2009 River Day Voyage banner

Daily Log: Saturday, June 13th

Today's Events at a Glance:
Closing Festivities
11 AM: River Day Flotilla departs from Castleton to parade past Schodack Park and Town of Bethlehem.
12:30 PM: Arrival at Rensselaer and final cannon welcome. The Half Moon will be moored alongside the USS Slater in Albany, but will not be open to the public.
Shoreside Activities:

12:30 PM: Daylong celebrations in Rensselaer, including:
* Blessing of the Fleet.
* Albany Yacht Club: Yankee Doodle Band.
* Crailo State Historic Site: Dutch exhibits and cuisine.
* Rensselaer Riverfront Park: Keith Pray Big Band, BBQ foods, tours of the Clearwater.

0700 hours

Starting Position: Docked at Coeymans Marine Terminal, Coeymans.
Latitude: 42˚ 28.9' N
Longitude: 073˚ 47.3' W

Closing festivities for the inaugural 2009 River Day Voyage.

We've rotated more crew positions, so here's the Half Moon crew roster for the final leg of the River Day voyage: Captain Reynolds, Kipp Van Aken, Brea Barthel, Diane Carey, Keith Cardoza, Pauli Dangerousli, Randi dell'Acqua, Vicki Giles, Missy Graves, Ewout van Grondelle, Bob Hansen, Rachel Laufer, Laura Lee Linder, Doug Lyke, John W. Mangrum, Ben Mazer, Robert F. McGuigan, Jeff Morton, Carolyn Niehaus, Patrick E. Noonan, Russell Polo, Roberta Read, Matthew Ricchezza, Evi Robinson, Howland Robinson, Frank Rodriques, John Swartout, and Patrick Wolfe.

0930 hours

This being Saturday, no school groups are scheduled to visit the River Day Flotilla in Coeymans or Castleton. On board the Half Moon, rather than providing our usual dockside activities, the crew is instead focused on rummaging gear and cleaning the ship. We've reached the final day of the voyage, and our crew is looking forward to seeing home.

1000 hours

Launch 5 and the Governor Cleveland head out a little early to attend to some morning activities of their own, offering the first sign that the flotilla is ready to move on.

1030 hours

The Half Moon now follows suit, firing a parting salute as we leave Coeymans.

1045 hours

The River Day Flotilla reconvenes just north of Coeymans and continues northward. Thus begins the the final leg of the official 2009 River Day Voyage, and our decks are buzzing with excitement.

1100 hours

As we return to Castleton, we discover that the harbormaster of the Castleton Boat Club is getting married! At this moment! On that boat to the right!

It's only right that we salute her wedding as we travel past.

On Launch Day, the flotilla was joined by several vessels who call New York Harbor their home. Now, as we approach the northern end of the navigable river, local vessels from the Erie Canal have come down to usher us in the rest of the way. We think of this trio of canalboats as a local greeting party.

Speaking of parties, it looks like Castleton is hopping.

Mouse over to fire a swivel salute to Castleton!

We fire a final salute to Castleton as the flotilla parades past.

1130 hours

We encounter our next large crowd at Henry Hudson Park. During our Capital Region Voyages of Discovery, the Half Moon often stops here on the final night we before arrive at Albany.

Mouse over to salute Henry Hudson Park!

Gunner McGuigan and Assistant Gunner Ricchezza fire a falconet salute to the crowd as we continue past the park.


We are once again traveling into a northerly wind, but at least the brisk breeze has our flags and banner flying in suitable splendor.

Mouse over for a closer look.

We come upon one last River Day party before reaching our final destination...

...returning their salutes with our own.

Corning Tower ahoy! We've had our first sighting of Albany. That distant tower marks the River Day Voyage's finish line.

1145 hours

As we enter the Capital Region, additional familiar vessels come down to greet us. The Dutch Apple, full of passengers, motors down from Albany to join the flotilla.

1230 hours

Just around the bend, we reach the southern end of Rensselaer. This is the hometown crowd for many of our regular crew members, so we prep a series of salutes.

The John J Harvey also unleashes its own form of cannon fire as the flotilla parades between Albany and Rensselaer.

Rodriques and Barthel fire a salute to Rensselaer.
Mouse over to salute Rensselaer!

Give fire!

Rodriques and Barthel fire a salute to Rensselaer.
Mouse over to give fire again!

Reload and give fire!

1245 hours

The distance to the journey's end can now be measured in yards.

The Albany Yacht Club fires salutes to the River Day Flotilla.
Mouse over to salute the River Day Flotilla.

As we approach the Albany Yacht Club, they fire a series of cannon salutes in greeting...

We fire a salute to the Albany Yacht Club.
Mouse over to return the salute.

...which we do our level best to return.

As the John J Harvey turns south and concludes its final water display, we close in on the Dunn Memorial Bridge and our own final destination.

To the east, crowds gather in Rensselaer Riverfront Park, waiting for the flotilla crews to arrive for the shoreside festivities to begin.

Mouse over to salute Albany and Rensselaer.

We offer one final salute to Rensselaer before bearing toward the far side of the river.

Our rig teams greet the Capital Region from the yards and tops as we make our final approach.

Mouse over to salute Albany
and the USS Slater.

Firing our final salutes to Albany, the Half Moon sidles up to our host for the day, the USS Slater.

We will moor our ship directly to the side of theirs.

With the Slater crew's help, we quickly secure our lines. For the crew of the Half Moon, the official River Day Voyage has reached its triumphant conclusion.

Final Position: Moored alongside the USS Slater, Albany, NY.
Latitude: 42˚ 38.6' N
Longitude: 073˚ 45.0' W

1300 hours

As we secure our lines, we can watch the rest of the flotilla settle into place. The Clearwater and Launch 5 bear in on Rensselaer Riverfront Park...

While the Onrust fires its final salutes before swinging back to the Albany Yacht Club.

As the Clearwater and Launch 5 secure themselves to the floating dock, welcoming kayakers seem to provide a path to the shoreside celebration.

1315 hours

As Captain Reynolds steps off the ship, Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings is there to greet him.

Meanwhile, First Mate Hansen and Chief Engineer Van Aken allow themselves a moment of calm after a hectic week.

While the canalboats return home to the Mohawk, the flotilla crews are busy disembarking to hustle to the celebration.

Our crew is just as eager to participate, of course. With some help from local police boats, all of our interested parties are soon shuttled across the river.

For many in the crew, stepping off the ship now marks the end of their voyage; they'll be returning straight home. Others, however, will return to the ship. The River Day Voyage may be officially over, but the Half Moon has not yet completed its journey.

1400 hours

But that can wait. For now, the flotilla crews mingle and relax in Rensselaer Riverside Park, listening to the Keith Pray Big Band in the gazebo, munching down on hot dogs and burgers, and enjoying the shade.

We encounter many familiar faces at the festival, include Barbara Fratianni, crew from Launch 5 and the Onrust, escort boat crews from the Sheriff's department, and even some of our own local Half Moon crew members.

And so, with the Half Moon dwarfing its host, the USS Slater, the 2009 River Day Festival comes to an end.

Endless thanks and congratulations to our entire crew. Standing in for the full roster of 42 crew members (and 20 special guests) who've sailed with us over the course of the week are the crew for today's leg of the River Day Voyage. Going left to right:

Front Row: Matthew Ricchezza, Captain William Reynolds.
Second Row: Evi Robinson, Bob Hansen, Ben Mazer, Missy Graves, Laura Lee Linder, Frank Rodriques.
Third Row:Russel Polo, Roberta Read, Carolyn Niehaus, Brea Barthel, Pauli Dangerousli, Randi dell'Acqua, Patrick Noonan.
Fourth Row: Heyland Robinson, keith Cardoza, Vicki Giles, Robert McGuigan, Diance Carey, John Swartout, Patrick Wolfe, Doug Lyke.
Back Row: Rachel Laufer, Ewout van Grondelle, Kipp van Aken.

Next, allow us to present the gun crew: Master Gunner and Safety Officer Frank Rodriques and everyone (at least, of those crew members still on board at journey's end) who served as a Gunner, Assistant Gunner, or Loader. Let's count those fingers!

After firing more salutes in a single week than we normally discharge in a year, we're happy to say that our crew is going home with all the limbs and digits they had when they arrived.

And of course, we must acknowledge our "Old Salts": the dedicated crew members who sailed the full River Day Voyage, beginning to end.

Front Row: Captain William Reynolds, Bob Hansen, Ben Mazer, Patrick Noonan, Matthew Ricchezza.
Middle Row: Keith Cardoza, Diane Carey, Robert McGuigan, Kipp Van Aken, John Mangrum, Patrick Wolfe.
Back Row: Rachel Laufer, Ewout van Grondelle.

Vicki Giles and Keith Cardoza
Mouse over for the mushy stuff.

One last notice before we go; now that they've had a chance to inform their families, we've been given clearance to reveal that crew members Vicki Giles and Keith Cardoza are now engaged! They hope to be married on the ship later this summer. A hearty congratulations!

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