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Daily Log: Sunday, June 7th

Part One: Haverstraw Dignitiaries | Part Two: West Point Salute

Today's Events at a Glance:
Day Two
8 AM-11 AM: River Day Flotilla underway from Tarrytown, Nyack & Piermont area to Haverstraw, Croton, & Ossining area.
11 AM (ETA): Croton Point Park: Half Moon salutes the dedication of Croton Landing.
11 AM-2 PM: Midday celebrations in Haverstraw, Croton, & Ossining. The Half Moon lays off Croton Point.
2 PM: Flotilla continues north.
3 PM (ETA): The Half Moon exchanges a formal salute with Fort Montgomery.
4 PM (ETA): The Half Moon exchanges a formal 15-gun salute with West Point.
6 PM (ETA): Arrival and cannon welcome at Newburgh/Beacon.
Overnight: The Half Moon docks at the Town Pier in Newburgh.
Shoreside Activities:
11 AM -2 PM: Haverstraw Marina: Celebration.
12-7 PM: Newburgh: Flotilla Day provides music, Dutch singers, festivities, and more. Click here for info.
2-7 PM: Beacon: Welcome the Fleet Riverfront Festival with music and cuisine. Click here for info.
Land Viewing Locations:

11 AM -2 PM: Haverstraw Marina, Haverstraw Bay Park, & Bowline Park.

Captain Reynolds' Foreword

The exchange of salute between the United States Military Academy at West Point, and the Replica Ship Half Moon is a formal salute that recognizes the importance of Henry Hudson's voyage in 1609, but also echoes the first salute of the United States by The Netherlands in 1776.

Hudson's voyage with the Half Moon opened the Hudson River Valley to commercial trade and eventual settlement by the Dutch West India Company. It was here that keystones of our modern democracy gained first expression in the New World. Dutch values of tolerance of various religious views, and a society based upon merit and not aristocracy flourished in New Netherland.

This exchange of salute also recognizes the more than two hundred years of special relations between the United States of America and The Netherlands. During the American revolution, Dutch colonies were a source of much needed money and munitions to our revolutionary forces. Upon entering Sint Eustatius on November 16, 1776, the American ship Andrea Doria saluted, and found a return of salute from the Dutch commander. This diplomatic recognition proved to be a strong morale booster for our young nation, and provided a success in diplomatic public relations with other countries.

It is a high honor to the Half Moon to have the opportunity to exchange a 15 gun salute with the United States Military Academy at West Point.

--Captain William Reynolds

1600 hours

When last we left off in Part One of today's log, the Half Moon was about to pass under Bear Mountain Bridge.

Immediately past the bridge a thunderous peal rolls down the mountainside, and a cloud of smoke fills the woods at its peak. Fort Montgomery has just saluted us with their 32-pounder (a cannon capable of firing 32 lb. cannonballs).

Mr. Van der Merwe fires the fore swivel gun.
Mouse over to return Fort Montgomery's salute!

We immediately return their salute.

Fore deck swivel, give fire!

Mr. Noonan and Mr. Van Aken give fire.
Mouse over to give fire!

Fore weather swivel, give fire!

Mr. Dangerousli & Mr. Noonan stand at the ready by their charged swivel gun.

Gunner Dangerousli waits his turn as Assistant Gunner Noonan steps into position, blowing on the ember as he goes.

Mr. Dangerousli and Mr. Noonan give fire.
Mouse over to give fire!

Give fire!

1615 hours

The Fort Montgomery salute marks our entrance into the Hudson Highlands.

In this tight channel, so important to the Colonies' defense during the Revolutionary War, the flotilla seems to have grown larger than ever.

1630 hours

As we approach West Point, Captain Reynolds signals to the safety boats that it's time for the rest of the flotilla to cut us a wide margin.

Meanwhile, the gun crews make their final preparations.

We will fire 15 rounds at West Point: One charge from each of the four falconets, and each swivel gun needs to be ready to deploy at least three. (When using blackpowder weapons, the chance of misfires must be a component of any reasonable plan.)

Master Gunners Rodriques and Prime have prepared enough charges to account for nearly any contingency.

1645 hours

Our dignitaries are also in position to take in the proceedings. Mr. Goss has also secured several tiny HD cameras around the ship to capture the action from multiple angles.

The John J Harvey offers its own form of cannon salute as it motors past us. Fortunately, it passes close enough to briefly cool the summer air for us, but not so closely as to dampen our powder!

We are now passing West Point. We will come into view of their cannons as soon as we round the sharp bend at World's End (visible to the far right, above).

1700 hours

We are now mere minutes away from the grand event. Our assistant gunners light their linstocks and stand by.

As we close in on Constitution Island, we can see clusters of spectators cheering us on.

And here we go; the northern shore of West Point is coming into view.

Pillars of smoke rise as West Point fires its salute.
Mouse over for a sample of West Point's salute.

1710 hours

The 15-gun salute begins!

The gunnery crew at West Point fires three charges from each of five 75 mm PAK howitzers to mark our arrival.

Foredeck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Now we must return the salute! Can our crew pull off successfully firing 15 charges in quick succession? Here's all of the rounds your Ship's Chronicler could capture:

Round One: Give Fire!

Fore weather deck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Two: Give Fire!

Aft weather deck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Three: Give Fire!

Foredeck swivel, give fire!

Round Four: Give Fire!

Aft weather deck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Five: Give fire!

Aft port falconet, give fire!

Round Seven: Give Fire!

Port sternchaser, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Eight: Give Fire!

Starboard sternchaser, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Nine: Give Fire!

Foredeck swivel, give fire!

Round Eleven: Give Fire!

Aft weather deck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Twelve: Give Fire!

Fore weather deck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Fourteen: Give Fire!

Aft weather deck swivel, give fire!
Mouse over to give fire!

Round Fifteen: Give Fire!

1710 hours

Success! Our gun crews have fired 15 rounds in under four minutes (including the three salutes executed too swiftly for a hustling Chronicler to capture for the log), even coping with several misfires and one hang fire -- hazards which were taken into account during the planning stages. For the Half Moon crew, this event has proven an amazing demonstration of planning and teamwork.

We've also given fire to more blackpowder charges than we usually use in a year, and we aren't done yet...

The gathered crowds at West Point seem to share our excitement. We later hear that our shots reverberated off the Highlands like thunder.

With the West Point salute a great success, we turn the bend in the river and continue north...

...with the flotilla vessels, many of which are honking their horns in celebration, coming up behind us.

As for the Half Moon crew, they take a moment to bask in the glory.

1730 hours

As we approach Cold Spring, we are flat astounded by the turnout on shore. Every single person in town must have come down to the river!

Mouse over to salute Cold Spring.

We weren't scheduled to salute Cold Spring, but we have plenty of spare charges made up and a turnout like that deserves recognition. Give fire!

Mouse over to give fire!

The John J Harvey gets in on the action as well.

Spectators atop forested crags near Storm King in the Hudson Highlands.
Mouse over for a closer look.

The shoreside turnout all along the river has been flatly amazing today. We can even see groups of adventurous folk watching us from the rocky tors around Storm King Mountain!

1800 hours

We've reached Pollepel Island with its famous Bannerman's Castle, traditonal gateway to the Hudson Highlands.

Here we enter the wide section of river known as Newburgh Bay.

As we approach Newburgh, Master Gunner Rodriques debriefs his gun crews and congratulates them on a job well done.

1815 hours

Captain Reynolds seconds his approval, and asks the crew to treat themselves to a high five (which you can see at the end of this log entry).

1830 hours

The crew is in high spirits as we close in on Newburgh and prepare a cannon arrival.

As the River Day Flotilla parades past the Newburgh Waterfront, we can see that the other ships' crews must be feeling as exuberant as we do, whether their ship be grand...

...or small.

Every vessel is in fine form as it swoops past the waterfront...

Photo provided by Jeff Morton

...and, you know, we don't look too bad ourselves.

1900 hours

At last we approach Newburgh, where the Half Moon, Onrust, and Governor Cleveland will layover for two nights.

Massive crowds await at the Newburgh waterfront.
Mouse over for a closer look.

As we get closer, we see thousands of people crammed along the waterfront -- and even standing atop buildings! We can hear cheers across the water as the first heritage vessel display themselves off the Town Pier.

The celebrants aren't just on land, either -- the flotilla has well-wishers on all sides.

And here we reach the Half Moon's final destination for the day. If we can make some room!

Ending Position: Docked at Town Pier, Newburgh.
Latitude: 41˚ 30.2'
Longitude: 073˚ 00.3'

Swivel guns fire a salute to Newburgh.
Mouse over to salute Newburgh.

As we come in to the Town Pier, we fire a three-gun salute to our host. Why only show one salute to the right? Because that is the very moment where the battery in your Chronicler's camera finally gave up the ghost. We'll grab some images from our other crew members' cameras as we get the chance to show you the arrival ceremonies.

The Half Moon crew congratulate each other with a round of high-fives.
Mouse over for a round of high fives.

In the meantime, we'll leave you with this image of the celebrating crew of the Half Moon.

Next Time: Dockside excitement at Newburgh!



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