Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trip 4, Day 7 update!

Yesterday was an incredible day. We reached New Bedford in the morning and docked for 2 hours while we were visiting the New Bedford Whaling Museum. We were all so impressed with the museum and all it taught us about. We got to see whale skeletons, "enjoy" the rancid smell of whale oil, saw an entire exhibit on knots, and got to walk on a 1/2 scale model of a very lucrative whaling ship. After spending a very enjoyable morning in New Bedford we sailed on for 6 hours to our next destination. The Lady Maryland crew told us it was the best sailing they had experienced all summer- the weather was perfect! At night, we got to carve our own scrimshaw- just like we saw at the museum! This morning we look forward to another day of sailing and our last couple of days on the beautiful Lady Maryland :)
Check back in soon!
Lady Maryland crew outside the whaling museum 
One of the oldest whaling boats still in existence 

Incredible whale skeletons inside the museum 
Dissecting squid with Sarah
Squid ink postcards- what?!
What a beautiful day for sailing!
We love these New England sunsets and CTY!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ohhhh we're halfway there

It's hard to believe the Lady Maryland CTY trip 4 is officially halfway over. Today was yet another busy day as we sailed away from Woods Hole and spent 6 hours sailing through Buzzards Bay. The crew got lessons on handling all the different lines and tacking through the wind. Once we got in the area we were going to anchor, we trawled in the water and found several crabs in our net. Instructors Katie and Emily taught some very cool lessons on mussels and trash (respectively) while Becca ended the night with a crew talk on maritime law where we debated the different sides of the Turbot War. 
Getting instructions on trawling 
Ready to cast the floater 
Some of our findings!
Scouring the trawl net
All about mussels 
Turbot War debate prep
Canada side prepping their case.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Day 4 update!

The Lady Maryland CTY crew has officially had two full days in Woods Hole. After spending the day sailing in the beautiful weather and trawling for some fish right off shore, we docked and were able to stretch our cramped legs at a nearby park until dinner time. After that we got a wonderful lesson from Joe that included some bird charades. (Hint: ask us for an impression of any bird and I bet we can do it!) 

We started our day today by visiting the Aquarium. We saw starfish, large blue lobsters, toadfish, salmon, seahorses, and more! After lunch we got an extra special treat of getting a tour of the Atlantis research vessel. We got to see the WHOI's famous submarine Alvin in person! What an amazing experience to lay hands on this legendary vessel. We also got a personal tour of some of WHOI's engineering facilities and saw some incredible 3-D printers. We spent the rest of the day exploring Woods Hole more by visiting two other exhibits, getting to seine on the beach, and going on a photo scavenger hunt back to the Lady Maryland. 
We can't wait to see what the next days of our trip bring! Stay tuned for more :) 
Pulling up the trawling net is a team effort!
Outside the aquarium!
Don't be fooled by our clothes- the water was perfect and some of us went for a swim!
Pre-charades bird lesson
Inside a model of Alvin after we saw the real deal 
It's the Lady Maryland crew in front of the famous submarine! 
Enjoying a beautiful Cape Cod sunset 
Aquarium fun
After a long day we get a little silly 
Scavenger hunt had us find a "flying dessert". I think this works. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Whale whale whale, what progress have we made.

It's the morning of Friday, July 28th and we have already made so much progress. Yesterday was a long day of traveling (71 miles to be exact!) and we look forward to a day of sailing and trawling ahead. Wednesday was spent getting introduced to the lady Maryland and on a whale watch out in Gloucester where we encountered 6 humpback whales and 2 minkes! The humpback whales were Nile, Firefly, Firefly's 2017 calf, Jabiru, Pele, and Erruption. Yesterday, we learned how do boat checks, man the sails, raise an anchor, tie some knots, navigate the boat, and so much more! Can't wait to see what the days ahead bring!
What a wonderful way surprise on our way through the Cape Cod canal, a beautiful double rainbow!

Starboard watch crew learning about whales.
Getting some experience at the helm.
Remember not to call a "chart" a map" CTY!
The Lady Maryland looking gorgeous from our whale watch boat.
Look at that beautiful whale tale! 
All smiles in our matching rain gear!
We love whale watching!
All aboard the Lady Maryland! 
What a gorgeous day for a whale watch!
Port watch learning the ins and outs of navigation. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pastoral delights

Whale, whale, whale-over halfway through, and smiles as endless as the sea. Our end point in Gloucester, Massachusetts inches closer with each passing day, but the days are long. We spend every moment either sailing, eating or learning about whales and estuaries.

It's hard to believe we've been aboard the Lady Maryland for five days, but only because each day is so action packed. On Wednesday, or as we call it on board hump(back) day, we left Prudence Island to sail across Buzzards Bay and into Cuttyhunk. That distance was great, and much of the day was spent gaining a better understanding of all the ins and outs of sailing. Before nigh fell, we found ourselves in a remote cove on a border island along the Massachusetts coast. The wind was low, the stars were bright and the sounds of crashing waves carried across the bay throughout the night. By morning, we were enveloped in a fog, but used our nautical prowess to successfully navigate back to the sea. That is when we sailed to New Bedford. 

The distance was not as great to New Bedford, so we spent the better part of the day trailing a net behind the boat to collect specimens for science. We caught a whole array of crabs, color changing squid, small fish and zooplankton. These animals, though small, play an integral part of the ocean's food web. No whales yet, but we're getting there.

Yesterday, nestled in a forgotten town on the southern side of Massachusetts, we explored the New Bedford Whaling museum. Not only did we see the cleaned carcasses of littered whales past, but we also learned how over fishing can decimate an entire ocean's worth of whales. The gift shop was top-notch, though. New Bedford now exists as only a shadow of its former self, but it's fishing fleets still gamble for prosperity in the North Atlantic. It was docked along side these colossal fishing ships that we spent the night before an early trip to Woods Hole. Woods Hole hedged its bets in something more profitable-real estate and science. Serving as the gateway to Martha's Vineyard, the bay is teeming with ferries headed to Martha's Vineyard across the way. Woods Hole is also home to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and aquarium-photos attached! Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is pushing the boundaries of possibility and is credited for developing the technology that enabled the discovery of deep sea hydrothermic vents, the Titanic and mapped a fourth of the ocean floor (the rest is still yet to be mapped). 

Lastly, we spent the afternoon at a local beach, playing in the surf and looking for any errant Kennedys. Some of us were particularly keen at emulating whale and dolphin behavior. A few students in particular made particularity convincing beached whales. Before bed, captain treated us to some ice cream from a locally sourced creamery, and as I write we are brushing our teeth preparing for sleep. 

Adam out. 

On top of the Whaling Museum
The fishing boats we docked alongside. 
The Neil Armstrong, a research vessel out of Woods Hole
Alive and thriving!
The Lady Maryland and the sunset. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ecstatic for estuary education!

The morning met us with a soft dew, cramped legs and the gentle din of a rumbling engine. Living on a boat necessitates us to keep odd hours, but with perservance and resilience we push through each night watch. By midday we found ourselves ashore on the former Naval ammunitions base, Prudence Island, scouring the seascape for aquatic stuff. An impressive number of invasive species blanket the landscape-please call your senators. We also found giant horseshoe crabs, sea robins, naked gobys and oodles of soft shell crabs. A good time was had by all before we made our way back to the Lady Maryland via dingy. Anchors up, we set sail with hope in hearts and wind in our sails. We now find ourselves en route to Massachussetts via  Buzzards Bay, with a soft sunset scattering iridescent beams of light all around us. It's nothing short of breath taking, if not a little over-whaleming.

A scallop! The blue dots are its eyes
The Lady Maryland sits serenely as the students explore the ecological wonderland off of Prudence Island. 

Another photo of the scallop. 
A sand lance-aka a whale's favorite snack. 

Lastly, a Jonah crab in the hand of a student. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sailing Swimmingly!

Hello from a beautiful morning dock watch in Massachussetts! As you may have notice, our blog from days three and four just posted this morning due to a little malfunction on Blogger. To make up for the delay we're posting another blog this morning with photos of the fifth and sixth day. Your students sailed (and even swam!) successfully for the past couple days, and have done everything from visiting a whaling museum to trawling for crabs. Oh, and (finally, they would want me to say) eating some delicious ice cream. Here are some photos that recap the trip better than I can, and keep a lookout for another post Wednesday night! 
Swimming in Clarks Cove!

Below deck learning about maritime law

Sorting through our catch for crabs 

We're all a little hesitant to get our hands into some seaweed...

Maia and Demetri dove right into the mess. 

Allison and Michael too!