Captain's Log

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Approach to New York City

By Kate “Bob” Addison

Our position is 39-48.7’N, 073-35.9’W, and we’re just outside the Ambrose to Barnegat traffic separation scheme at the entrance to the Hudson River, excited to be visiting New York in the morning! We’re here a little ahead of plan as we’ve had fair winds most of the way from Savannah so we’ve been able to sail almost the whole way and keep the engine off, which makes everyone happy. Even the engineer secretly enjoys the peaceful sound of water sloshing past the ship as she slips along – we’ve seen him on deck handling lines and everything. We are heading steadily NW now to get well clear of the traffic into and out of NYC; soon we will heave-to for the night and pick up our pilot early in the morning to guide us to our berth for the next few days at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25.

It was just another nice day at sea today: setting and stowing t’gallants, practicing sail handling with fewer people and fewer instructions as the crew get more confident and competent with their lines. Pizza for lunch. Elisabeth aloft tarring seizings, medical officer Jennie taking a turn at the helm. A gang cleaning the bulwarks, another gang clearing out the sole. The sole is a magical place, like a souk for sailors hidden under the floorboards in the main salon. Armpit deep and full of treasure: miles of sweet-smelling manila rope in big coils, spare sails and yards of heavy cotton canvas for making new ones, boxes of shackles, steel eyes, sheets of leather, carved wooden blocks. AB Aase made a diagram today of which sail is where in the sole – they kind of all look the same at first glance.

Right now it’s dinner time and the Captain is entertaining some of the crew over dinner in the mess. They are using a table cloth and everything. He says that it is a nice way to get to know crew and cook Donald gets to use some of his “cruise ship” presentation, which is very lovely indeed. The rest of us are finishing eating on the aloha deck or the quarterdeck. Beef stew, rice n’ peas, plantain and chocolate brownies for supper: comfort food to keep out the chill – it’s not warm like the South Pacific this far North in May. A little string band of ukulele and guitar has just started playing from the top of the galley house.

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