Explorers and Adventure

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Henry Hudson's 1609 Expedition Sets Out from Amsterdam

Happened: 1609-04-04


The ship Half Moon (Halve Maen in Dutch) was commissioned for the Dutch East India Company and set sail, with a second Dutch ship following - possibly the "Good Hope". (Some accounts suggest the date was April 1). The Half Moon was one of the speedy type of vessels built for the difficult navigation of the Vlie and Texel. They were known as "Vlie-boats,' fast sailing yachts called "fly-boats" by the English. Usually, they were of about 50 lasts (100 tons) burden, but the Half Moon was only 40 lasts (80 tons).

Since Hudson's logs were returned to Holland with the ship after its return, the full identity of the crew is not fully known. A few fragments from Hudson's logs were published in Amsterdam in 1625. The main record comes from Juet's own journal, published in England in 1625. Juet started his journal using the Julian calendar (March 25 by 'the old account') but quickly switched to the Gregorian calendar ('stilo novo' - new style) for May 5. England did not officially accept the Gregorian calendar until 1752, at which point the 'new' calendar added 14 days to the Julian date.

Samuel Purchas opens Juet's account with, "The third Voyage of Master Henrie Hudson toward Nova Zernbla, and at his returne, his passing from Farre llands, to New-found Land, and along to fortie foure degrees and ten minutes, and thence to Cape Cod, and so to thirtie three degrees; and along the Coast to the Northward, to fortie two degrees and a. haÏf, and up the River neere to fortie three degrees. Written by Robert Juet of Lime-house."