Saturday, August 1, 2009

Islands tour and docks observation

Hello, my name is Rene Norris. Today was a great day weatherwise and we accomplished a lot on the observation front. The day began with a little history on the Laurentide Ice Sheet and the previous problems the Boston Harbor had with human waste contamination. We then hopped on to a boat that took us on a tour of the Boston Harbor. While we were leaving the dock and entering the open sea professor Berman explained why the difference in color of the harbor water and the ocean water. The harbor water is darker because of the rocks and vegetation in the bottom. The vegetation also stains the water causing an obscure effect. Meanwhile in the bottom of the ocean we find light minerals like sand and fine gravel. The breeze was nice and there was a delicious feeling when the boat would bounce on the waves. During our tour of the Boston Harbor we passed by all the Islands or at least by the most important ones.
After lunch we turned our attention to the tidal pool. The tide had dropped dramatically and the sea weed that danced so lively when the tide was higher seemed to had lost its life when the water receded.
We then moved to the floating dock where we managed to get a bit closer to all the submerged living creatures hanging from the man made structures. There were snails, algea, flower like animals, and even a star fish hanging from one of the poles. However, our stay was interupted by "security personnel".
On our way to our last observation site, we briefly stoped by the four point channel where we discussed the type of water that goes through the channel called "brakish water" (a combination of salt water and fresh water). We also touched on the types of bridges.
Finally, we arrived at the "Barking Crab". Here we broke up into groups, I worked with Han and Sean. We started by just grabing and picking a mixture of species. One of the things that cought my attention was that when we placed this spongy, hair like plant on the dock multiple creatures crawled out, even a crab. There were shells and clams living on the walls of the docks along with sticky, gouy like animals. I could not see eyes nor a mouth on them but I am convinced that even the specimens that were not moving had life because of their reaction to being out of their habitat; the water. When we moved to the side of the dock that is accessible to the sun, there were a few differences to the living creatures that were always or most of the times shadowed by man made structures. That is the presence of green sea weed and brown sea weed.
In regards to the picture from last summer of the conglomerate of species, the major differece I notice is that there seemed to be more species clamped up as to what we saw today. Secondly, although I saw a lot of colors today (orange, dark green, black, brown, etc), the colors in the picture of last summer seem more vibrant and the array of colors was deeper.

Rene Norris (

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