdecks.

1900 hours

We'll spend the night anchored here in the sheltered cove created by Throgs Neck, with the seagulls roosting on nearby barges as our company. Tomorrow, we'll rise again at 0600 hours for the next leg of our journey.

1915 hours

For now, however, it's all about dinner. Ms. Bruijn and here assistants have prepared voluminous portions of shepherd's pie for us all to enjoy.

No matter how much she makes, however, there isn't much left by the end of dinner.

1945 hours

We top off dinner with chocolate banana pudding for desert, which the crew samples with similar restraint.

2000 hours

Back to work! Mr. Hensel and Ms. Waiboer who are both effectively serving as bosuns on this voyage prepare tonight's Anchor Watch roster and reconfigure the Duty Roster to account for our smaller crew.

When the adjustments have been made, Captain Reynolds convenes a brief anchor watch briefing on the weather deck before we call it a night.

Next Time: Making a Pit Stop!

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