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Daily Log: Friday, June 5th

Today's Events at a Glance:
Day Four
8 AM-4 PM: Flagships remain at Newburgh/Beacon for educational programs all day.
4 PM: Flotilla departs.
7 PM: Arrival and cannon welcome at Poughkeepsie.
Overnight: The Half Moon will dock at the Marist College waterfront in Poughkeepsie.
Shoreside Activities:
10 AM-1 PM: Newburgh: Half Moon and Onrust dockside activities.
Beacon: Heritage vessels will offer various dockside activities.
6 PM: Poughkeepsie: Festivities include ribbon cutting, music, Quadricentennial Show-Cake created by the Culinary Institute of America, and Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome antique airplane flyovers.

0700 hours

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

Day Four of the inaugural 2009 River Day Voyage.

We've rotated more crew positions, so here's the Half Moon crew roster for this leg of the voyage: Captain Reynolds, Kipp Van Aken, Diane Carey, Keith Cardoza, Pauli Dangerousli, Randi dell'Acqua, 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, Donna Nestler, Patrick E. Noonan, Alex Padalka, Russell Polo, Matthew Ricchezza, Frank Rodriques, John Swartout, Chuck Thomas, and Patrick Wolfe.

0800 hours

After rising bright and early, the crew of the Half Moon is ready to open our dockside activities for the day. Unfortunately, a storm front has rolled in overnight, so we wake to a constant dourpour that keeps the crowds light for the first half of the morning.

1030 hours

The downpour has finally let up, though the skies will remain overcast all day. As soon as the rain ends, school groups and interested townfolk filter down to the Town Pier to visit the visiting vessels.

Now back in action, our crew continues to provide the dockside programs on offer yesterday. Docents in period garb, such as Mr. Vanden Heuvel here, discuss the life and times of 17th century Dutch sailors...

...while Barry Keegan returns to demonstrate his skills as a cooper...

A line of students use a block-and-tackle system to haul cargo aloft.
Mouse over to heave the line!

...and the block-and-tackle cargo hoist remains a solid crowd pleaser, particularly since Ankie van der Meer and Nanne Kalma are back, singing traditional sailors' songs to organize the students' heaving and hauling.

1245 hours

Some of our crew members even have time to take a break! Mr. Karn, dressed in the traditional slops and thrumcap of a 17th century Dutch sailor, brings his visiting father on board for a tour.

Not all of our crew members are working as docents. While some tend to the gift shop, others focus on performing upkeep on the ship. (The Half Moon, like any heritage vessel, can always use a little maintenance.)

While Mr. Cardoza focuses on touching up the rigging, Ms. dell'Acqua dangles in a bosun's chair, scrubbing the transom clean.

Our docents remain cheerfully engaged with the visiting student groups throughout the afternoon.

Of course, as it was yesterday, visitors to the Newburgh Town Pier can also visit the Onrust...

...and lay eyes on the Governor Cleveland.

Ankie van der Meer and Nanne Kalma continue to entertain the crowds throughout the day as well.

You can watch a video of this performance at the end of today's log.

1400 hours

Before we pack up our dockside activities in anticipation of the River Day Flotilla's imminent departure, we let one last group of eager young lads try their hand at hoisting the cargo.

1445 hours

With regret, the Half Moon crew must return to the ship and be on our way. As we speak, the other vessels of the River Day Flotilla are casting off their lines and heading out into the bay.

1500 hours

With Barry Keegan tending our lines from the dock, we soon depart. Captain Reynolds waves farewell, thanking Newburgh for their unflagging hospitality and hoping to return soon.

Our departure is particularly bittersweet today, as it is accompanied by a farewell melody by Ankie van der Meer and Nanne Kalma. We conclude with a sternchaser salute to the city...

The Half Moon sails away from Newburgh.
Photo by Tony Ravinsky

...then return to the flotilla under sail.

Mr. Wolfe dices potatoes for dinner.
Mouse over to help prepare dinner.

1515 hours

Time flows by quickly on active days like today, and dinnertime will be here before you know it. Mr. Wolfe is hard at work down in the galley, preparing roast potatoes to accompany tonight's pork loin supper.

1600 hours

Unfortunately, scenic as it our departure had been, the wind soon died. In the hopes of sailing, we've continued to creep along toward the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, but at last we strike up the engine and lead the flotilla upriver under power.

1730 hours

As we pass their marina, the Chelsea Yacht Club pours out to join the flotilla. Several of their club members have also been serving as Half Moon crew during the voyage!

1745 hours

As the Half Moon leads the flotilla ever northward, Ms. Nestler, a new crew member on for the day, offers Captain Reynolds lessons on several of the musical instruments she's brought with her, including the concertina.

To the tune of our captain's musical experimentation, we hail the crowds at New Hamburg who've come out to cheer us on as the flotilla parades past.

1800 hours

Ah, a break for hot cocoa. Is there any more refreshing treat for late on a June afternoon? In fact, the unseasonably cool weather is likely due to a major stormfront picking up on the ship's radar. We'll spend the rest of the afternoon quietly hoping to avoid an encounter with its pouring rains and gusting winds.

1830 hours

Storm or no storm, the crew is in high spirits. Mr. Vanden Heuvel on the harmonica accompanies Ms. Nestler's banjo ukulele.

Having left Newburgh Bay, we are now leading the flotilla through what Dutch sailors called the Lange Rack (or "Long Reach"), a long, straight, narrow section of the Hudson.

1845 hours

Our first sign of Poughkeepsie is the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, where a crowd has gathered to see us. As the flotilla approaches, they fire a salute with their cannon.

Mr. Rodriques and Ms. Laufer fire a port swivel.
Mouse over to give fire!

Naturally, we must return it!

Mr. Rodriques and Ms. Laufer fire a starboard swivel.
Mouse over to give fire!

But wait! Someone over there must enjoy firing salutes as much as we do, because several more blasts ring out.

We reciprocate with another, parting swivel gun salute.

1900 hours

Once past the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, the twin bridges of the city of Poughkeepsie itself come into view. Here looms our next destination.

Mr. Noonan waves to the crowds from the main yard.
Mouse over to greet the crowds.

As we close in on the city, our crew moves into position. Mr. Noonan adorns the main mast, hailing the crowds.

Mr. McGuigan and Ms. Laufer fire a swivel salute.
Mouse over to salute Poughkeepsie!

Although the main festivities in Poughkeepsie are taking place in Waryas Park, north of the dramatic bluff known as Kaal Rock, we notice numerous groups of spectators cheering us on from the southern shoreline as well. We opt to fire a salute to southern Poughkeepsie as we maneuver closer to shore.

A massive crowd in Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie.
Mouse over for a closer look.

As we pass Kaal Rock and the Mid-Hudson Bridge, swarms of well-wishers come into view in Waryas Park.

Just behind us, the John J Harvey unleashes its water display as it follows us under the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

Mr. McGuigan and Ms. Laufer unleash a pillar of flame with the swivel gun.
Mouse over to salute the crowd at Waryas Park!

We fire another salute to the Waryas throngs as the flotilla parades past the waterfront.

We're particularly pleased with this salute, since it gives us the thrill of watch the resulting smoke ring drift lazily over the crowd's heads for several seconds.

The gun crew fires another salute to the Poughkeepsie crowd.
Mouse over to give fire!

We continue to travel past Waryas Park, our host just a few weeks ago, firing several salutes as we go.

We've discovered that, several spectators in the crowd tooks videos our passage and put them online; click here to visit the Half Moon's YouTube channel and see them for yourself (external link).

1915 hours

As the Half Moon moves out of sight, we glance back to watch the River Day Flotilla parade past the adoring crowd.

Ms. Laufer fires a swivel salute at the Marist docks.
Mouse over to salute Marist College.

1930 hours

Fire in the hole! Ms. Laufer wields her linstock to fire the final swivel gun salute of the day as we approach the Rowing Club dock at Marist College.

Meanwhile, the rest of the flotilla is disbanding for the evening as well.

Some vessels will spend the night docked at Waryas Park, where even now celebrations are underway, but other craft -- including the Onrust and Woody Guthrie -- have a few more miles to go before they can call it a night.

These vessels are on their way to Rogers Point, just around the bend. We'll catch up with them when the River Day Flotilla reconvenes tomorrow.

As for the Half Moon, we've reached our home for the night and run out our dock lines.

1945 hours

Ending Position: Docked at Marist College waterfront, Poughkeepsie.
Latitude: 41˚ 43.2' N
Longitude: 073˚ 56.3' W

The Half Moon is now moored for the night. Some of our crew disembark to greet the visitors who've come out to welcome us.

2000 hours

The Marist College Rowing Club's floating dock isn't designed to accomodate vessels the size of a 17th century Dutch jaght, but during his earlier scouting expeditions Captain Reynolds determined that the ship can be secured so long as no westerly winds spring up to push the ship directly into the dock.

As a light, misty rain settles in, Captain Reynolds guides crew members Cardoza, van Grondelle, Morton, and Polo on shore to run out extra mooring lines to sturdy anchor points.

That done, the ship is at last securely moored for the night. With a thunderstorm still brewing in the area, however, we'll have to monitor the weather closely all night.

Fortunately, although the rain does finally catch up with us in the middle of the night, the dreaded westerly winds never make an appearance.

As we settle in for the night, let's say thanks and farewell to crew members Jeff Morton and Stephen van der Merwe, who are both off to return to their families. As you can see here, we've returned Mr. Van der Merwe a touch scruffier than before but otherwise no worse for wear. (Mr. Morton escaped before we could snap a farewell photo. With crew turnover at each port, it's easy to lose track!)

Next Time: Onward to Kingston!

Video by Ewout van Grondelle.
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