Friday, July 30, 2010

Boston Harbor Orientation Experience

Hi Everyone,

My experience on the boston harbor ferry was terrific. In my life I have never even gone on the sea so far out and for such a long time. I just loved the entire trip right from the beginning when I was super excited in the Marriot's starbucks all the way till the end when we saw the marked 275 year old former shoreline in front of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

When we were standing at port in order to board the ferry, I noticed that the water was somewhere around 5-6 feet deep indicating the rising tide level. It seems that the tide was going towards it highest level of the day as seen in the past year tide charts on Also, the water was pretty clear as I could see some algae growing in the bottom of the water. I would say the the clarity was of about 3 feet at the harbor. Professor Bruce had mentioned that there have been continuous hard efforts that have been made over the last 24-25 years to make the Boston Harbor one the cleanest harbors in the world and I was completely convinced by his statement (or maybe theory) when I looked at the clarity of the water which suggested it was very clean even at the shores.

As the ferry took off, I looked backed towards the port and the city looked beautiful with sun falling on the buildings. It was perfect weather to be out in the sea where there were strong cool winds that blew through my hair and face making my eyes watery as well as blurring my vision at times too. As we cruised from the Hingham Bay towards the Hull Island, a friendly old man graciously pointed out the castle island and fort independence to me where I had actually been before once with my family. It was amazing to look at it from the middle of the bay. We crossed the Logan airport on our left where I saw a number of flights landing and at a very close distance from us. That fascinated me as from my childhood I have always liked looking at planes and going to airports.

We crossed the Hull Island and many others where we saw a lot of people enjoying the rocky and the sandy beaches. I saw a man fishing which is very popular around the bay as due the enormous number of big and small fishes brought around by the tides and the currents. As we were approaching the Deer Island, I saw the Boston Lighthouse in the distance which warns people of the huge dangerous rocks scattered around the bay due to the breaking of glaciers as a result of plate tectonics. Moments later, the kind old man pointed out the Deer Island to me and described the prison on the island where some of the movies were shot as well. He even told me that the prison was termed the "dungeon" as it is believed some of the prisoners wake up from the dead in the basement of the prison at nights which was pretty fascinating.

As we passed the Deer Island, we entered the Quincy Bay where we passed under the Charlestown Bridge and docked at the Quincy Harbor. We saw a natural gas plant and also a pellet plant which was probably established as a result of the law prohibiting the dumping of waste into the harbor. Surprisingly, there was no foul odor anywhere close to the waste processing pellet plant as any one would expect. Also, we were informed that some tests show that these plants have no significant impact on the bay.

After we docked at the Quincy port for about 10 minutes, we headed back on our was to Boston via the Logan Airport. Some of us played the role of the various different parts of a sewage treatment plant in order to understand the mechanism of sewage water treatment and it turned out to be a memorable learning experience. On our way, we encountered a big wave which probably came about due to the high wind currents exerting pressure on the water. After that short lived roller coaster ride, we docked at the Logan airport for about 5 minutes and proceeded on our way back to the city absorbing all we had learnt. Finally, we reached Boston, and even though a little tired, we proceeded to see the former Boston harbor coastline crossing the Quincy Market area, as we concluded the day.

Overall, I had a lot of fun and my experience on the boat was completely exotic. I wonder what all we have remaining in the following days with Prof. Bruce. I am ready for an adventure packed weekend. See you all tomorrow.

Akshat Jain

Picture 1: Boston City

Picture 2: Logan Airport

Picture 3: Quincy & Pellet Plant

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