The Adventure KidsTM
aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta had another exciting adventure,
this time during The Maritime Aquarium Marine Life
Encounter Cruise out of Norwalk,
Connecticut. We boarded their
research-vessel, R/V Spirit of the SoundTM on a beautiful, sunny
Saturday to go exploring on Long Island Sound. During the 2.5-hour
educational cruise, we had several fabulous encounters with marine
life. If you have ever wondered what creatures might live in Long Island Sound,
the cruise will provide many answers. As with Forrest Gump and his box
of chocolates, when you go searching in Long Island Sound, you never know what
you will find, and that is what makes it an adventure!
Captain Sam discussing the route with Debra C. Argen
The Maritime Life Encounter Cruise
Saturday, July 9, 2022, The Adventure Kids took part in an adventure of the aquatic kind, cruising on the Long
Island Sound with The Maritime Aquarium on their Marine Life Encounter Cruise.
We boarded their research-vessel, R/V Spirit of the SoundTM, a
stunning 64-foot all-aluminum catamaran launched in 2015 as "the first research
vessel in North America with hybrid-electric propulsion and runs silently on
electric power." In addition, the Maritime Aquarium estimates a 40% fuel
savings from using the hybrid-electric propulsion system.
Map of Long Island Sound, our cruise destination
The day was
bright and sunny and perfect to enjoy the breathtaking views of the storied
Connecticut shoreline and the New York skyline in the distance, as we waited
for the knowledgeable crew to bring up a plankton trawl. This type of trawl
provided us with the opportunity to look at tiny, microscopic creatures and
plankton. When Holly and Jackie, two of the knowledgeable education crew
members, put water samples on a slide under the microscope, it was amazing to
see what was in the water. Among the many interesting things were baby snails,
baby crabs, and a baby horseshoe crab.
Under the Microscope
encounter was via a biodredge, which brought up all types of mollusks. It was
fun to watch the joy and excitement on the faces of the children as well as the
adults digging their fingers in the silt-like mud to sort through the findings.
There were snails, oyster, clams, as well as sponges which had encased some of
the oyster shells.
Biodredge - time to have fun
Jackie also showed us clam shells bearing the result of sulfur boring sponges
which prick holes in the shells and bore into them to eat the meat. You can
tell this by a brittle shell that you can easily break in your hand, and the
outside of the shell will have pinholes. Once the shell is broken in half, you
will see the yellowish sponge sandwiched between the out and inner shell, thus
making the shell brittle.
Sulfur boring sponge on clam shell
crew, with assistance from the passengers, brought up the trawl net, we all
waited with our excitement building to discover its contents. Among the haul there
were Sea Robins, a bottom-dwelling fish with distinctive fan-shaped pectoral
fins, a Clearnose Skate, Porgy with their iridescent bodies and distinctive
forked tail, which makes them fast swimmers, Summer Flounder, and Window-Pane Flounder
with their distinctive spots. Large Horseshoe Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Blue Crabs,
and Spider Crabs, and so much more.
The trawl net catch
One of the
many interesting facts we learned during the trip is that horseshoe crabs have
blue blood because of its copper-based respiratory pigment and are important in
the medical field as their blood has been used to manufacture vaccines,
including the COOVID vaccine, as well as medicines and vitamins. They can live
up to 20 years, and mate on full moon nights at high tide. While they are
called "crabs" they actually belong to the family Limulidae, and are related to
arachnids (spiders, scorpions). They are an ancient species as fossils date
them back to 480 million years ago.
Flounder found in the trawl net catch
divers we always love learning more about the sea and its many creatures from the
microscopic to the enormous and the Marine Life Encounter Cruise at The
Maritime Aquarium was enlightening, engaging, and most importantly, fun for all
age groups, judging by the happy faces of the passengers. We cannot wait to
return for another cruise and see what the crew will discover.
appreciate what we might see on the marine life encounter cruise, we visited
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk before taking the cruise, as did many of the other
passengers. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is world-class, and in addition to
its many fascinating exhibits, they also have a 4-D theatre, and offer a
variety of cruises, so you can easily spend a full day there.
time, keep enjoying the adventure!
Encounter Cruises and More
to the Marine Life Encounter Cruise, The Maritime Aquarium offers the following
cruises: Seal-Spotting & Birding, TGIF, Sunset, Norwalk Islands cruises,
and more. Please visit their website for further information: https://www.maritimeaquarium.org/cruise-schedule or call them at
+1-203-852-0700 extension 2206.
Holly showing everyone a Sea Robin
Know Before You Go - Cruise Information
must be over 42 inches tall and if under 18 accompanied by an adult.
Pricing: $36.00 per person for all ages.
Come visit me , or a close sea friend of mine
See you on the next Maritime Life Encounter Cruise
Information Before You Go
aquarium is easily accessible by car, train, bus, or boat. There are several
conveniently located parking garages. Visitors can travel on Metro-North. The
trip by train via Grand Central Station to the South Norwalk train station is
approximately 1-hour. Visit the Metro-North website for information on trains and discount Metro-North Packages.
Want to make the trip by your boat? Call +1-203-854-7806 to request fees to tie
up at the Norwalk Visitors Dock.
Adventure Kid Debra C. Argen at the helm
yourself a minimum of 2-hours (we spent 2.5-hours there) to fully experience
and appreciate all that the Aquarium has to offer. The Aquarium is conveniently
located in SoNo (South Norwalk) near many restaurants and shops, so it is a
perfect day trip.
Fun time on the Maritime Life Encounter Cruise
Aquarium Admission: Adults (Ages 13 - 64): $29.95, Children (Ages 3-12): $20.95, Seniors
(Age 65+): $25.95.
additional information on The Maritime Aquarium please visit their
website: www.maritimeaquarium.org or call them at +1-203-852-0700.
also like to read about our experience at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in
the Destinations section.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Connecticut
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Facebook: www.facebook.com/maritime.aquarium
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