Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 4 - Island Adventures

        On day 4 of our exciting class we had the opportunity to board The Belle in order to go Bass fishing and to explore Lovells Island. Around 8:30 AM we boarded the ship that would lead us away from the city and into the vast waters of the Boston Harbor.  After a few minutes of traveling away from the harbor, past Castle Island, we began our fishing adventure.- For this trip we used sea worms as bait.- They were a reddish brownish color, with multiple legs, and they bit. According to Bruce, it only feels like a pinch when they bite, but they looked very angry and slimy.Because I only carried a pen with me on this trip, here is a very amateur image of what they looked like. The one I held was probably around 7 inches long.

There were enough fishing rods for everyone who wanted to, to have a chance to catch a fish. The Captain and his helpers helped the students put on the worms and cast the lines out. It didn't take long for the first fish to be caught. The first fish caught was a small black bass, which was caught by Lorraine. The fish I caught was about 12 inches long  and it was one of the larger ones of that type that we caught as a group.
Black Bass

Bruce made sure that everyone who wanted to catch a fish had the opportunity to catch one. In the picture above is me holding my Bass that I caught. It had small teeth that I could feel as I held it's mouth open for the picture, but nothing extremely sharp.It was so much fun!
The biggest fish we caught as a group was a Striped Bass.
We learned how to filet a fish and how to remove its insides in order to cook the fish in whichever way we would like.

Once we got to Lovell's Island the hot,white sand felt great between my toes. 
Bruce let us do our own explorations in the tide pool the minute we placed our bags down. I was able to find 2 interesting species. 
1. Crab- Asian shore crab- This crab was only about 4 inches in length from left to right. It was reddish/purple with some brown. These crabs were fairly easy to pick up and they moved extremely fast. we could find these under pretty much every rock we moved near the shoreline.  
2.Hermit crab- Pagurus-I played around with a little hermit crab for a while. When I placed him in the water he would move around a lot, but when he was in dry land he mostly just hid and waited for me to put him down.He was hiding inside a gray shell that was probably about one inch in diameter.They tend to share these shells with periwinkles. Because we were in the water I didn't get a chance to draw this species.  

After exploring in one tide pool we had a delicious lunch and moved to another tide pool. In this tide pool Bruce told us to find species that we hadn't found before.
I found an Atlantic razor shell or Common Razor Clam, which Bruce said gets it's name from it's shape. The shell was a light gray mixed with brown, with smooth lines going up and down the length of the shell in ringlets. This is the picture from the guidebook. My shell looked almost identical.

I also found the Common slipper shell- Crepidula fornicata.
These small shells attached themselves to rocks or to other shells and in order to be removed they have to be slid off with pressure. I actually ate three of these oyster tasting shells, and they were delicious!
Something familiar that I saw a a huge family of blue mussels in between the rocks that divided the two tide pools.These were the same mussels that everyone found at the dock the day before, which I think is a very interesting fact to point out. These mussels have spread all over the harbor islands.

After picking up a big rock I was also able to find Golden Star Tunicate- Botryllus Scholsseri on some rocks as well just like I did in the dock by the Barking Crab.  

 Finally, Bruce pointed out a specific shell to us that seemed to be of interest to him. This shell was white with dark stripes going around the shell. At first we thought it was just another shell that hermit crabs used, however, the shells seemed to have specific holes/spaces that were different from other shells we had found.also, these shells were on a metal plate like surface instead of in the water like the other shells we found.
I think these are called lipped banded snails, because we later found out that these shells actually belong to land snails and not to hermit crabs or water species.On our way back to the boat Romina found a snail that was actually using its shell. The stripes were beautiful and the shells came in different sizes and colors(mostly less than an inch in length).

Overall, this was my favorite day we have had so far because I got to learn so much about 1. Striped Bass 2. different species .



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