Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Island Hoping Adventure

It was 8:50a when we departed our meeting place of the Marriott Long Wharf Boston.  The tide was high and receding.  During our trip out to Peddock's Island we were able to witness recreational boats zipping here and there along the harbor.  We were also privy to see a lobster boat pulling up traps from the harbor which according to the professor is a $30 million industry in MA.  As we continued along our journey we witnessed a collection of sea gulls diving towards the water feeding on fish that have been forced to the top by larger fish.  The larger fish could be blue fish which shred their food or possible striped bass.  During our trip out we also got to see a fantastic look of the old hospital located on Long Island and a closer look at the purifying plant on Deer Island.  Once we made it to George's Island we immediately got onto a smaller water taxi to Peddock's island.  The route to Peddock's Island brings us through Hull's Gut which is one of the more tricky water ways in the harbor especially if the tide and wind are not blowing in the same manner.

Peddock's Island was initially used primarily for agriculture in the 17th century and became home to Fort Andrew's and was used for military purposes through Wold War II.  Now the island is virtually deserted except for a few summer residences located on the island.  These residences were once owned by families, but now the state owns the land that the houses sit on and upon the passing of the current "owner" of the house it becomes the property of the state.  The island is made up of several different types of habitats.  One is a deciduous forest habitat that houses many of the abandoned federal buildings which then leads down to the beach area.  The beach area is a crescent beach that starts with finer particles to the west and progresses to a pebble beach and then a cobble stone beach.  A theory was raised that this progression in particle size could be because of the shape of the beach and the angle at which the waves hit the beach effects the strength and ability to move the various particle sizes.  The pebble beach was lacking in living creatures, but in the cobblestone section of the beach we were able to see a large amount of amphipods, green crabs and periwinkles.  Unfortunately because of the lack of rain our opportunity to look at a salt marsh was limited as was the same with the mud flats. 

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