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Daily Log: Monday, June 8th

Today's Events at a Glance:
Day Three
All Day : Flagships remain at Newburgh/Beacon for educational programs.
Overnight: The Half Moon remains docked at the Town Pier in Newburgh.
Shoreside Activities:
Newburgh: The Half Moon offers dockside presentations for the public from 10-4. The Onrust is also on view.
Beacon: Several flotilla vessels are offering dockside activities.

0700 hours

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

Day Three of the inaugural 2009 River Day Voyage.

With our crew departures and new arrivals, here's the Half Moon crew roster for the Newburgh layover: Captain Reynolds, Kipp Van Aken, Diane Carey, Keith Cardoza, Pauli Dangerousli, Randi dell'Acqua, Vicki Giles, Ewout van Grondelle, Bob Hansen, Rick Vanden Heuvel, Brody Karn, Rachel Laufer, Laura Lee Linder, Doug Lyke, John W. Mangrum, Ben Mazer, Robert F. McGuigan, Stephen van der Merwe, Jeff Morton, Patrick E. Noonan, Alex Padalka, Russell Polo, Matthew Ricchezza, Frank Rodriques, John Swartout, Chuck Thomas, and Patrick Wolfe.

1000 hours

After rising and enjoying breakfast, the Half Moon crew spent the first half of their morning setting up interactive displays on the dock. Unfortunately, due to this voyage's tight schedule, we are unable to conduct historical tours on board the Half Moon during River Week, but starting here in Newburgh we will offer dockside activities at each port of call.

We have several special guests assisting our crew with these dockside exhibits. Barry Keegan has set out his artifact displays as well as a portable workshop where he demonstrates numerous 17th century technologies, both European and Native American. Over the course of the day, he hews stones to create spearheads and blade, builds fires, and affixes wooden bands to a barrel for storing the ship's perishable goods.

An important component of River Day from the Half Moon's point of view is the opportunity it gives us to expand our educational programs to communities we've rarely had the opportunity to visit. Throughout the day, we play host to a series of field trips for 4th-grade students from local schools. Our visitors today receive a bonus treat: Dutch singing duo Ankie van der Meer and Nanne Kalma spend the day performing traditional songs of the sea for their audiences.

We also set up standing displays to provide visitors with a quick introduction to the Half Moon, its modern programs, and its role in history.

1300 hours

Of course, not all of the entertainment is our doing. Local artists have set up their easels nearby to paint portraits of our ship, a regular occurance when we visit Newburgh. To the left is Nancy Reed-Jones; to the left, Shawn Dell Joyce of the Wallkill River School and Art Gallery (external link).

To the north of the Half Moon's mooring, just past Newburgh's local sternwheel paddleboat River Rose, the Onrust is also accepting visitors. To the south, the Governor Cleveland can also be seen at the marina, though due to limited access it is not open to the public during this layover.

1330 hours

The Half Moon seeks to expand both environmental and scientific education using hands-on methods. Here, our crew has set up a demonstration in mechanical advantage, rigging a block-and-tackle system to allow visitors on the dock to pull a line and lift some heavy cargo (today being portrayed by a disguised ship fender) off the deck.

Perhaps it looks too much like work, however, because for a few minutes our docents struggle to find any takers.

Students at the Newburgh dock use a block-and-tackle system to lift heavy cargo off the deck.
Mouse over to haul up the cargo!

Yet finally we recruit a single student volunteer. Moments later, his classmates see him hauling away on the line...

...and suddenly everyone wants in.

Nanne Kalma and Ankie van der Meer assist the students, singing traditional heaving songs sailors would have commonly used to establish a work rhythm.

Using the mechanical advantage gained through the block-and-tackle, the students combine their strength and effortlessly hoist the heavy "cask" overhead.

Before you know it, the hauling line of excited volunteers literally runs right out to the end of the pier.

Last but not least, we have several docents on hand in period garb, demonstrating what life was like on board the Halve Maen in 1609.

1830 hours

At 1600 hours, we conclude our public programs for the day and move our exhibits back on board. Once everything is in order, Captain Reynolds calls for a debriefing to discuss how the day went and to take suggestions on further improving our dockside programs for the rest of the voyage.

While this sort of meeting is common on the Half Moon, few are this entertaining. Nanne Kalma and Ankie van der Meer return, opening the meeting with an original song of their own composition based on the voyages of Henry Hudson and the Halve Maen...

...and they conclude the meeting with yet another song! Not many day's-end debriefings on the Half Moon draw a crowd of spectators -- or calls for an encore!

After the meeting, Captain Reynolds steps over to express his personal appreciation for the enjoyment that Kalma and Van der Meer have brought to both their dockside audiences and to our crew.

1945 hours

After the meeting, Mr. Karn and Ms. Laufer return to an interrupted task: furling the main course for the night. While this would be standard practice anyway, on this night in particular we expect a storm to move through the area, so the sails must be secured tightly.

As bustling day settles into a relaxing evening, we glance across Newburgh Bay to see if we can spot the rest of the River Day Flotilla at Beacon. All seems quiet, save for the Woody Guthrie. Beacon is the Woody Guthrie's home port, and its crew are busy continuing their standard practice of taking the public out for free evening sails around the bay.

Tomorrow our Newburgh layover ends and the Half Moon will set sail once again.

Next Time: Onward to Poughkeepsie!

Video by Frank Rodriques
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