All posts by Nhu Vo

Suzie the Duckboat

At the end of our Marine Ecology segment with Dr. Teegarden at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (where we taught the president of SJC about salt marshes and zonation), we made our way by Suzie to the great city of Portland.  We made sure that Suzie got a prime spot in line for the ferry to Peaks Island.  (She got second in line!)


(Suzie on the ferry with our 52″ black schooner, Bagheera, in the background.)

When we got onto the ferry after lunch, we were all excited about Suzie finally being able to achieve her dream of becoming a duckboat.  Some of us sat in Suzie, as she made her way by ferry to Peaks.  It felt so weird to sit inside of a vehicle, and yet see water passing by you as you move.  To see the steering wheel and the dashboard with water beyond it was so crazy!  We took a lot of photos to commemorate the wicked cool moment!image                                                        image

(Andrew and Bobby pretending to drive Suzie while on the ferry ride.)

When the ferry pulled up to Peaks, Suzie was allowed to get off first.  We think it was because she was more beastly than the small BMW parked beside us on the ferry.  I mean, Suzie was carrying all of our gear on top  and behind her on a hitch.  We drove off of the ferry and drove right into the heart of wonderful Peaks Island, ready for our next set of adventures.

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-Nhu Vo and Courtney Couture



Dropstones and Blueberries

Today started off with a delicious breakfast of waffles, with fresh (store bought) blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.  We hit the road in our SJC van around 8:30 am.  We were headed to Cherryfield, Maine, which deceivingly is actually the “Wild Blueberry Capital of the World”. On our way there, we passed the Wyman’s of Maine factory.  Anyone who buys frozen blueberries in Maine knows that Wyman’s is the brand you buy. As we passed the factory, we smelled the scent of blueberries in the air.  We also drove past many of Wyman’s blueberry fields, one of which was getting watered, spraying a little bit of water onto our windshield.  There, we stopped to look at the land, which was actually a flat delta and the highest elevation in that area.  Normally, deltas are not the highest spot in an area, so this was an interesting location.  We looked at the type of glacial sediments on top of the bedrock, which seemed to be mostly sand and gravel.  We also looked at really colorful geology surficial and bedrock maps, learning about ribbed moraines and how they were formed.

Then, we moved onto another location in the area and Dr. Erikson used “conveniently placed” road dirt to teach us about triangulation and how to determine position using it.  He told us that before GPSs were invented, scientists based property lines off of data they got from measuring angles and distance between certain plaques on the ground.


After that, we drove to a field to look at erratics, which are rocks that are not where they are supposed to be.  There was an entire field of them, all of various sizes, but one literally stood out to all of us.

This large erratic was a dropstone, meaning that it once was a part of a glacier, but floated away from the glacier, inside of an iceberg.  As the iceberg melted, the rock fell out and dropped on the submerged delta. This specific rock was about 5 m high and 5 m across. A bunch of people wanted to climb it, and looking at the challenging climb it took them to get up to the top, it was not an easy one to say the least.  All around the boulder were fields and fields of blueberries.  We may have been trespassing, but we are not sure of that. Some of us picked a few of the lowbush blueberries and some of us climbed up on top of the rock.  Some of us did both.  Either way, it was a fun day for all of us.

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-Nhu Vo