Wednesday, August 5, 2009

AUGUST Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown

The Delaware Bay

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 Half Moon sails south along the east coast of what will one day be the United States of America. Captain Henry Hudson is looking for a sea that cuts through to the Pacific—a westerly passageway to the riches of Asia.

He stares at each river through his spyglass trying to discern if it is the one or merely the false hope of an estuary. He’s well acquainted with the wide-mouthed salty rivers that receive and release the tides of an ocean. His native England has the Thames Estuary, in which the River Thames meets the waters of the North Sea, and Amsterdam, where the Half Moon set sail, is built on the IJ Estuary.

After fair, hot weather for weeks, the Half Moon reaches the English settlement of Jamestown amid sudden gusts of wind and rain. Hudson calls for the ship to turn north again, hugging the shoreline.

The lookout reports a large bay. Hudson takes a sounding—the water is deep. His heart pounds as they sail into the wide waterway, yet after about nine miles it becomes too shallow and full of shoals. The current, moreover, sets outward with such force he realizes he is at the mouth of a large and rapid river. With an angry shout to his crew he orders a turnaround. The Half Moon goes back to sea and heads north again.

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
JUNE Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown
JULY Hudson Quadricentennial Countdown