Tag Archives: New England Aquarium

A Wealth of Resources for Sure!

For the last few summers I have come out of summer retirement to run a two-week summer session at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School.  The camp is focused on both Marine Science and Maritime History and the goal is to get the kids out on the water/waterfront as much as possible.  I am fortunate that my boys have that opportunity often and that they are naturally drawn to the ocean and all it has to offer.  That having been said, I know that isn’t true for all children who are growing up in this area.  Most importantly, I wanted to help educate these children on the history of the fishing industry and how important the ocean is to the community’s livelihood and to the creatures that call it home!

This year’s camp was a large success thanks to many local businesses.  I’m happy to be able to fire off a quick post to thank some of those places/individuals.

While one day took us into Boston to explore the New England Aquarium and watch a Journey to the South Pacific IMAX movie, all other days were spent outside experiencing the waterfront hands-on.

Our students spent a couple of days aboard the Sea Station vessel, Endeavour, in Salem Harbor.  This unreal floating classroom afforded us the opportunity to haul lobster traps, observe ocean life in its giant glass holding tank, sink the underwater camera to observe the ocean floor and eel grass beds + observe our discoveries on the giant flatscreen TV, and preform beach landings on Misery Island to go hiking, swimming, and tidal pooling. If you haven’t explored Misery Island, you’re missing out!

Sea Station

We had a fantastic day at the Nahant Marine Science Center where the children were given the opportunity to become scientists while recording their tide pool findings and the properties of the water in small groups.  They also had a wonderful tour of the facilities and the gorgeous property that the science center calls home. The Northeastern graduates/students that took care of our group were fabulous!

Nahant Marine Science Center

One day was spent onboard Cape Ann Whale Watch’s vessel, the Hurricane.  We saw several humpback whales and enjoyed a fantastic trip.  The naturalists, as always, added a wonderful educational component with small group lessons throughout the trip in addition to the narration while observing the whales.

Cape Ann Whale Watch

We greatly enjoyed a morning at Maritime Gloucester and were incredibly pleased with the workshops that Mary Kay had planned for our students…who ranged in age from 1st grade to 8th!  Maritime Gloucester was, as always, a must-do on our excursion list!

Maritime Gloucester

We enjoyed a visit from a wonderful artist named Kathy Abbott, who helped the children learn about caring for our beaches, waterfronts, and oceans while adding the element of art.  Learning about the Angry Ocean Project inspired many of our students to go home and create masterpieces of their own with debris the discovered on local beaches.

Angry Ocean Project

We headed North to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH where we did a self-guided tour of the exhibits, participated in a 60 minute Whale presentation (the highlight of which was definitely seeing the entire skeleton system of the Fin Whale that washed ashore on Cape Hedge Beach several years ago) and then explored the rocky shore of Ordione State Park with a naturalist who helped the children learn about all of the amazing things they found in the tide pools.  Stunning scenery!

Seacoast Science Center

Captain Steve Douglas, from Cape Ann Harbor Tours, agreed to a custom designed trip on his King Eider.  I really wanted the students to see the waterfront from the water.  I asked Steve to point out the many different types of vessels that call Gloucester Harbor home and to explain the different type of fishing gear that we saw along the way.  I wanted the children to get a feel for the history and the diversity of the fleet.  They also learned about the Cut Bridge and Annisquam River, Cape Pond Ice, the schooners, the state fish pier, the auction house, Capt. Joe and Sons (of course), Ten Pound Island, and so, so much more.

Cape Ann Harbor Tours

And a day that exceeded all expectations was the day that we visited the NOAA offices up at Blackburn Circle.  I was floored with the presentation and hands-on activities that had been prepared for our visit and the number of staff that was able to make themselves available to work with our students.  With several different learning stations, knowledgable staff, a large inflatable whale, an amazing interactive game that helped the children learn about sustainability, and much more, hey truly went above and beyond to help educate our students.  Their efforts were a perfect match for what I was hoping to achieve throughout the summer session.  I can’t thank them enough!

NOAA Gloucester

This summer session served as yet another reminder of the wealth of resources that we have in our area.  How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such a wide array of fun and educational resources.  I am well aware, that a longer camp session could have visited so many other amazing destinations and that the places I have included are certainly not the only amazing choices that we have.  There’s always next year :)

 

Washed up Finback Whale Being Disassembled!

The finback whale that has traveled the currents of the Boston and the North Shore to rest, post-Superstorm Sandy, on Cape Hedge beach, was taken apart by a team of hearty souls armed with butcher knives and a whetstone this morning. It looked like bloody hard work, hacking away gigantic pieces of flesh and whale muscle from gigantic bones. Like butchering a school bus.  Most of the people wielding the knives looked suitably attired with commercial rain gear covering all the parts that mattered, but a few looked like they had drifted over from the North Shore Mall with only sweatpants — sweatpants! — standing between their own flesh and that of the whale. Thousands of pounds of rotting whale flesh. I’m just guessing that those sweatpants, having absorbed dead whale moisture, are going straight into the trash can just off the beach, as it would be better to ride home naked than wearing sweatpants saturated with the smell of long-dead marine life.

The smell was epic when you were downwind, and on the car ride on the way home the air began to fill with an aroma suspiciously similar to that of our dead friend. It turns out that my 3-year-old managed to step in an infinitestimal string of whale flesh residue. His little shoes will probably be a casualty of the day along with the whale team members’ sweatpants.

It was an amazing sight and hats off to the team from Mass Wildlife and the New England Aquarium and the guy at the Rockport DPW who handled the backhoe with the delicacy of a surgeon. It was a rare privilege to see, here in New England and in this high-tech age, people on the beach breaking down a whale by hand, just like our ancestors. But in this case the whale died of natural causes and even better, he will live on in perpetuity, recreated piece by piece for display in a museum. Experiences like this remind me that living here on Cape Ann is a rare sort of gift.

The spinal cord

Whale butchering as a Family Field Trip! The 6-year-old is grossed out. The 3-year-old seems confused. The baby (not shown) just seems bored.

Jawbones of the whale: the first pieces of the skeleton loaded into the trailer.

Aquarium Seeks Marine Animal Response Volunteers for North Shore and N.H.

Photo Credit – New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is searching for volunteers for its marine animal response team on the North Shore and in N.H.  Volunteers monitor mostly live seals resting in prominent public locations but also some harbor porpoises that are swimming near shore. Volunteers also respond to dead wash-ups of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seals.

Given the distance from Boston, the Aquarium relies on this network of trained local volunteers to be first responders. Volunteers act as the “eyes and ears” on the beach so that the Aquarium’s rescue biologists and veterinarians can make decisions on the best course of action.  A typical response includes traveling to the stranding site and identifying the species and location of any stranded animals. Volunteers then conduct health assessments of live animals to determine if they are injured, sick or in good health.  With dead animals, they take measurements and determine the animal’s gender.  Volunteers then take and transmit photos and information about stranded animals to the Aquarium as soon as possible. Volunteers also establish and maintain perimeters around stranding sites and answer questions from the public.

Field stranding response volunteers need to be year round residents, have access to a car and have a flexible schedule so as to respond on an on call basis. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and fit enough to walk on uneven ground and lift moderate weight. Working with stranded or dead animals can be stressful. Volunteers need to be able to remain calm under pressure and report objectively. At strandings, there are often a wide range of audiences including curious and emotional bystanders, media representatives, law enforcement officers and local officials. Effective communications skills are essential. Previous animal handling experience is helpful and given preference.

Due to the inherent risk in working with wild animals, which can carry diseases and bacteria, this position is not recommended for applicants who are immuno-compromised or pregnant.

The deadline for applications is May 13. To apply on-line, please visit the aquarium’s website at:    http://www.neaq.org/get_involved/volunteering_and_internships/volunteering/volunteer_application.php

For those without web access, please call the Aquarium’s volunteer office at 617-973-5235

 After completing applications, Aquarium staff will interview prospective volunteers.  New volunteers will need to be available for a full day of training on Sunday, June 3 in Gloucester.

Scuba Divers- Northeast Great Annual Fish Count (GAFC) 7/24/2010 at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester

 

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From New England Lobsta Divahs messageboard member macado

There will be food and raffle prizes. You dont need to be a member of the New England Aquarium Dive Club to participate but in order to submit a survey and take part in the raffles and prizes you need a REEF ID before the event.
There are about $7000 worth of prizes to giveaway, including a trip to Bonaire.
More information available at Great Annual Fish Count

GAFC Info

Participants need to have a REEF Member # prior to the day of the event. A REEF member # is required in order to do a survey and then hand it in to get a raffle ticket.
The process is painless:
•Becoming a REEF member — Click here to Join Reef and follow the directions on the site.
•Already a member, but forgot your REEF member number? Click here to lookup your Member number. If the email lookup is not working, email data@reef.org and they can look up the number.
Most dives begin at 7-8 am and the Volunteer Coordinator at that site sets time.
After the dives, participants fill out their surveys, and meet at Stage Fort Park. The survey papers are handed in and participants get 1 raffle ticket. (1 raffle ticket / diver no matter how many surveys are handed in).The diver can choose what grand prize they wish to go for, only 1 prize per diver can be won.
There will be food and drinks for sale, as well as a touch-tank and many other activities.
The surveys must be handed in by 1:30 pm, and the Raffle is drawn at 2 pm. The Grand prizes are pulled 1st followed by general raffle prizes drawn in order of descending value. When you turn in your REEF survey this year at Stage Fort Park for the GAFC event you will also get a little gift from the NEADC.

What to do this weekend-

From knitting to Dr. Seuss

Around Cape Ann
Gail McCarthy

Knitting is again gaining popularity as a growing number of residents are getting together to share their projects. To that end, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library will present a program Monday at 6 p.m. in the Friend Room titled “Know Your Knitting (K)Neighbor — The Ecological Knitter.”

This will be an evening of talk and demonstrations on ways to reclaim, recycle, reuse wool, cotton, cashmere, silk yarns and fabrics. The public is invited to bring their own projects or just come and chat. At the last knitting event, a woman shared with the group how she would buying hand-knit sweaters in thrift stores, unraveling them to reuse the yarn. This sparked a discussion about reusing fiber, both yarn and fabric.

Rose Ann Hunter, an Old Sturbridge Village Craftsman, will bring examples of projects she makes from fabric recycled from garments and thrift stores. Kathleen Valentine, author of “The Mermaid Shawl & Other Beauties: Shawls, Cocoons & Wraps,” will bring two of the shawls featured in the book, made from reclaimed silk.

Call Leslie Wind for more information at 978-546-6539, or e-mail inquiry@parlezmoipress.com.

Wine tasting and music

The Rotary Club of Rockport is holding a wine tasting at Rockport Golf Club this Saturday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Requested donation is $30; tickets are available at the door or at the club’s Web site at http://www.rockportrotary.org. The evening of wine sampling includes hors d’oeuvres provided by Classic Cooks and live jazz and blues music by Alek Razdan and the A-Train. There will be a silent auction. There will be more than 100 wines to sample, including those from California, Washington state, France, South America, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal.

‘Suessical’ in Gloucester

“Seussical,” a musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss that made a Broadway debut in 2000, will performed by the Department of Performing Arts of Landmark High School, opening tonight at 7:30. Shows also are tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. Show are at Fuller Auditorium in Gloucester. This popular show is for all ages and will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Tickets are available at the door for $5, general seating, and $15 for special VIP seating.

Pete Lindberg CD release

Tomorrow, The Dog Bar will host Pete Lindberg’s first CD release party. Lindberg spent the last few months recording his first solo CD with Bradley Royds at his Cape Ann studios. Royds described Lindberg as “a gifted storyteller with prolific talent — a true bard.” He is part of a growing musical family, which includes his father Mike Lindberg, who plays with the Irish/Celtic group O Brien’s Boru. The new CD features his songs, accompanied simply by guitar and harmonica. The show begins at 9 p.m. The Dog Bar is located at 65 Main St. in Gloucester. There is no cover. For information, visit http://www.myspace.com/plindberg or http://www.dogbarcapeann.com.

Gloucester Maritime celebration

The Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center is host a three-day celebration, today through Saturday, to celebrate the opening of its new Gorton’s Seafoods Gallery and the start of the 2009 season. All events take place at the center, located at 23 Harbor Loop in Gloucester.

Bud Ris, president and CEO of the New England Aquarium, will present a free slide lecture, “The New England Aquarium Today and Tomorrow” at 7 tonight.

Erik Ronnberg, renowned New England ship-model maker, will present a free slide lecture, “New England’s Earliest Otter Trawlers,” includes slides of the Surf he built for marine artist Tom Hoyne, tomorrow at 7 p.m.

The center will host a “Demonstration Day” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Events include an Historic Postcards slide show, seafood cooking demonstrations, live music by Not That Blonde, storytelling by Fred Dodge, and presentations on whale tagging, shipwrecks and sustainable fisheries. Ongoing demonstrations include net stripping, sail making, dory building, and ship model construction. Visitors can explore a simulated shipwreck with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary maritime archaeologists and observe a boat being hauled out of the water on the center’s 19th century marine railway. Children’s activities include fish printing, compass making and knot tying. Sea Pocket Lab, the center’s outdoor aquarium with touch tanks, will be open.

Visitors can also explore the first exhibit, which focuses on the shoreside industries that supported the local fishing fleet at the dawn of the 20th century. Displays feature ship models, and artifacts ranging from oilskins to foghorns to sailmaker’s tools. Chart your course to the Grand Banks. Experiment with the interactive marine railway model. Watch vintage film footage of fishing schooners. For more information, call 978-281-0470.

Cape Ann Community Cinema

Joaquin Phoenix plays an emotionally unstable man who must choose between Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw in the film “Two Lovers,” showing at Cape Ann Community Cinema through Sunday at 7:15 p.m., with a bonus show tomorrow at 5 p.m.

There will be two benefit screenings of “The Breast Cancer Diaries” on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, Ann Murray Paige sets up a video diary camera in her bedroom. The result is an unvarnished first-person account of her nine-month battle, punctuated with humor, poignancy and romance. Part of the proceeds benefit breast cancer awareness and The Breast Cancer Diaries Foundation. Tickets for this special event are $10 each.

Opera on the Island features “Benvenuto Cellini” on Saturday at 1 p.m. with this French opera written by Hector Berlioz in the 1830s. It is described as complex, richly detailed and prolifically imaginative, and which Berlioz’s contemporaries often considered unplayable. This production came from the 2007 Salzburg Festival, with a cast accompanied by the Vienna Philharmonic and its chorus. Tickets $12.50 all seats.

A free show takes place Saturday at 9:30 p.m. with “Sita Sings The Blues,” a film about a goddess separated from her beloved husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by e-mail. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this animated interpretation of the Indian epic “Ramayana.”

The films are shown at Gloucester Stage Co. at 267 East Main St. in Gloucester. For tickets and show times, visit http://www.capeanncinema.com.

Salute to Spring

Chorus North Shore sponsors the Honors Youth Choir’s concert “Salute to Spring” this Saturday at 7 p.m. at First Parish Unitarian Church, 225 Cabot St., Beverly, in a concert dedicated to spring. Twelve Cape Ann youth are members of choir, comprised of 33 students representing 20 North Shore schools. Those students are Katherine Boucher, Emily Daily, Matt Favaloro, Katherine Maddox, Sophie Palmer and Katrina Tuck, all from Rockport; Christine Anderson, Lara Carney, Carly Curcuru, Olivia Francis and Elisa Smith, from Gloucester; and Nancy MacMillan of Manchester. The event is described as a choral choreography including narration, choral gesturing, duets, solos and more. Under the direction of conductor Sonja Dahlgren Pryor and accompanied by Robert Littlefield, the program includes music from early Baroque to the present day. The program is designed for a wide audience including families. Tickets at the door are $10, children under 12 are free.

Gentle yoga

ACI-Cape Ann’s Dr. Pat O’Brien has created a beginner’s gentle yoga class that meets every Saturday at 9:15 a.m. at the Vajramudra Center, 154 Granite St. in Rockport. She designed the class to provide an understanding of how yoga works and how it helps work out aches and pains. The classes are open to all, suggested donation is $10. For more information, contact O’Brien at yogaclinic@hotmail.com or visit http://www.aci-capeann.org.

Local music and Mother’s Day events

The Seaward Inn will host a Mother’s Day jazz brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., kicking off the Sunday Morning Live Series. Performing will be Al Boudreau on vocals and drums, Barbara Boudreau on vocals and Jack Senier on the piano. Reservations encouraged, no cover. The inn is located on the coast at 44 Marmion Way in Rockport. For information, visit http://www.seawardinn.com.

The Linda Amero Trio featuring Steve Heck on piano and Bronek Suchanek on bass will play a Mother’s Day Lunch on Sunday at Captain Carlo‘s from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. For reservations, call 978-283-6342. On May 15, the jazz vocalist will perform at the Franklin Cafe “Supper Club” at 118 Main St. in Gloucester from 7 to 10 p.m.

To kick off the sailing season, the schooner Thomas E. Lannon is offering free sails to mothers on Sunday, when it sails from 1 to 3 p.m. from Seven Seas Wharf at the Gloucester House restaurant in Gloucester. Reservations suggested. For more information, go to http://www.schooner.org or call 978-281-6634.

Museum announces guided tours

The Cape Ann Museum will provide weekly guided tours led by docents trained in teaching the public about the museum’s art and history collections. Eleven docents recently completed a five-month training program in preparation for leading public tours this spring. Starting this month, the docents will lead tours of the Highlights of the Collection, the Captain Elias Davis House, and the Fitz Henry Lane Collection. Tours are free with the price of admission. Tours for May are as follows:

Highlights of the Collection: Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.; Captain Elias Davis House on May 16, May 30 at 2 p.m. and the Fitz Henry Lane Collection on Saturday and May 23 at 2 p.m. Visit http://www.capeannmuseum.org for further details. The museum also provides tours to private groups through advance reservation. For more information to book a private tour, contact Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455, ext. 11.

Spring jazz concert

Jazz in Rockport presents “Swing into Spring” with Kendra Shank and Quartet. She performs as part of the Jazz in Rockport concert series, introducing her new CD release “Mosaic” on May 16 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Art Association. The jazz vocalist was described by The New York Times as an artist with “effervescence, depth” and “integrity.” There is a discount for those also attending Rockport Art Association’s Arts and Flowers event on May 15. For information, call 978-546-6604 or Brickhouse Productions at 978-546-8474. Tickets on sale at Rockport Art Association, Toad Hall Bookstore and The Book Store of Gloucester.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000, ext. 3445 or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com, or fax to 978-281-5748.

Anemone At The New England Aquarium

I needed about 3 hours more to get the pictures I wanted to at The Aquarium.  This is one of those times where you have to balance family time with trying to get the right shot as the girls were going nuts.  The Bean excitedly screaming that each exhibit was her new favorite and Snoop Maddie Mad flying up and down the ramps with wreckless abandon.  I managed one or two decent snaps out of dozens though. 

This one is kinda pretty.

Anemone At The New England Aquarium, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

 

Monkfish At The New England Aquarium

Before The Gloucester Seafood Display Auction came along and we were handling fish we would handle tons of monkfish.  The boats would sometimes sell them whole and sometimes cut the tails.  When cutting off the heads they lose over half the weight of the fish but the price would go up a ton.  Some people say that monkfish tastes like lobster.  I think that’s a bunch of bull but hey they gotta sell this ugly sucker somehow.  they have it listed as goosefish on the tag at the aquarium but as long as I’ve been in the fish business I’ve never hearda single person in the industry ever refer to it as a goosefish, even the government reports we had to fill out listed them as monkfish.  Here’s the wikipedia page for monkfish

 

Horny Penguins

Here our horny penguin begins his courting by pinning down his mate for some one on one back door penguin action at The New England Aquarium.  What are they feeding these things, a potent concoction of crushed up Viagra, Cialis and Levitra tabs mixed with herring?

Yeah Baby!

Horny Penguins, originally uploaded by captjoe06.