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Day Two: Monday, October 11th, 2010

0700 hours

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

Day Two of the 2010 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery.

Our crew rises to greet their first full day on board the Half Moon.

0815 hours

After they rummage their gear to clear space on the orlop deck, the crew moves up to the weather deck for a simple breakfast of fruit and bagels.

We're getting an early start on our morning; one group of students has already left the ship with Mr. Woodworth on an expedition aboard the Zodiac, our inflatable tender boat. We'll follow one of these exploratory jaunts in tomorrow's log.

0915 hours

After breakfast, the students who are still on board turn their attention to shipboard matters and personal training. Ms. Waiboer oversees the day's first group of students as they complete their harness training by climbing aloft and taking their hang tests.

0930 hours

We clean up after breakfast with a quick deck wash. In addition to simply cleaning the ship, the salt water we pump out of the bay actually helps preserve the planks of our wooden vessel.

Meanwhile, Wilberto, Karl, and Teara have returned from their Zodiac expedition to find breakfast waiting for them down in the galley.

1030 hours

With the full crew present and fed, Captain Reynolds calls all hands to the weather deck for a crew meeting. He starts out by reading passages from the journal of Robert Juet, and we begin to discuss the differences between our experiences on board in 2010 and those of Captain Hudson's crew in 1609.

1100 hours

After the history lesson, we shift gears to the matter of weighing anchor, which is next on our agenda. The captain demonstrates how to use the capstan for our new sailors.

We wrap up the briefing by introducing the students to the Crew Rating Log, an optional means for new crew members to learn their way around the ship and rise in the ranks.

1115 hours

Let's turn to! We end the meeting by assigning all hands to their positions for weighing anchor; this is a complex procedure that requires the assistance of everyone on board.

Kelsey is assigned to the belowdecks team. He's stationed on the port side of the orlop deck, helping haul the anchor rode (line) back toward the bow of the ship after it passes around the lower capstan.

We'll take a more extensive look at the belowdecks procedure tomorrow morning.

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

Back on the weather deck, Teara, Claudio, Roberto, and Mr. Roy have been assigned to the capstan, with Amanda and Karl waiting in the wings to add their weight as well. As they walk the capstan, they reel in the anchor, hauling it to the water's surface.

1130 hours

From there, it's up to Mr. Woodworth on the fore channel and his team. After the fore deck crew uses a block-and-tackle rig to haul up the anchor the remaining few feet to the channel, Mr. Woodworth secures it. Finally, he prepares the anchor so it can be deployed again at any time.

We are now officially underway!

1145 hours

Students return to the rigging as we make our way out of Niantic Bay.

Amanda, Karl, and Roberto, the climbers of the moment, have already completed their hang tests. They're climbing aloft to work!

When they reach the top, they find Ms. Waiboer waiting for them, and help her unfurl the sails. To furl a sail is to secure it by neatly bundling and lashing it.

1230 hours

Monet enjoys herself at the helm as we make our way west, past the mouth of the Connecticut River. We'll stay on Long Island Sound again today, heading into the river tomorrow.

In the meantime, the teachers are finally getting their first chance to take their hang tests and climb aloft.

About 60 feet below teachers Bisson, Reilly, and Roy, Mr. Woodworth shows Amanda and Erica how to sweat and tail a line. Erica is proving to be particularly eager to advance in the Rating Log ranks!

Mouse over to help make dinner!
Solange shakes a bag of breading in the galley.

1245 hours

We find Solange on duty in the galley. Her task this hour is to prepare the breading for tonight's country-baked chicken dinner.

1315 hours

We break for lunch. It's soup and hot tuna sandwiches on the menu this afternoon.

1415 hours

After lunch, Mr. Garfinkel introduces his first batch of students to the Deck Log and the instruments we'll need to use to take readings.

1515 hours

On the fore deck, Ms. Waiboer leading some of our new crew members through a lesson in tying knots.

They're sitting directly behind Claudio, whose attention is focused on his duties as lookout. He's keeping a sharp eye out for passing vessels and wily lobster pots.

1530 hours

Bibi and Roberto are in charge of updating the Deck Log this hour. We find them taking a reading off the sling psychrometer to record the relative humidity.

1545 hours

Now halfway through her shift, Solange is still working her way through the duty roster. She'll remain at the helm as we set sail.

Erica isn't the only new recruit eager to rise in the ranks; she's found herself in fierce competition with Mr. Roy to be the first new crew member to rise to the rank of Ordinary Sailor.

1600 hours

Daniel, Karl, Captain Reynolds, and Mr. Woodworth are admiring the flora and fauna specimens the Zodiac expedition obtained this morning when, out of the blue, we encounter yet another strange form of life!

Today is Columbus Day, which explains why we've run across Mr. Benton (another Connecticut River Academy faculty member) out on the water instead of back in class! The students and teachers quickly write letters home, which Mr. Benton will relay to their classmates and families.

1615 hours

Just as with yesterday, we've spent the day so far traveling under motor against the wind, though fortunately the current has been with us so far, and the winds gentler. Now, we've purposefully overshot our destination for the day and have now reached the point where we can turn back toward an eastward course and set sail.

We grab every available hand and assign them to the masts.

Karl and Roberto, for example, are part of the main mast team. Karl handles the main course tack and the fore course sheet, while Roberto handles the starboard dousing lines (the clew, bunt, and martnet).

1630 hours

With the courses (the large, lower sails) set and drawing, we can ride the winds back toward our destination.

Ms. Reilly a ship's rigger as well as a teacher climbs aloft to inspect the robands, which are small loops of rope that attach the sail to the yard. You can see a few of them in the upper left corner of this photo.

Having our sails set does lead into one complication, which we'll explain in a moment.

Mouse over to toss the mail! (With slo-mo replay!)
Captain Reynolds throws a packet of letters to another boat.

1645 hours

Mr. Benton and his family have arrived on their sail boat. If they approach the Half Moon, their boat's tall mast would run the risk of striking one of our square-rigged yards, which overhang the water.

So how can we deliver the mail? By relying on the kindness of strangers!

Cathy & Jim Blackwell (pictured here), a couple who just happen to be passing by in their motorboat, agree to relay the letters to the Benton family. Captain Reynolds weights the sealed sandwich bag of mail with a water bottle and tosses it down to them.

The Blackwells then zip out to the waiting Bentons and pass over the letters before continuing on their way. Thanks for your help!

With the help of yet another pleasure boat (this one carrying a four-man crew: Chris Egan and his daughter Jenna, plus Tom & Dawn Dennis of Clinton, CT), Mr. Benton relays a letter of his own back to us. See you back at the River Academy!

(When we do arrive at the River Academy on Day Six, we're glad to see that our letters made it to shore intact.)

1700 hours

Wilberto takes over at lookout while these small craft maneuver around us.

We brace and cockbill our sails to allow the other vessels to approach more safety. To brace the sail is to turn the yard it hangs from horizontally; to cockbill it is to slant it vertically.

While we're at it, Mr. Roy climbs back aloft to rescue the Amsterdam flag on the mizzenmast, which has wrapped around itself and gotten snagged during our maneuvers.

After a few tries, Mr. Benton's message in a bottle (or a baggie, as the case may be) makes it on board, and Captain Reynolds reads it to the crew.

1715 hours

The sun is setting and we are now approaching our destination. It's time to douse the sails, so our mast teams step back into position.

1730 hours

With the sails back in their gear, we have time for more rig training. Ms. Reilly inspects Daniel's safety harness.

1745 hours

He then joins Solange and Wilberto at the rail, where Ms. Waiboer leads them through the rest of their harness training.

With Ms. Waiboer leading the way, they proceed to climb aloft and complete their hang tests.

Another batch of students are qualified to work aloft!

1800 hours

Kelsey is stationed at lookout as we approach our destination. Ms. Reilly points out a few sights on shore as we approach Duck Island.

Meanwhile, Bibi has joined Mr. Woodworth out on the fore channel; they'll be in charge of setting the anchor.

Our destination for the night is Duck Island Roads, a sheltered harbor created by man-made jetties connected to the natural Duck Island, not far west of the mouth of the Connecticut River.

Mouse over to let fall the anchor!
Bibi pulls the fid on the anchor.

When we're in position, Captain Reynolds gives the command: "Let fall the anchor!"

Bibi pulls the fid and the anchor plunges to the bottom.

1815 hours

Ending Position: Anchored at Duck Island Roads.
Latitude: 41˚ 15.8' N
Longitude: 072˚ 28.9' W

We've completed our travels for the day, so the crew turn their attention back to more personal interests.

Speaking of which, Erica has gone to face the captain! He drills her on shipboard safety and history, and she becomes the first member of this crew to reach the rank of Ordinary Sailor/Lichtmatroos. Congratulations are in order, but we doubt she'll stop there. After all, Mr. Roy is still hot on her heels!

1830 hours

Now that our student sailors are becoming qualified climbers, they can assist the rig teams with tasks aloft. Kelsey joins Mr. Hensel as they furl the main course for the night.

Over the course of the day, the students' presentation projects have also started coming into focus. Karl is a member of the Celestial Tracking team, and gets his first experience using the quadrant by recording the elevation of the crescent moon as it sets.

1900 hours

With the sun down, we serve chicken , salad, and baked potatoes for dinner on the orlop deck.

2115 hours

As the evening winds down, Captain Reynolds discusses the students' projects with Mr. Garfinkel and the teachers in the galley. Tomorrow, we'll complete the orientation phase of the voyage and shift into gathering data.

2130 hours

Lightning is distantly flashing to the west, so we hang tarps over the main hatch to keep the orlop deck dry. As it turns out, the lightning storm never reaches us, but we will get occasional drizzle over the course of the night.

Tonight's anchor watch briefing concludes our day, followed by journals and lights out at 2200 hours.

Next Time: Into the Connecticut!

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