Friday, August 9, 2013

Back for More

How could you resist that face?
This week marked the return of one of my favorite Harbor Explorers, Christine. When Christine joined us for the first week at Piers Park, she was a brand new Harbor Explorer and I don’t think she knew what she was getting herself into. On the first day we had to coax her out from behind her mom’s leg and I don’t think she said more than five words for the first hour. And that’s when the magic appeal of a full crab trap kicked in. One look at the crabs scurrying across the dock and all of a sudden she was spouting off questions and asking for a turn to pull up the trap. Although she was not too excited about the idea of holding a crab, she quickly found her place as the official crab race referee. As soon as we caught enough crabs, Christine would yell for all the Explorers to pick a crab and take their places along the yellow line. She closely inspected for any cheating and after deciding everyone was in line, she would shout, “GO! GO! GO!” Even after umpteen crab races, it still amazes me how quickly she went from being quiet and shy to confident and in control.

Christine and fellow Explorers having fun with sea stars.
One of my favorite things about Christine is that she is extremely observant and curious. In order to bait our crab traps we use mussels collected from the side of the dock. Often times a net full of mussels will also contain a good number of baby crabs. Christine quickly realized that these baby crabs were hiding in the empty mussel shells we were pulling up. She shared this discovery with a few of the other girls and soon we had a bucket filled with baby crabs. They called it the infirmary. When her first week ended, Christine left with clear instructions to record what and how many things we caught during the weeks she was not at Harbor Explorers.

This past Monday I was so excited to see Christine sprinting across the park to the sign-in table. She immediately asked me what she had missed in the 3 weeks she was at tennis camp. She made sure I knew that she would be resuming her position as crab race referee and told me she had brought a friend, Chanu, with her for this week’s camp. As a return Explorer, Christine fell right back into step with our program. She eagerly showed the new Explorer’s how to find baby crabs and how to determine a crab’s gender. And, of course, how to run a proper a crab race.

 -Sarah C

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