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ProLog: Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

0600 hours

Current Position: Underway south of Duck Island Roads.
Latitude: 41˚ 11.8' N
Longitude: 072˚ 32.9' W

Day Five of our transit voyage to New London.

Having traveled through the night, we're still underway in Long Island Sound when dawn breaks and Port Watch once again assume their duties. As the morning begins, distant fog has cloaked all sight of shore, and occasional bands of drizzle have resumed blowing through the region.

0845 hours

The easterly winds have calmed considerably since yesterday, allowing a smoother ride across the waves, but the damp morning guarantees that the galley remains a popular spot.

0900 hours

Oatmeal is served for breakfast on the weather deck. Captain Reynolds presents the crew with two options.

Option One: If we make New London our primary goal, we can reach the harbor by slack tide in the afternoon; of course, this would bring our transit voyage to an end.

Option Two: We can spend part of the day practicing our sail handling, then set anchor at Niantic Bay (just west of New London), shifting our final arrival time to tomorrow morning.

The crew agrees: Dry land can wait! It's time to set sail!

0930 hours

The prevailing winds have shifted to the south, so the Half Moon heads in that direction toward the Long Island coast. This will buy us ample space to ride the winds back north across the Sound. The crew relaxes below decks while the ship moves into position.

1030 hours

An hour later, it's time for the Half Moon to come about and make for Connecticut. The crew is eager to set sail, despite occasional bands of drizzle and distant fog cloaking all sight of shore. Rig teams climb aloft to unfurl the courses.

The courses are soon prepped, and Captain Reynolds offers the main mast line handlers a few pointers as they assume their positions.

Main mast ready?


Overhaul the clews, bunts, and martnets! Haul the sheets and tacks!

The main mast team practices setting and dousing the main course a few more times just for good measure.

1045 hours

With the main course now full and drawing, the mast team moves on to prep the remaining sails.

1100 hours

The fore course is next on their list, followed by the top sails and even the spritsail. With five sails catching the gentle winds, we shut down the engine and spend the next few hours quietly sailing north toward the Connecticut shoreline.

1215 hours

With the ship underway, Mr. Hensel has returned from the tops for a break, taking a moment to check our position on the navigation charts.

Meanwhile, the mast teams continue to practice working the sails and bracing them to the shifting winds.

1330 hours

The ship is still under sail as the crew steps below decks for a hot lunch of soup, sandwiches, and pasta.

1445 hours

The winds have shifted to the west, and are no longer in our favor. To maintain our speed, the crew douses the sails, starting with the tops, and we continue the rest of the way under motor.

1600 hours

As we approach the Connecticut coastline, we spot something we haven't seen since New York Harbor: blue sky! By the time we reach Niantic Bay, the skies will have mostly cleared.

1615 hours

The mouth of the Connecticut River (as well as that of neighboring Niantic Bay) is marked by extensive sandbars, which historically has limited the industrial use of these rivers. As we approach Niantic Bay from the south, Captain Reynolds and Mate Hansen keep a close eye on the charts and their surroundings to keep the ship in the proper channels.

As we enter the bay, the clearing skies offer us a warm welcome.

1715 hours

Mr. Myers stands lookout as we approach our final anchorage.

Dr. Jackowe joins Mr. Hensel out on the fore channel today.

Mouse over to sweat the line!

Mr. Traub sweats while Mr. Grab tails the block-and-tackle, lowering the anchor to the waterline.


Mr. Hensel and Dr. Jackowe help guide the anchor on its way down, then remove the anchor's safety lines.

Mouse over to let fall the anchor!

When Captain Reynolds gives the command, Dr. Jackowe pulls the fid, setting the anchor.

1730 hours

Ending Position: Anchored at Niantic Bay, CT.
Latitude: 41˚ 18.7' N
Longitude: 072˚ 11.4' W

We'll spend the final evening of our voyage here in the middle of the bay, within sight of the town of Niantic. New London is just around the bend!

Mr. Swartwout checks the hygrometer to measure the relative humidity levels.

He and Mr. Gans are collecting weather data for our latest AMVER SEAS report; check the Learning Pages once the Voyage of Discovery begins to learn more about these programs.

1915 hours

In the last rays of sunlight, Ms. Bruijn and her galley team serve sausages and saurkraut for dinner, followed by a yoghurt dessert.

1930 hours

Dinner is followed by this voyage's final Anchor Watch briefing. With that, many of the crew hit their bunks early, looking forward to tomorrow's 0600 reveille. Not far to go now...

Next Time: New London!

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