Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 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.

The decision to break contract with the Dutch East India Company is done. In late May, freezing weather and dangerous icebergs off the coast of Norway pushed the Half Moon’s crew to near mutiny. Hudson used this opportunity to change the goal of the trip. Instead of the agreed upon route to China—sailing north around Russia—the Half Moon is now heading west to North America.

Through the month of June 1609, the Half Moon sails across the Atlantic. It’s unexplored territory for everyone on the boat. The force of the current, today known as the Gulf Stream, unnerves the sailors. Tension builds as more storms hit the little ship and the Half Moon’s foremast is swept overboard and her deck damaged. A temporary mast and foresail are erected during a calm.

The captain and his crew are all outlaws now. They’ve broken contract with their employers, came close to mutiny, and now they consider piracy. They spot another ship and attempt to catch her, chasing her most of the day, hoping to capture her for booty. But the other ship manages to outrun the clumsy Half Moon.

Lenore Person
Marketing and Communications Manager

Wind back the clock and follow the events that lead to the Half Moon’s sail up the Hudson River in 1609!

JANUARY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
FEBRUARY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
MARCH Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
APRIL Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
MAY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown