August 9, 2018 – Day 2
This morning we woke up, packed up all of our gear into the vehicles and took off for Discovery World! All thirty-three of us full of excitement and anticipation for what was to come today. After a fifteen minute drive from campus to Discovery World, we finally were able to see Denis. Wow, what an amazing sight. Waiting for the ship’s crew to complete their pre-sailing tasks, the mentor teachers took advantage of the time to show the mentee teachers some of the science equipment we were bringing on the ship and how to use it. We did bottom samples, turbidity samples, zooplankton grabs and collected water quality data with the hydrolab, which we will compare to other data collected from ports across the eastern side of Lake Michigan.
With permission to come on board, we were able to take our first steps onto the Denis Sullivan with our heavy loads in hand. Tight, crowded and smelly are not the names of our Captain, first mate, and second mate. However, after living on board for the week, the crew may refer to us teachers in this way. After lessons on proper ship etiquette, safety procedures, and watch assignments we helped with hauling in lines and we were ready to set sail! Some of us even took a turn at the helm (steering the ship), while others stood watch for pirates. In case you are wondering, we did not find them yet but we will remain vigilant. After lunch we were divided into grade level groups where teachers became learners with each group having a different focus; knot tying, counting phytoplankton, and Lake Michigan food webs.
After being on the lake for 4 hours, we pulled into the Port Washington harbor. Some of us helped throw the lines and help tie off the lines so we were secured in for the night. The teachers mustered (met) on the deck to discuss our evening plans, which included dinner, a guided walking tour, visiting the Port Explorium museum. The tour was led by Andrew Struck (city official) and David Hart from Wisconsin Sea Grant. Impressive improvements to the harbor side of the city were pointed out explaining how prior human impacts on the health of Lake Michigan can be decreased while improving public city spaces.
A beautiful end to our first day on the water.