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Day Five: Thursday, October 14th, 2010

0630 hours

Starting Position: Docked at Goodspeed Opera House, East Haddam, CT.
Latitude: 41˚ 27.1' N
Longitude: 072˚ 27.7' W

Day Five of the 2010 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery.

We rise early this morning to greet... well, very little indeed! Dense fog has blanketed the river valley.

0730 hours

Regardless of the fog, we must leave the Goodspeed Opera House dock before low tide arrives, not long from now. If we don't leave within the hour, predictions indicate that we may be left aground until the tide comes back in hours from now. We cast off our lines and continue our journey.

0745 hours

As we pass through the East Haddam Bridge, rays of sunshine threaten to break through the fogbanks. Could the morning mist be clearing?

0800 hours

As we cautiously make our way upriver the Mechanical Advantage team takes a few final readings.

Running this configuration of leads and pulleys through its paces completes the team's data set. Now that everyone has completed their data collection, the entire student crew will spend the rest of the day focused on preparing their final presentations.

And yes, the fog does indeed seem to have lifted!

0815 hours

Or not. While still within sight of the East Haddam Bridge, the Half Moon is suddenly beset by blinding fog. We are capable of navigating by radar alone, but that's the last thing we want to do here, for reasons you see shortly. With no better options available, we immediately set anchor and wait for the fog to lift.

0845 hours

Belowdecks, the research teams have started reviewing their data with their senior crew advisors.

0900 hours

The Mechanical Advantage team has staked out a spot by the lower capstan to do their work.

Kelsey, Erica, Solange, and Roberto begin the process of compiling their data and discovering the patterns it reveals.

Meanwhile, the Celestial Tracking team lays claim to the anchor rode under the orlop stairs. With the guidance of their senior crew advisor, Ms. Reilly, they are creating a draft graph, which they'll then use as the basis for the large, final graph they'll create for their presentation.

0915 hours

Work pauses as Ms. Bruijn and her helpers serve a pancake breakfast.

1015 hours

At long last, the fog has cleared, boiling away as quickly as it came. The crew gets an bonus chance at the capstan!

Once the rest of the crew hauls the anchor back to the surface, the fore deck team of Bibi, Mr. Gans, and Mr. Woodworth haul the anchor up onto the fore channel. We resume our course.

1030 hours

We can finally take a clear look at the river ahead. The navigable channel at this bend is only about as wide as the ship is long. While the fog was upon us, we knew the shoreline to port was a mere 100 feet away or so, but we couldn't see it. To starboard, if we accidentally veered to the right of that red buoy, we would quickly run aground in just a few feet of water. These are not waters we want to navigate blindly!

Now that we can see where we're going again, however, all is well. Down on the orlop deck, Amanda helps Ms. Waiboer "break" the chain, the final step in readying the anchor for its next use.

Despite the excitement, standard ship's duties must always continue. Monet spends her hour in the galley washing dishes from breakfast...

...while Roberto is enjoying himself at the whipstaff.

1200 hours

The Connecticut River has presented us with another navigational challenge. Can you see it yet?

We temporarily lower the historical flag of the Province of Holland to improve the visibility for our lookouts. But why would a flag high atop the foremast be blocking the lookouts' view?

Because in this case, the lookouts in question are the ship's rigger and bosun, Ms. Reilly and Ms. Waiboer. They are perched atop the main mast, the highest point on the ship, where they are using a quadrant to gauge the height of the overhanging object looming ahead in our path.

Mouse over for a close-up!
Power lines extend across the river in the ship's path.

These power lines are barely visible from this distance, so mouse over for a clearer look. They droop as they span the river, so their exact elevation is partly determined by our position on the water. We've passed safely under these lines on two previous voyages, but the fluctuating river level makes our ability to clear them somewhat unpredictable; Ms. Reilly and Ms. Waiboer are confirming that we have clearance.


Mouse over to check the power!
Power lines pass over the fore top.

1215 hours

Indeed we do! If they had determined that we couldn't clear the lines, we would have had no choice but to set anchor a second time while the crew lowered the top masts.

Fortunately, none of that is necessary. With Daniel at lookout, we continue on our way. This far upriver, we can see that the autumn leaves have started to turn.

We'll have to keep an eye on those power lines again when next we pass through on November 2nd, but we predict a clear passage then as well.

As ship operations recommence, Mr. Hensel and Mr. Woodworth engage in a quick project of reinstalling the ship's decorative red lion heads following a bit of minor cleaning and maintenance.

1245 hours

The Mechanical Advantage team plans to include a practical demonstration in their presentation by hoisting Mr. Roy off the deck.

However, using just a single pulley and lead, we can see that Monet's force is no match for Mr. Roy's mass.

Quickly now! Lay on more hands! Not even the combined force of Erica, Monet, and Roberto can budge him! How many leads will it take to lift a history teacher off the deck?

1300 hours

As the afternoon continues, the students are mostly occupied with their presentation belowdecks, with the senior crew working on various ship projects up above. Our rigger and bosun have shifted back to the mizzen mast, where they are working on rerigging the lateen sail.

1315 hours

Once again the whole crew takes a break from work to enjoy a quick meal.

1330 hours

After lunch, the students return to their work. Astern of the main mast, Claudio and Teara from the Statistical Analysis team are working on their presentation graph with their senior crew advisor, Ms. Bisson.

1345 hours

The students spend the day alternating between their projects and their ship duties. Kelsey keeps Bibi company at the helm for a few minutes before he takes over for the lookout on the foredeck.

1415 hours

Just around this bend lies the Half Moon's next port of call.

The students are also in the final stretch of creating their presentation materials.

From one end of the orlop deck to the other, we find students compiling graphs, double-checking their data, and writing up their experiments.

Daniel and Claudio from the Statistical Analysis team are picking colors to differentiate their project's trained and untrained results.

Over in the Celestial Tracking department, Amanda quietly evaluates her team's work...

...while Karl works with Ms. Reilly to locate our general position within the Eastern Standard Time Zone.

1445 hours

We've reached our destination for the day: Seabord Marina in Glastonbury.

1500 hours

We pass our mooring lines to the marina's trained dockside crew.

Our line handlers onboard take up the slack and the ship is soon secure.

Ending Position: Docked at Seaboard Marina, Glastonbury, CT.
Latitude: 41˚ 39.0' N
Longitude: 072˚ 37.3' W

This is our third visit to the Seaboard Marina, which has always proven dependable and friendly in the past.

1515 hours

By now, the research teams have completed their materials and are intently rehearsing their roles in the presentation itself.

With the students focused on their work below decks, the senior crew is busy on shore, inserting protective fenders between the dock and the Half Moon's hull.

1545 hours

After guiding our students through orientation and the deck log, and helping to lead the Celestial Tracking team through their project in particular, our science officer, Mr. Garfinkel, must take his leave, as scheduled. His landward duties beckon! We bid him farewell.

(However, after he leaves, we realize we've forgotten something terribly important. Mr. Garfinkel, we owe you your official crew shirt!)

1615 hours

Less than two hours remain until the students are due to deliver their prosentations. The Statistical Analysis team rehearses "on stage" with their advisor Mr. Hensel.

1630 hours

But wait! We have visitors! After their practice, the ladies of the Glastonbury High School crew team walk over to see the ship. We send our student crew down to greet them as Half Moon ambassadors.

1715 hours

After the crew team departs, we receive one last visitor! River Academy Principal Linda Dadonna has come down to check see how her students are faring on the ship.

1745 hours

Once Principal Dadonna takes her leave, it's time for the student presentations. The whole crew gathers excitedly around the capstan.

1800 hours

At long last, the presenations begin. The Celestial Tracking team is first to take the stage.

Each team takes about ten minutes to present their findings.

This usually includes a practical demonstration of their materials and data collection methodology, as the Mechanical Advantage team is doing here.

After delivering their presentations, each team then addresses questions from Captain Reynolds, the senior crew...

...and, of course, from their fellow students.

Before we know it, the presentations are complete! Click here for more detailed look at each presentation, including the sight of Bibi single-handedly hoisting Mr. Roy several feet off the deck.

2000 hours

With their work done and the sun down, the crew retreats belowdecks to relax over a hot dinner.

2015 hours

But while the students eat, Mr. Mangrum faces the inevitable. Yesterday, the Celestial Tracking team successfully determined the clearance of the East Haddam Bridge, and a bet is a bet the beard must go!

Not unlike a pack of hyenas, the Celestial Tracking team gathers around in sheer delight as the helpless beard meets its untimely demise.

2030 hours

And there you have it! His beard vanquished, Mr. Mangrum scampers back behind the camera.

To see the full transformation, you'll have to find the hidden bloopers page!

2130 hours

After dinner, the crew kicks back, finishing out the final night of our voyage by updating their journals.

2200 hours

As the crew settles into their bedrolls, the rain comes pouring down, pattering on our tarps. No dock watch is required here, so once again, the crew gets a chance to sleep straight through till dawn.

Next Time: Homecoming!

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