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Old Rochester Regional High School
May 9, 2003

 
A group of twenty-four students from Lynn Connorís environmental studies class at Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett launched the Ernestina into the sailing season with the first program sail of 2003.

The class was participating in the Watershed to Bay S.E.E.A.L. program, comparing freshwater, estuary, saltwater marsh and marine environments and studying the impact humans have on these watershed ecosystems.

Skies were overcast and winds were light in morning when we raised all four sails in New Bedford Harbor before heading out through the hurricane barrier in the wake of an oil barge (green track).  Despite being chilly, the students worked hard testing water chemistry and quality, taking a close look at plankton, orienting themselves to the bay, learning about the history of the Ernestina and operating the ship.

After lunch, we dropped the otter trawl and got everyone to help in hauling it back in.  Despite anticipating flounder, crabs, lobster, molluscs and other interesting benthic marine animals, everyone took a close look at the variety of seaweed and small invertebrates that we pulled up in the net instead.

The day finished with the sun coming out, striking the sails and safely docking back at the State Pier.  Thanks for a great sail!

In the evening the first group of members set sail out around Clarks Point and back (blue track). There are many more sailing opportunities coming for members throughout the year.

 

Program Coordinator: Kristen Sharpless
Captain: Amanda Madeira

Lynn Connor and staffer Polly Zajac's daughter, Cara back at the helm. 

Students in Lynn's class pose as the ship passes through New Bedford Harbor's Hurricane Barrier outboaund.

The microscopes open up another micro-world of the sea, 

Kristen Sharpless and crew ready the water sampling bottle. It can be sent to a down, triggered and brought back to the surface to examine water at various depths.

Plankton samples are observed, species are keyed out and an estimate of biomass can be determined. 

A refractometer is used to  measure salinity. The more salty the water, the more light is refracted or 'bent.'

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 1997-2003
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719
www.ernestina.org

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