Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown

This special monthly feature to The Tidal Zone blog recounts the highlights that led to Henry Hudson’s sail past the tidal marsh of what is now Yonkers’ Beczak Environmental Education Center on September 13, 1609.

Pieter Claesz Still Life

The night before the Half Moon is due to depart Amsterdam, Henry Hudson asks his wife, Katherine, to make his favorite meal. Oysters. A platter of palm sized belon, harvested from the Bélon River in Brittany, that taste of the sea. Hudson eats with his wife and sons John, Richard and Oliver. This will be his third voyage in three years and he savors the food, his chair, the dishes and warm apartment.

Early the next morning, he and his son John leave for the harbor and board their boat.

On April 6, 1609, the Half Moon sets sail. Two days later, she clears the island of Texel, leaving all Dutch land behind. For the next month, Henry Hudson captains his ship in the direction of the North Cape of Norway, as per his contract with the Dutch East India Company. He has been stuck in these ice-clotted Artic waters before.

Lenore Person
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