Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Youth Program Orientation Fishing Trip!

Jenn and Zach on board the Belle.
Hello, Melissa and Sami here, reporting back from the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Youth Program Orientation Fishing Trip around the Boston harbor. As interns, we helped lead orientation and took part in learning more about summer programing and Boston's beautiful natural resources. To start the day, we met Captain Charlie, First Mate Matt, and the rest of the Save the Harbor crew at the dock and hopped on the fishing boat, Belle. To kick off our voyage, David Coffin, Save the Harbor/Save Bay's Maritime Historian, reminded us how great of an opportunity this trip around the harbor and the islands was. He encouraged us not to do on the harbor what we could do on our couch, and made us excited to skip rocks, find beach glass, and hopefully, catch some fish! It wasn't long before we were all singing Save the Harbor's favorite sea shanty, "Haul Away Joe," hooting and hollering our own verses as we sailed throughout the harbor.

Captain Charlie took us to his favorite fishing spot off the site of Camp Harbor View. After a tutorial from Bruce on how to rig a flounder fishing rod, we all dropped our lines with hopes of hitting the motherlode! To catch flounder, we lowered our bait (sea worms) to the ocean floor and drifted as we waited for the bottom-feeding flounder to bite. It wasn't long before multiple people hooked on and were reeling in some hefty flounders. Some people even pulled up skates and crabs. We fished for about two hours in the harbor hot-spots and caught over two dozen fish. A successful day for sure. 
Celebrating a large flounder caught by Garrett
The day didn't stop there. Our next adventure was exploring Spectacle Island, an entirely man-made island that was once a dump. Today, it is part of a beautiful National Recreation Area made up of 34 islands with rolling green hills and walking paths, not to mention its wonderful beach and recreation center. We stopped for a quick lunch at the snack-bar and then took a group walk along the beach and through the hills. At the shore, we each found our own flat rocks and skipped them all together. It was a spectacular sight to see thirty-four stones skim along the glistening sea. 
Group stone-skipping on Spectacle Island.
Back to the boat we went, and stopped at some of Captain Charlie's lobster traps, one right outside Save the Harbor's office. With the help of three of our staff members, Charlie caught crabs and two lobsters. For many of the staff members, this was the first time they had observed a lobsterman in action, and the excitement on their faces was priceless. The enthusiasm among the Save the Harbor crew was contagious as we sang more sea shanties pulling into the dock, and we all ended the day excited to share these experiences with the 30,000 kids who will be joining us the summer. What a day!

Eric reeling in a lobster trap outside Fish Pier and Raymond holding a live crab.

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