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Henry Hudson visited Delaware Bay in quest for route to Pacific

by DrewLUD
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Henry Hudson had long been a cold-water sailor, and he was not pleased. The English explorer sailed the Half Moon past Cape Henlopen on Aug. 28, 1609, during the dog days of summer, and the weather was very hot.

As he surveyed the broad Delaware estuary, the sweltry weather was typical for a summer day. Hudson, however, would have been more comfortable if he had visited the bay in January or February, when during some years, massive ice flows clogged the waters around the cape.  

After spending a day measuring the depth of the water, Hudson noted that the bay was full of sandbars, and he warned, “And he that will thoroughly discover this great bay, must have a small pinnace, that must draw but four or five foot water, to sound before him.”

A replica of Henry Hudson's ship Half Moon makes its way up the Hudson River during a ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 in New York in which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed Dutch royals Willem-Alexander, Crown Prince of Orange, and his wife, Princess Maxima to New York for the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river that now bears his name.

Hudson quickly concluded that the Delaware Bay was not a viable water passage around the North American continent that would lead to the Pacific Ocean and the riches of the Indies.

Like most European explorers 500 years ago, Hudson was obsessed with finding a shortcut from Europe to the Pacific. Unlike many mariners who sailed in the wake of Christopher Columbus, Hudson believed that such a waterway was to be found in the northern latitudes.

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service