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Daily Log: Thursday, June 11th

Today's Events at a Glance:
Day Six
8-11 AM: Flagships remain at Kingston for educational programs.
11 AM: Flotilla departs and parades by Clermont State Historic Site.
6 PM: Arrival and cannon welcome at Catskill/Hudson/Athens area.

Overnight: The Half Moon will dock at Historic Catskill Point.

Shoreside Activities:
8-11 AM: Dockside activities for pre-scheduled school groups at the Hudson River Martime Museum.
2 PM: Parade by Saugerties Light House for school groups.
6 PM: Catskill/Hudson/Athens: Flyovers by Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome antique airplanes.
Catskill: Celebration, fireworks, BBQ, & reception.
Hudson: River ribbon-cutting, music, & festivities.
Athens: Riverfront park party.
Hudson-Athens Lighthouse: Hosting party.
Hudson Harbor Cruise: Narrated dinner cruise.
Land Viewing Areas:

Kingston to Catskill:
Hyde Park: Vanderbilt Mansion.
Staatsburg: Norrie Point marina dock & Mills Mansion.
Rhinecliff: Town landing/train station.
Tivoli: Waterfront.

The Half Moon docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum.

0630 hours

Starting Position: Docked at Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston.
Latitude: 41˚ 55.1' N
Longitude: 073˚ 59.0' W

Day Six of the inaugural 2009 River Day Voyage -- and happy birthday to crew member Alex Padalka!

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, Rachel Laufer, Laura Lee Linder, Doug Lyke, John W. Mangrum, Ben Mazer, Robert F. McGuigan, Jeff Morton, Patrick E. Noonan, birthday boy Alex Padalka, Russell Polo, Matthew Ricchezza, Frank Rodriques, John Swartout, and Patrick Wolfe.

0800 hours

The River Day Flotilla begins the day at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, up Rondout Creek in Kingston. Once again, our docents engage school groups and the general public with a dockside glimpse of nautical life in 1609.

Not all of the flotilla's Heritage Vessels were scheduled to make the entire voyage; just as the Launch Day vessels parted ways with us in the Tappan Zee region, other ships have since departed. The heritage flotilla now consists of the Half Moon, the Clearwater, the Governor Cleveland, the John J Harvey, the Onrust, and the Woody Guthrie.

A nice side effect of our reduced number is that, for the first time, the entire flotilla has spent the evening docked at the same location. While the vessels' crew entertain their audiences, they also take advantage of what is often their first opportunity to walk over and visit the other vessels.

Of course, Barry Keegan has once again joined us to provide shoreside assistance.

1100 hours

As we near the flotilla's time of departure, the Half Moon's special guests for the day begin to arrive. Videographer Bert Berat arrives, here on behalf of the Launch 5 crew to capture footage for a documentary on the River Day Flotilla as a whole.

Mr. Berat steps on board, receives harness training, and ascend the rig to the main top... where he'll remain all day, shooting the day's journey.

While our guests board, the flotilla's escort vessels line up off the Clearwater, prepped and ready to go.

1115 hours

All hands on deck! Time for the Captain's daily itinerary briefing. Part of the agenda today is introducing the crew to the rest of our special guests, including Quadricentennial Commission Deputy Director Barbara Fratianni, Gale Brownlee, and Pixie Brown.

1130 hours

As the flotilla rumbles to life, we cast off our lines and swing around to head back down Rondout Creek.

As we pass them, we can watch the crews of the other flotilla vessels preparing for their own departures.

A small steamboat toots a salute.
Mouse over to toot a salute.

1145 hours

The local steamboats that came out to greet us yesterday evening return to see us out again, piping up with cheery steam salutes as they go.

1330 hours

Though the skies are gray, we can at least enjoy a favorable wind for today's journey to Catskill, Athens, and Hudson.

The rest of the heritage sailing vessels know a good day of sailing when they see one, too.

As mentioned above, one of our special guests is Gale Brownlee, who's come with her daughter Pixie Brown.

A vintage photo of Gale Brownlee, Miss Henry Hudson 1959, riding a miniature Half Moon parade float.

Ms. Brownlee was Miss Henry Hudson 1959, here seen on board a Half Moon float created for the 350th anniversary celebrations. Now at last she has the opportunity to sail on the real thing.

However, Ms. Brownlee isn't satisfied with merely riding along as a passenger -- she insists on earning her place as a full crew member! She's placed on the duty roster and works her way through all the requirements needed to qualify, including completing harness training and taking a shift at the whipstaff.

1345 hours

The River Day Flotilla is approaching our next scheduled event: a parade of ships past the Saugerties Lighthouse.

To prepare for this event, Launch 5 pulls over to deliver a special gift:

This flag, which will fly from the Half Moon's foremast for the rest of the day, was created by children from the Hudson River Valley especially in celebration of the quadricentennial. You don't have to look too closely to see Henry Hudson and the Half Moon here!

1400 hours

We close in on Saugerties Lighthouse, which is currently host to a large crowd of regional students.

The Half Moon salutes to crowds at.
Mouse over to salute Saugerties Light House.

As the flotilla passes, the John J Harvey presents water displays, while we fire a series of swivel gun salutes. Every blast from the cannons provokes a squeal of delight from the gathered students.

1445 hours

With the wind at our backs, we continue northbound. You might be able to notice Ms. Fratianni at the base of the foremast, standing watch as part of her duty roster.

1615 hours

The flotilla has reached its northernmost destination for the day. As the Half Moon leads the way into Athens Channel -- a site more than familiar to us -- the flotilla parades past the crowds at Athens.

Once again, the John J Harvey's water displays come close enough to cool the air, but we keep our powder dry.

Give fire! We offer Athens a series of salutes.

We're also starting to lose count of the number of smoke rings our cannons have blown this trip; Master Gunner Rodriques loosely estimates the odds of creating them at one in a hundred.

1645 hours

We adjust our sails as we round the northern end of the Midland Flats, turning back south into the river's main channel.

1715 hours

As we travel back downriver to visit Hudson, we can see the Governor Cleveland and the rest of the flotilla close behind us.

1730 hours

The overcast skies are turning ominous, at least in terms of sail handling, so our rig teams have spent the last few minutes furling the sails for the day. Now they return to the safety of the deck.

And just in time! It looks like everyone in Hudson has turned out to see us.

Once again, we fire a series of salutes as we pass by. First a salute to the northern end of Hudson...

...and then more as we reach the main crowds at the marina.

Mouse over to give fire!

We conclude with a blast from the port falconet.

1745 hours

For a few of the flotilla vessels, Hudson is their destination for the day. As for the Half Moon, we must move on, but we'll be back--the ship will return for a weekend of public tours at the end of July.

Although our crew is far from done for the day, they take a moment of downtime to relax as we continue to our next event.

Our destination is nearby as well, so we also take the opportunity to run our our docking lines.

A biplane from the Rhinebeck Aerodrome swoops overhead.
Mouse over to take flight.

We haven't had much opportunity to capture them for the camera, but now at last we can offer a glimpse of the performances the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome antique biplanes have been putting on at many of the flotilla's ports of call all along the river.

1800 hours

A final River Day event before we turn toward our destination for the day: the official cutting of the ribbon at Hudson.

We we turn into a final approach, River Day participants stretch the ribbon out from the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse.

As the Half Moon pushes through, Mr. Cardoza is at the ready in the beak to slice the ribbon. That done, we turn back downriver.

1845 hours

As the daylight fades, the Half Moon approaches its destination for the day:

...Historic Catskill Point. A large crowd has defied the looming rain to come out and greet us.

Mouse over to salute Catskill.

Such dedication must be rewarded! Master Gunner Rodriques and Assistant Gunner Noonan fire a series of salutes.

Give fire! (Photos like this, as a note, serve to explain why our gun crews stay well back from the cannon's fuse when they fire.)

As the Catskill crowd cheers, the Half Moon pulls into port.

Ending Position: Docked at Historic Catskill Point.
Latitude: 42˚ 12.3' N
Longitude: 073˚ 50.5' W

Captain Reynolds greets the crowd. While a few of our crew members step off to engage individuals with questions, new crew members for the next leg of the voyage come on board.

1930 hours

Ms. Brownlee's motivation has inspired the rest of our guests to follow her lead, and by the end of the day, each one--Brownlee, Brown, and Fratianni--has officially earned exclusive an orange crew shirt.


Now, when we say each of our guests, we mean to say each of the guests on deck. Bert Berat has been stationed up in the main top nonstop from the moment he came on board; only now does he return to the weather deck.

Too busy with his video duties to earn a shirt today, Mr. Berat promises to return tomorrow for another day of travel and earn his place in the crew.

2015 hours

As the crowds disperse, a driving rainstorm blows in. Our crew hunkers down for the night... well, perhaps allowing for a bit of celebration...

We'll conclude the day the same way we opened it: by congratulating new crew member Alex Padalka, spending his birthday on board with us today.

Next Time: Onward to Coeymans!

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