2010 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery banner
Day One: Sunday, October 10th, 2010

1000 hours

Starting Position: Docked at Customs House Pier, New London, CT.
Latitude: 41˚ 21.1' N
Longitude: 072˚ 05.7' W

Day One of the 2010 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery.

The Half Moon has been docked in New London, Connecticut since its arrival on Thursday while the senior crew reprovisions for the voyage.

This is the third Fresh River Voyage of Discovery the Half Moon has sailed in association with Goodwin College of East Hartford, and in past years the students were drawn from various schools around the area. This year marks a big change, however: Goodwin College has launched the Connecticut River Academy High School! All of our student crew members are 9th and 10th graders in the inaugural class, and our voyage will take them up the Connecticut River, arriving right at the doorstep of their school.

For Goodwin and the New Netherland Museum, this year's voyage has been in the works for months. In August, Captain Reynolds even visited the CT River Academy to meet with the new faculty and introduce them to the ship.

But back to the present. The call goes out: "The students are here!" Our new crew members unload their gear onto the pier and take their first look at the ship.

1015 hours

We waste no time in helping the students climb on board.

Captain Reynolds greets our new crew and welcomes them on board, offering a preliminary safety briefing. There's much to do!

Meanwhile, the senior crew have set up a relay line to move the new recruits' gear on board.

Somehow, the orlop deck seemed much more spacious before the bags arrived. This deck will become the students' and educators' home for the duration of our voyage.

1045 hours

Back on deck, the captains' safety briefing has moved on to matters of personal hygiene.

This autumn voyage falls within cold and flu season, so everyone practices thoroughly washing their hands a key step in preventing the spread of disease. In 1609, diseases would often sweep through entire crews, sometimes wiping them out, but 400 years of education give us a leg up.

After the captain's introduction, we split into three groups and shift attention to learning basic ship practices.

Our bosun, Ms. Waiboer, teaches her group how to properly don a safety harness, a required skill and the first step toward climbing aloft.

Nearby, Captain Reynolds is teaching his group the basics of line handling. He begins by showing the students how lines are constructed from layers of interweaving fibers.

The third group, meanwhile, is belowdecks with Mr. Woodworth, learning how to use the ship's head (bathroom). Another advanced and vital skill!

We circulate the students after each brief lesson so everyone gets an opportunity to learn everything.

Line handling training also continues, with Karl practicing how to coil a line.

1100 hours

As Captain Reynolds meets his new team of line handlers, he directs their attention aloft so they can see how the lines manipulate the sails.

As we prepare to depart, our final departing transit voyage crew member, Kipp Van Aken, steps ashore and head for home. Thanks for your help, Mr. Van Aken!

1115 hours

Ms. Waiboer continues working with her harness training team at the port rail. Teara, Kelsey, Solange, and Bibi are drilling on the practice of maintaining three points of contact at all times.

A few minutes later, the teams rotate again, and Ms. Waiboer passes out harnesses to her new team of Daniel, Claudio, Karl, and Wilberto.

1130 hours

Having completed our initial round of ship's orientation training, Captain Reynolds calls everyone back to the capstan to present the rest of his safety briefing.

We discuss what to do in the event of emergencies such as fire, flood, or man overboard. At the moment, Mr. Woodworth is demonstrating how exposed a sailor is while climbing to the fore deck, and why we must thus take extra precautions around that deck.

1145 hours

As we close in on our departure time, the senior crew prepare the ship by casting off our secondary mooring lines. We deploy these lines for extra security when the ship is in an exposed position or when it will remain docked for an extended period.

Jim Traub, a transit voyage crew member and New London resident, has been helping us out as a dockside assistant since our arrival. He'll be our dockside line handler as we leave.

1230 hours

Time to go! We haven't yet written up the duty roster, so Ms. Waiboer asks for volunteers to handle our dock lines. Several hands immediately shoot up.

Ms. Bisson acts as communicator as we cast off our lines, relaying commands between the officers on the Quarter deck and the line handlers working belowdecks.

Mouse over to wave goodbye!
Crew members wave to shore as the Half Moon pulls away from the Customs House Pier.

The crew waves farewell to the crowd as pull away from the Customs House Pier.

As we turn south, we truly begin our Voyage of Discovery, leaving New London Harbor and the Thames River behind. See you next year!

Ms. Reilly, an experienced Half Moon sailor and ship's rigger, shows Erica around as we get underway.

Time to tidy up! Mr. Gans helps haul in our dock lines, which were temporarily draped over the rail. We won't be docking again for a few days, so we coil the lines and store them belowdecks.

1300 hours

Our crew have wisely come aboard equipped with camera and binoculars to make the most of their sightseeing opportunities.

As we near the mouth of the Thames River, a group of men in power boats pull alongside the Half Moon, cheering us on. Who are they? Why, it's Solange's father and uncles, come to wish her bon voyage!

Claudio is the first student to take the helm as we clear the harbor.

Lunch is served! Our first meal on board.

We start off with a light lunch of hot dogs, saurkraut, and grilled ham-and-cheese sandwiches as our new crew members acclimate to the rolling waters.

1330 hours

Captain Reynolds put the ship on a westward heading, taking us toward the Connecticut River. He and his first mate, Mr. Hansen, plot a course for Niantic Bay, our first destination.

Unfortunately, it seems that we'll be driving against strong winds and the ebb current the whole way, so it may take us a while to reach our goal.

The duty roster has been posted on the orlop deck. Erica and Amanda check the schedule to see when they'll next be on duty.

1345 hours

Batten down the hatches! Or in this case, the Zodiac, our inflatable tender boat.

The high winds are blowing the Zodiac like a backwinded sail, pushing it into a nearly vertical position.

Ms. Reilly snares the boat's bow with a well-tossed line, securing it to the starboard rail. We then take up on the Zodiac's stern lines, helping to even it back out.

Mr. Roy helps her out, taking a coiling lesson in the process.

Mr. Woodworth gets to know some of our crew as we continue on our way.

For some of our new crew members, this is their first opportunity to get out and experience Long Island Sound first-hand.

They snap a few photos as we pass Jordan Cove and a veritable flotilla of small sailboats out taking pleasure sails in today's winds.

Mouse over to ride the waves!
Erica, Amanda, Ms. Bisson, and Solange watch the rolling horizon.

1400 hours

Some of the crew are still getting their sea legs. The high winds and rolling seas aren't just slowing our progress, they make for a ride that we'll call... "authentically nautical." Hold on tight!

1415 hours

We unfurled our sails while still docked, anticipating that we would go sailing once underway. Due to the weather conditions, however, sailing will have to wait for another day; unlike smaller sailboats, the Half Moon has difficulty tacking against the wind.

Ms. Waiboer and Ms. Reilly climb aloft to furl the sails.

The whipstaff is certainly earning its name today. As the rolling waves push against it, it seems to have a mind of its own.

Mr. Woodworth stands by at Karl puts his weight into the task.

Mouse over to cut through the surf.
Briny surf breaks around the Half Moon's bow.

1645 hours

As the seas grow rough, the whipstaff becomes harder to handle. Rather than exhaust our crew at the helm with hour-long wrestling sessions, we first cut shifts at the helm to half an hour, then rotate senior crew into the position.

Mr. Roy assists Ms. Reilly at the helm while he learns the position. To give themselves extra leverage, they've actually lashed the whipstaff, giving Mr. Roy the ability to put his full body weight into holding position.

1700 hours

It takes Daniel a moment to realize what he's in for as he comes on duty at the helm.

1815 hours

After an afternoon of traveling against rough seas, we've arrived at Niantic Bay. It's been a tiring day!

1830 hours

Some of the crew may be ready for bed, but others are still energized by their day on the water.

Ms. Reilly and Ms. Bisson pose for Solange's camera.

1845 hours

We travel high into the bay, using it as shelter against the weather and waves. As the sun disappears behind the horizon, we set anchor, with Ms. Waiboer and Mr. Garfinkel handling the foredeck.

1900 hours

Ending Position: Anchored at Niantic Bay.
Latitude: 41˚ 18.8' N
Longitude: 072˚ 11.5' W

Captain Reynolds convenes the crew on deck for our first Anchor Watch briefing. Throughout the night, students will work in hour-long shifts to monitor the ship's position.

As the waxing crescent moon slides toward the horizon, the winds begin to subside. By the time we go to sleep, the waters will have calmed considerably.

1930 hours

After dark, Ms. Bruijn serves pork stew and salad for dinner on the orlop deck. After eating the students spend the rest of their first night on board reading, updating their journals, and settling into their new home. Tomorrow brings their first full day on board!

Next Time: Set Sail!

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