2009 River Day Voyage banner

1530 hours

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

The Quadricentennial River Day Voyage is officially complete, but the journey's not quite over for the Half Moon.

Here's the crew roster for the final leg of the Half Moon's voyage: Captain Reynolds, Kipp Van Aken, Brea Barthel, Keith Cardoza, Cathy Davis, Wendy DiGiglio, Randi dell'Acqua, Ashlee Giacalone, Vicki Giles, 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, Matthew Ricchezza, Evi Robinson, Howland Robinson, Frank Rodriques, John Swartout, and Patrick Wolfe.

Although our hosts at the USS Slater in Albany have been kind enough to allow the Half Moon to moor alongside their ship, we're only due to stay for a few brief hours. As soon as the crew returns from picnicking in Rensselaer, we'll be on our way.

Meanwhile, on board, Captain Reynolds gives some interested Slater crew a tour of ship. Down in the galley, he encounters 2001 Voyage of Discovery Alumna Ashlee Giaccalone, who just heard that the Half Moon was in town and came down simply to say hello. She quickly finds herself Shanghaied into joining us for the same-day voyage to Athens.

Watch Leader Laufer assembles her final duty roster.
Mouse over for a closer look.

As the crew filters back on board, Watch Leader Laufer runs through her increasingly ragged crew list and prepares her very last duty roster for the trip.

Within a few minutes, we have all hands on board, so with no further delay it's time to depart. Ms. Niehaus communicates to the crew at Docking Line 4 as we haul in our lines.

Master Gunner Rodriques and Assistant Gunner Evi Robinson fire a parting salute to the USS Slater.
Mouse over to fire a parting salute.

1545 hours

As we allow the current to swing us away from the USS Slater, Master Gunner Rodriques and Assistant Gunner Evi Robinson fire a salute to our hosts -- the final salute of a great many over the course of the week.

As the Half Moon travels back south past Rensselaer and the Port of Albany, we send the rig teams aloft to furl the sails one last time.

There'll be no relaxed sailing on this leg of the voyage. On the one hand, we're heading into inclement weather, and on the other, our crew is eager to see home. Our destination is Athens; our ETA is ASAP.

1600 hours

As we pass the southern end of Rensselaer, we come upon another flotilla member that's out and about, the Clearwater.

As part of their standard educational program, the Clearwater is spending the afternoon offering the public quick sails around the Capital Region.

1630 hours

With the River Day Flotilla well behind us now, our crew turns their attention toward ship's maintenance. Here, Mr. Ricchezza and Ms. Laufer apply wood preservative to the weather deck.

Meanwhile, Ms. Laufer's fellow alumna, Ms. Niehaus, holds steady at the helm.

Master Gunner Rodriques packs up a swivel gun.
Mouse over to retire the swivel gun.

With a certain reverence, Master Gunner Rodriques gives the swivel guns a final cleaning and packs them away in their crates, to await another voyage. His gun crew has officially fired their final salute.

1700 hours

Up on the Quarter deck, Mr. Noonan enthusiastically joins in the wood preservation efforts...


...while yet another alumna has taken over at the helm.

1715 hours

For the first time since our arrival in Gravesend Bay, we aren't keeping to a set schedule, so no one currently knows exactly when we'll arrive in Athens. Revisiting an old project from her Voyage of Discovery last year, Ms. Robinson reads the chart and compares it to our speed to determine our time of arrival. Mr. Mazer joins in the effort.

1730 hours

The party's still going in Coeymans when we pass by.

1745 hours

Now that the Half Moon's photogenic qualities are no longer a primary concern, we can return the ship's inflatable tender to its standard position. While Ms. DiGiglio stands lookout, Mr. Lyke tends the safety line while Mr. Polo handles the fore tackle.

The crew uses tackles to heave the Zodiac over the rail.
Mouse over to hoist the Zodiac.

The rest of the crew joins in on the weather deck, hoisting up the Zodiac and pushing it over the rail. Once it's lowered into place, we secure it. Job done!

With the Zodiac out of the way, we can also finally fully reopen the main access hatch and set up the handrails. No more bumped heads on the way down to the orlop!

1845 hours

Ms. del'Acqua continues on her own maintenance project -- she is applying whippings to a number of the ship's paired running lines, such as the top lifts and braces for the main and fore. It can sometimes be difficult for crews on deck to judge whether the yards are level and square, so these subtle markings will help future sail handlers know when the yards are positioned evenly.

1900 hours

As the voyage winds down, Mr. van Grondelle serenades the crew.

2015 hours

The sun is setting, but it disappeared long before it reached the horizon. We've traveled into a region of heavy rain, so the crew is pleased to see our destination, Peckham Materials, come into view.

As we move into positon alongside a familiar barge, Mr. Gondelle and Mr. Cardoza leap across to secure our lines. With the Half Moon safely returned to its summer hosts, our part in the 2009 River Day Voyage has finally reached its true conclusion.

Ending Position: Moored at Peckham Materials, Athens, NY.
Latitude: 42˚ 16.3'
Longitude: 073˚ 48.1'

Thanks once again to the enormous crew who joined us over the course of the voyage, and for providing us with the opportunity to have four Voyage of Discovery Alumnae join us at the same time!

From here, the Half Moon crew will take the weekend off before returning for a special one-day sail for CBS Sunday Morning. And soon enough, we will depart on our next Voyage of Discovery.

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