Henry Hudson sailed into Penobscot Bay in 1609 on a voyage of discovery. The original Half Moon was commissioned on March 25, 1609, for the Dutch East India Company. It was a ship of exploration and the spaceship of its age, designed to take a crew of 20 into unknown and uncharted waters.

Tom Wysmuller, vice-chairman the New Netherland Museum, will be speaking on Henry Hudson’s famous voyage at the Camden Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The library is also exhibiting paintings depicting Hudson’s explorations in the Walsh History Center at the library.

Henry Hudson was already a famous explorer of Arctic waters when in 1608 he was hired by the Dutch East India Company to find a northeastern all-water route to Asia. But only a month out of port, the Dutch/English crew of his ship was disheartened after their passage north of Norway was blocked by Arctic ice floes. Many talked of mutiny. Sitting in his cabin, the concerned captain considered his dilemma and options. A compromise was made. The course was changed and what began as a search for a northeast passage became a transatlantic crossing to look for a northwest passage to the rich spice trade of China. Of course, some think that Hudson’s intention all along was to go northwest.

After reaching the Maine coast and replacing a foremast lost in rough storms during its Atlantic crossing, the Half Moon sailed southward as far as the present day North Carolina Outer Banks. Then, turning northward, Hudson explored the Delaware Bay before arriving at the mouth of a wide river. He sailed the small ship up the river which today bears his name — the Hudson River. It was soon obvious that it was an inland river, not a westward passage. Hudson sailed up to present-day Albany before returning down river, claiming the region for the Dutch. It would be many years before the significance of Hudson’s 1609 voyage to America would be understood, and the Half Moon universally recognized as one of the best known ships of exploration.

Wysmuller’s illustrated talk is entitled “The Prequel and Sequel of the Half Moon’s Voyage into American History,” with 70 slides on 70 years starting with an English captain on a Dutch ship and ending with a Dutch king on England’s throne. Images include Hudson’s voyage, American liberty, the Dutch Republic, and Stock Trading origins. The Half Moon is a full-scale, operating replica of the Dutch ship of exploration that Henry Hudson sailed in 1609.