Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ernestina Logbook Page

Date: Thursday, August 24, 2000
Time: 1500 EDT

Sea Connections Summer Institute for Teachers continues today. This is the final day underway.

In the first chart image you can see the entire run for the four days of the institute. Day 1 took us out to Great Round Shoal off Nantucket, Day 2 outside the Cape to Stellwagen Bank and then into Provincetown, Day 3 across Cape Cod Bay to Scorton Harbor and the final Day 4 through Cape Cod Canal, down into Buzzards Bay and home to New Bedford again. It was a circum-navigation of the Cape!

We spent the first part of the morning this day anchored off Scorton Harbor near Sandwich for a thorough cleaning of the ship, climbs aloft into the rigging, water sampling, and fishing. We also put over eel pots, crab traps and made other observations.

By 1000 we we underway to make the Cape Cod Canal for the last of the fair current toward the SW. You can see the rigging of Ernestina's topmast just clearing the Bourne Bridge (there is actually 20 feet or more). That's Julia Hankin up there checking the clearance just to be sure....

Once through the canal, we put a neuston tow over. A neuston tow samples the surface layer of the ocean for the floating biota as well as flotsam and jetsam like plastic and tar balls. (ocean pollutants) We sampled this time off Sippican Harbor. This is the area of Bird Island where a project is underway to restore the habitat and population of Roseate Terns. The tow was rich with spider crab larvae and even a pipe fish. It is interesting to find such different species one side of the canal compared to the other. The water is significantly warmer in Buzzards Bay with warm water spinoffs (warm eddies) from the Gulf Stream being a significant factor in understanding the ecosystem.

Next we put an otter trawl over from the schooner and towarded on a port tack up into Nasketucket Bay. (By the way, we have a scientific collection permit and through our catch back after recording it.) The catch was absolutely incredible with yellow sponges, squid, flounder, Black Sea Bass, a multitude of crabs and a Mantis Shrimp coming up. The Mantis Shrimp has front legs that look and function in a similar way to those of the insect, the Praying Mantis. Watch out though, they can give you a mean cut and you need to be careful how you handle them!

We came to the dock at 1515 and had a final round of certificates handed out to the teachers with closing remarks. Great trip with an enthusiastic group of teachers!

Wind: SW Force 3/4
Visibility: Good

Captain: Gregg Swanzey
Program Coordinators: Crista Mellican
Program Director: Alan Lee Hankin, Ph.D.

We would like to thank Lotus and IBM for donation of software, hardware and funding to enable regular electronic updates from the ship.

NOAA Chart is provided courtesy of Maptech using Cruising Navigator 4.3 and grabbing the image using Grabit Pro 6.02.

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Copyright 1997-2000
Schooner Ernestina
New Bedford State Pier, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719

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