Thursday, August 1, 2013

Trip 4 Day 9

Our last day on the boat. Last night, since the students had been so great and learned so much, Captain Micheal allowed them to stand anchor watch in pairs with out a crew member. They also slept on deck again so they were never really alone. First thing this morning we docked in Bristol and then had our last delicious boat meal. After breakfast they cleaned out their bunks. Everything had to be packed away and sanitized. The mattresses were carried up to the dock to air out. The crew read the newspaper out loud while the students wrapped up their chores and went through their final reviews. Then to fill the time till the shuttle came, students polished the bell and all the brass on the boat. Goodbyes were sad but students were looking forward to seeing their friends on campus as well as having a hot shower.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trip 4, Days 7 & 8 photos

Here are a few photos to catch you up on day 7 & 8. We went swimming, saw plankton, hauled back the anchor, did the schooner olympics (including hauling up Hank, the First Mate!), made boats for buoyancy, and checked out all the charts from our voyage. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trip 4- Day 7

Today was full of real sailing. We sailed off the anchor, no help from the motors, and back on the anchor. There were a couple of moments of dead wind where we had to turn the motors on but majority of the day we traveled on the power of the wind. During our voyage the students reviewed the compass rose and parts of the boat. They also learned about plankton by viewing the local plankton under a microscope and dissected oysters.

The students were enthusiastic about pizza for dinner. After dinner they pushed into the final stages of their projects. Project time was temporarily disrupted to watch a Catboat race going on feet from where we anchored. Tonight is another clear starry sky.

Trip 4 - Day 6

Today was full of treats. We started the day by visiting the Buzzards Bay Coalition to learn more about estuary conservation. We then gathered a lot of information for our projects at the Whaling museum. Some of the highlights included the various whale skeletons hung from the ceiling, the half scale whaling ship to explore and the collection of artwork made from whale bones.

After the museum we went back to the boat for lunch. In New Bedford we were docked to the Ernistina, an old sail boat the town is trying to make seaworthy again. A tour boat would often come by to see the Ernistina but Lady Maryland was in the way. During lunch today, the students had had enough of people staring at them and the rather pretty Lady Maryland. It is common for crew to lick their plates to help keep the dish washing water clean. When the tour boat came by students lined up along the safety line and licked their plates for the tourists to see. 

After lunch the students were treated to delicious banana splits. It was a quick clean up and then we headed back out to Buzzards Bay, starting our push towards Bristol. Along the way students learned a number of silly camp songs to help get their energy out. We anchored near Cuttyhunk Island where the students were able to go swimming and take ocean baths. For dinner we were treated to oysters which the students will be learning more about tomorrow. Tonight is clear sky's with the occasional shooting star.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Trip 4 Day 4-5

We have had sunshine! As a result the students have been able to spend a lot of time on deck learning about the boat and about estuaries.

Day four consisted of sailing from Province Town towards New Bedford. We sailed through the Cap Cod Canal. On the way students took turns standing bow watch, navigating, doing boat checks and steering the boat. The others spent time on deck enjoying the sunshine and learning more about water quality. After lunch we were able to do our first trawl. The students gave the net some of their luck and then went fishing. We caught a number of crabs, a bay scallop and a some other smaller marine life. While the net was out, other students performed water quality tests. They logged the findings and will be comparing the different estuaries was sail through. We anchored out in Buzzard's Bay. After dinner the students built off their earlier water testing and quality lessons to discuss ocean pH and the effect of climate change on the acidity of ocean water.

Though it rained over night, today has been a nice day as well. The students finished their sail across Buzzard's Bay to New Bedford. On the way they continued to man the boat and learn about estuaries but they were also able to do water quality testing and trawl for more sea life. Today's trawl had less animals but they were more interesting. We caught a mantis shrimp and a sea star. We docked in New Bedford, had a quick smoothie snack and then began to explore the town. Our brief tour introduced the students to how important New Bedford was to the whaling industry.

After dinner the students dissected squid. A few of the squid had already squirted their ink right before they died so the process was quite sticky. After identifying all the parts of the squids the students practiced their calligraphy skills by removing the quill and using squid ink to write. The last bit of the day was logging their water quality findings before bed.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 3 - Trip Four

Today has been a calmer, though more rainy day. Since yesterday was a bumpy trip along the Still Water Bank towards Province Town, the students were glad to be docked today. Last night we had anchored out in the harbor. This morning after breakfast, the students pulled up the anchor and helped secure Lady Maryland to the dock. Once the boat was settled the students spent some time out of the rain in the main cabin learning about ocean currents. At this time of year, in specific places along the northern east coast, the currents pull in nutrients from the sea floor which feed plankton and fish which then in turn feeds the whales before they head south for the winter.Students also had time to pick their topics for the Lady Maryland newspapers. The paper is an ongoing project which allows students to focus the trip on something they are particularly interested in. Topics range from whales in captivity, to ship knots and their uses, to documenting their own adventures on board. For the rest of the trip students will be using all their learning experiences to build their articles.

After lunch the students bundled up in their rain gear and headed to the Pilgrim Monument.  The monument is so tall that you can see Boston from the top. Given the weather, we were unable to see Lady Maryland at her dock but the students enjoyed the bragging rights of saying they climbed all those winding stairs. They also explored the Province Town museum and gathered information for their articles. After a quick snack and some silly games they learned about whale untangling at the Province Town Center for Coastal Studies. Students were intrigued by a fairly new system of cutting the lines tangled around whiles by using a cross bow and a special arrow with many small blades usually used to hunt turkeys. This new method is faster and less stressful for all involved. The normal method involves grappling onto the tangled lines and using saws at the ends of long poles to cut the lines.

Do to the rain there was not much time to explore Province Town. After the talk we headed back to the boat. We were very excited that Chef Micheal had prepared taco salad for dinner. Now that dinner clean up and chores are over the students are watching a movie on sailing in the North Atlantic. We have been told tomorrow will be a warmer and drier day.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trip 4 Day 1-2

We are wrapping up day two here on the Lady Maryland and it has been an eventful couple of days. The students hit the ground running. We left Bristol yesterday morning and arrived at the Lady Maryland in time for lunch. After lunch and clean up the students headed out on their whale watch where they spent time observing Nile, one of the Humpback Whales who feeds in the area. Do to our busy schedule the students have been learning about the boat as they go and we have not had time to give you a proper update. Today we sailed to Province Town, which took most of the day. Picture will be coming soon. Goodnight.