Official Vessel of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Ernestina Logbook Page

Date: Friday, October 4, 2002
Emerson College
Day 1 of 3

Here we are at anchor in Gloucester harbor. We arrived after just 3.5 hours underway with a fair easterly then southeasterly breeze and all four lowers set. The only hair in the ointment was the 6' swells coming out of the NE making for a confused and lumpy sea. Green seas washed the boots of the bow watch (moved slightly aft) plenty of times, and several fell victim to the mal de mer (confused and lumpy tummies) in conditions that could have led even more seasoned sailors to the rail. We held a starboard tack all the way but needed the motor to help us weather Halfway Rock and Newcomb Ledge off of Salem. After that we shut down, fell off the wind (and seas) and charged in past Norman's Woe into Gloucester Harbor doing over 8 knots--a sight that would’ve made the old Gloucestermen proud.

The students seem riveted by this opportunity out on the water. They’ve held up enthusiastically through detailed shipboard orientations, setting sails, and picking through sea creatures trawled up from Gloucester Harbor. Alan Hankin, famed environmental educator now professor at Emerson College, provided a characteristically high-quality and irreverent dissertation on the workings of the Deer Island water treatment facility as we charged past. Alan explained, in terms a college student could appreciate, the multi-stage processes that convert greater Boston’s 250 million gallons of effluent daily to fresh, if nitrogen-rich, water for discharge into Massachusetts Bay. Engineer Steve Swift responded in kind to inquiries about the ship’s own wastewater management processes.

Once outside the channel, lunch, and the relative merits of eating such yummy food in such lumpy seas, kept our minds occupied until it was time for introductions to line handling and safe practices on deck. By the time we cleared Dog Bar Breakwater around 1430, it was time to strike sail and set the trawl net. Gloucester Harbor proved its fecundity once again. Skates—tons! Male and Female Winter Skates, primarily. Lobsters—one with a bluish shell! Dozens of Flounders—including one 7" not-often-seen Windowpane Flounder. A few small Scup. Piles of Sanddollars. Rock Crabs. Jonah Crabs. A few bits of Sea Lettuce. Kelp, and Perforated Kelp. A few Sea Stars. Several small Sea Robins, and a couple lookalike small fishes. Hermit crabs. And more.

Professor Hankin is setting his full agenda in motion, with water quality monitoring devices [to assess pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity, turbidity, and other measurements], minnow traps, plankton nets, and more at the ready on deck for students’ explorations. As the smells of dinner waft tantalizingly up from Laurie’s galley, the students are fishing – in a variety of ways – to learn the many secret underwater lives of Gloucester’s eastern harbor.

Given the intermittent rains, after dinner we’ll hunker cozily in the fishhold for tales of the old days, told in music and story from the musty attics of crewmembers’ memories.

Captain: Sophie Morse
Program Coordinator: MaryHelen Gunn

Day’s run: 25.3nm

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 1997-2002
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719

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