Summer 2017 Week 3 Recap - Stonington

Caroline Knowles
July 17, 2017

We had another action-packed week at NESS! On and off the water, there were smiles as far as the eye could see!!

On the adventure sports front, surfing had a fantastic week of waves. Flash reports, “Surfing last week was terrific! Some of the best waves I’ve seen and they are getting better!” Hulapopper put on a special Saltwater Flats Fishing course last week. Flats Fishing is used to target a variety of species depending on the season, and students caught 79 fish last week! The fishing in our local waters is heating up! Also, five students earned their Safe Powerboating Certificate last week as part of our powerboating course.


Our Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) Construction students created three ROV’s from scratch using SeaPerch ROV Kits. The Ocean Explorers group also created an ROV as part of their research on some amazing marine technology! Bay Bounders rode as many waves as they could at Napatree Point on a cold but fun surf day. The Little Aquanauts had an amazing week of adventures, some were out on sailboats and even got to ride in a Dodson Boatyard launch boat, while others learned about all the amazing aspects of bubbles. Clementine (a Little Aquanauts instructor) writes: “We have had a great week exploring the magic and science of bubbles. In our classroom, we started a 'wonder wall' filled with questions the children have about bubbles. This week some of our highlights included: crabbing using underwater cameras, experimenting with different bubble recipes, painting with bubbles and making bubble wrap prints/paintings, visiting touch tanks as we learned about aeration, juggling bubbles with gloves on, making giant bubbles, and learning about how different animals use bubbles in the wild. We also did lots of swimming off the docks and went on a kayak excursion. If you're children came home on Thursday saying they were inside a bubble... it's true! Your children's comments and questions were priceless. Some of our favorites: ‘You can't put a person inside a bubble, that's impossible!’ ‘Will we float away inside the bubbles?’ ‘Why are bubbles always shaped like a sphere?’ ‘Why do they pop on my hand but not on the wand?’ It was wonderful to see everyone sharing ideas and getting excited about science! Never stop asking questions Little Aquanauts!”


On the sailing front, we had a huge group of kids out on the water sailing last week! The windsurfing class went to Sandy Point to practice in the flats, the Opti race team was over at Weekapaug for a regatta, and the 420 race team was busy racing all over Long Island Sound! On Tuesday the NESS 420 race team took part in a 4-team, 25 boat scrimmage at Niantic Bay Yacht Club. Then on Wednesday they were at the Larry White Regatta which was a US Sailing Junior Olympic Festival AND the Area B Championship for the Bemis Trophy. The Secor Volvo Fishers Island Sound Race started at Niantic Bay Yacht Club and had three legs to Fishers Island Yacht Club on Thursday. Three more legs on Friday got the team back to Mystic Shipyard Friday.


Captain Crunch (the 420 race team coach) reports, “The Secor Volvo Fishers Island Sound Race was a hoot! Tough conditions with a fair amount of current and not a lot of wind, but 6 competitive legs were completed that challenged the kids in ways that traditional regattas do not. Off the water there were other highlights, most notably on the sustainability front. It was a Sailor’s for the Sea Clean Regatta and was the first junior event to achieve a platinum level status for its good efforts; the final morning started with a 3 mile beach clean up on Fishers Island, waste was reduced and separated, and a green team was assembled to provide valuable information and sustainability practices. Top NESS Team Finisher at the Volvo: Evan Spalding / Jonathan Glander 5th. Top Team Finisher at the Larry White: Iain Jaeger / Margot Hutchins 7th

Last but certainly not least, on Friday we said goodbye to Mistral "Dingo" Dodson and Mike "Floppy" Smith (and Ninga the dog!). While we wish them all the best on their next adventure at the Phoenix School, we are sad to see them go! A huge thank you to Floppy and Dingo for all they have done for NESS over the past 10 years. It has been a truly spectacular journey working with them all of these years!