2011 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery banner

Daily Log: Wednesday, July 20

0945 hours

Starting Position: Docked at Long Wharf, New Haven, CT.
Latitude: N 41˚ 17.4'
Longitude: W 072˚ 54.5'

Day One of the second leg of the 2011 Fresh River Voyage of Discovery.

It's been a busy two weeks since we left off at the conclusion of the incoming leg of this year's Fresh River Voyage of Discovery. Since that time, we've hosted a historical encampment and a Guest Voyage, and sailed the ship from East Hartford here to New Haven.

We've barely arrived at Long Wharf when our new crew arrives, ready and eager to step aboard and set off for adventure. This Voyage of Discovery marks a first for the Half Moon: this will be the first time we've taken high school students through Long Island Sound to the Hudson River, a journey that typically requires shifting to a 24-hour watch rotation. Starting in New Haven rather than East Hartford is one of the adjustments we've made to offset that necessity, but regardless, our crew has a long day in store for them!

Captain Reynolds steps onto the dock to greet our new sailors, as well as our two returning Connecticut River Academy, Joey and Deniro, who have rejoined us in the role of peer leaders.

1000 hours

After the captain provides a preliminary safety briefing, we transfer the new arrivals' gear on board and help our departing crew shift onto shore.

No time to set up a gangway this morning! Our new sailors get their first lesson in maintaining three points of contact in the rig before they've even set foot on board the ship.

Here, Mr. Prime guides Morgan step-by-step through the process of stepping into the rig and climbing down to the weather deck.

Within a few minutes, we have all hands on board. Once we leave, the next time our sailors step on shore will be five days and a state away!

There's no hiding from it — weather forecasts are all telling us that we're in for a hot, humid week. No sooner have the students boarded than we stress the importance of staying hydrated and donning sun screen.

1015 hours

It just so happens that Long Wharf provides an excellent area to search for costal marine life, particular now, at low tide.

Once everyone's settled, we split the students into three groups of four. Mr. Woodworth leads one group down onto the rocks under the wharf to search for starfish, crustaceans, and more, which you'll soon be able to view in detail on the Wildlife page.

The students collect their specimens in a basic bucket. When we depart, we'll load the bucket on board and transfer our specimens to the ship's aquarium.

1030 hours

Meanwhile, the senior crew are training the other two groups on the weather deck. Ms. Reilly teaches the new sailors how to properly don a safety harness, the first step toward climbing aloft.

Every twenty minutes or so, we rotate the groups so that everyone gets time in training and in collecting marine specimens on shore.

Ms. Reilly continues to help the students clear the learning curve of our OSHA-approved safety gear.

1045 hours

The third group during this prelimary training session accompanies Mr. Prime. He splits his time between teaching the students how to belay lines and an even more vital skill, how to use the ship's one and only marine bathroom. Fortunately, it's usually not this crowded.

1100 hours

As the morning wraps up, the final group of beachcomers gather up their specimens. Just by turning over a few rocks, we've uncovered more crabs and starfish than we can carry!

1145 hours

As the beachcomers head back, Ms. Reilly is teaching her final group of potential climbers, showing them how to maintain three points of contact in the rig.

1200 hours

Our Voyage of Discovery is about to begin! Line handlers are assigned to each of the four docklines; Deniro is handling Line Two. At the same time, other students are assigned to their own roles. Annalise, for example, is standing lookout, while Joey and Morgan are in charge of bracing the fore course sail.

Jon is standing in as Line One communicator. The sailors stationed at Line One are below decks, out of sight of the captain on the Quarter deck. As communicator, it's Jon's job to immediately and precisely relay commands and replies between Captain Reynolds and the Line One handler.

The departing crew members from the East Hartford-New Haven transit voyage have moved to shore and help handle our lines as we depart. Fear not, however; Mr. Boudreau and Mr. Boyle are simply taking a much-needed few days off, and are due to return on Day Three.

We've set the course (the large, lower sails on the fore and main masts) in the hopes of sailing off the wharf, but in practice the wind is a touch too flukey to allow for it.

Mouse over to give fire!
Mr. Prime fires the starboard falconet.

1215 hours

As we set off on our Voyage of Discovery, Mr. Prime touches off a salute to our hosts at Long Wharf.

We're off and away! Our journey through the Sound is a long one, and as we pull away from New Haven our plan is to travel well into the night, with a likely arrival time at Throgs Neck (the western end of Long Island Sound) just after midnight.

Not everyone is on board as we head out, however. Mate Hansen is in command of the Zodiac, our inflatable tender boat. Jason and Faith accompany Mr. Hansen in the small boat as, like a tugboat in miniature, it helps us maneuver the Half Moon back into deeper waters.

On the ship, the crew are settling into their roles. Joey offers Annalise advice on standing watch, including using "hours" (12 o'clock, 1 o'clock, etc.) to indicate the relative direction of objects.

1230 hours

As we continue out into the sound, the main mast team douses the main course and clears their lines, belaying each one in its proper place.

Mouse over to sweat and tail!

Mr. Hansen and the Zodiac crew pull up alongside the ship before we've gone too far and climb aboard. We haul the Zodiac itself up out of the water to carry it with us. The Zodiac is fairly heavy, so we use the technique of sweating and tailing a block-and-tackle rig to reduce the load. Here, Jason is sweating, or hauling on the load, while Mr. Woodworth tails, taking up all slack and holding the weight steady and secure.

Once all hands are on board and underway, Captain Reynolds concludes his warnings on personal and public safety, covering topics from climbing between decks to personal hygiene.

1300 hours

Clinton takes the helm as we clear the New Haven breakwaters and enter Long Island Sound.

From here, we turn to a south-by-southwestery bearing, heading toward New York City while favoring the southern side of the Sound.

Keeping close to Long Island keeps us in its lee, which is to say, better sheltered against winds coming off the Atlantic Ocean. It can't help us with the intense humidty causing that haze on the horizon, but the crew maintains good spirits and a sense of excitement despite the heat.

1315 hours

The Fourniers produce the crew's first meal on board. We're keeping it light and simple today, so it's make-your-own-sandwiches and cole slaw on the menu.

1415 hours

As the afternoon continues, some of our crew head down to the orlop deck in search of shade. While there, they start teaching each other knots; here, Hayley, Annalise, and Joey practice tying one-handed bowlines (a knot particularly handy in rescue scenarios).

1430 hours

Up in the fo'c'sle (short for forecastle, the raised deck at the fore of the ship), Mr. Woodworth and a team of assistants are working to transfer the creatures they collected this morning into the aquarium.

1500 hours

Starboard Watch has been on duty since our departure from New Haven, but Port Watch will be taking over in just a few more hours. Returning educator Ms. Falvey spends some time with new educator Ms. Rosario and several students to familiarize everyone with the various positions on the duty roster.

1600 hours

Our main focus today is simply on travel, with our initial intention being to cover the entire length of Long Island Sound before we stop. For that reason, we're keeping other activities low-key for the day, granting the students time to acclimate themselves to its rhythms. Sea Scout Hayley and Ms. Rosario have gone out to investigate the beak (the very front of the ship), home to the spritsail.

1630 hours

We've opened up the cargo hatch to allow more light and air down into the orlop deck with more light and air. With the scuttle (hatch cover "grill") in place, it remains safe for crew on the weather deck to walk over or just hang out. Ms. Falvey has pulled out a field guide on marine life and she, Faith, and Clinton are taking some time to identify the species on display in the aquarium.

1700 hours

Directly below them, the off-duty crew has been advised to get some rest. Port Watch will come on duty in an hour, and is currently expected to remain on duty for the full six hours. Best to grab a nap now!

Climbing down yet another deck, we reach what would have been the cargo hold in the original d'Halve Maen. We've modernized the Replica Ship Half Moon to incorporate (among other additions) a modern galley. Watch Leaders Deniro and Joey are on hand to assist the Fourniers with dinner preparations.

1745 hours

The students were all harnessed trained back at Long Wharf, and now some of them are already interested in climbing the rig. But not yet! First they have a bit more training to complete. Ms. Reilly and Ms. Falvey start by taking Morgan to the rail to practice clipping into the rig again.

Next, they climb into the shrouds to demonstrate hang tests before inviting Morgan to follow them up and perform his own.

1800 hours

Current Position: Underway west by south-west on Long Island Sound.
Latitude: N 41˚ 02.2'
Longitude: W 073˚ 20.6'

As Starboard Watch shifts over to Port Watch, the Half Moon is still underway on Long Island Sound and our first climbers are about to ascend.

Morgan follows Mr. Shoemaker up the starboard shrouds, soon completing his hang test.

On the port side of the ship, Liana is on her way to the top.

1815 hours

Today's light winds didn't allow much opportunity for sailing, so as the afternoon winds down Mr. Shoemaker and Ms. Reilly furl the main course, which means tightly folding the sail and lashing it to the yard to protect it from wear when not in use.

1830 hours

Our climbers return to the weather deck just in time for dinner. Our first hot meal of the voyage is meatloaf with gravy, green beans, and mashed potatoes.

2030 hours

After dinner, Captain Reynolds calls for a student crew meeting. Once all hands are assembled, he pulls out a modern nautical chart of Long Island Sound and lays out our course for the next several days. Or rather, our courses, much of our planned itinerary is dependent on weather conditions, so he's planned several alternative routes.

For example: Our initial planned destination tonight was to have been Throg's Neck, but the wind and flood current have slowed us down enough that a closer destination, Glen Cove, is starting to look more inviting. It would at least give our crew more time to rest tonight!

After the navigation briefing, Captain Reynolds introduces the Half Moon Crew Rating Log, passing out copies to all interested parties (including several of the senior crew).

1845 hours

Captain Reynolds dismisses the students as the sun sets. In the day's last light, the students head belowdecks to sort out their sleeping arrangements for the rest of the voyage.

2300 hours

We continue on our course well into the evening, navigating by compass bearing rather than fixed landmarks. When we reach the shelter of Glen Cove at 2300 hours, we set anchor and settle down for our first night on board.

Ending Position: Anchored at Glen Cove, Long Island.
Latitude: N 40˚ 52.1'
Longitude: W 073˚ 39.9'

Next Time: A Change of Course!

Voyage Homepage Daily Log Our Crew Learning Half Moon homepage Goodwin College