Sunday, November 14, 2010

Homeschool boat unit: harbor tour

I almost got sucked into coming up with a million ideas of things to study on the subject of tankers and the Titanic...and overlooked the incredibly obvious fact that we LIVE in a fishing community. !! Thanks to my hubby for reminding me that we should actually get out and see real boats while we studied them...! So we called up an old hand around the harbor, "Grandpa" Brian Kandoll to ask if he would give us a tour. Thanks to Grandpa Brian and several others we spent a fun and fabulous day learning about all sort of new things down on the harbor! Unfortunately my camera battery was dying so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked. But this is what we were able to record on camera:

We started our tour in the Harbormaster's office and got to meet the harbor dog, Hagar the Horrible and Glo Wollen, the harbormaster.
Glo let the boys watch her remotely turn on the crane several blocks away with a walkie talkie (very impressive to them!) and look out the window at all the boats. O Boy especially liked seeing the HUGE flashlights they carry around on patrol. Their highlights of the visit to the harbormaster's office were:
"I liked looking out of the big window" O Boy
"I liked seeing the man in the motorboat going really fast. And his propeller was going really fast." Mr. T

O Boy in the captain's chair on the Kestrel
Next we headed down onto the docks and met Erin, who took us on an amazing tour of the huge Fish and Game vessel, the Kestrel.
Here are the boys' thoughts about the tour:
My favorite part was when: we looked at the big ship and I saw all the captain's controls. (O Boy)
"I liked a lot of holes and a lot of ladders (and stairs!)." (Mr. T)
We did get to go up and down a LOT of steep stairs and see a lot of portholes. Mr. T wanted to climb up and down any ladder he saw.
Another favorite part was...looking at that big, big scientist's ship! (O Boy)
Another favorite part was...when the man took the two cranes and lifted that boat so high. It was so fun. (Mr. T)
One of the top highlights was when they brought a large skiff alongside the vessel and, using two cranes, actually raised it out of the water to offload some dive tanks. This was so much fun for the boys to watch and was probably their favorite part of the whole day (except maybe the Goldfish crackers Erin gave them from the mess at the end of the tour).
Trying to pull up the anchor
They loved seeing all the buttons and lights down in the engine room. It was incredibly difficult for them not to just touch and touch and touch all these exciting buttons!
Seeing huge engines up close is always amazing
There were many other neat parts to the tour - they got to see real scuba dive gear (they love to "scuba dive" in the bath), and as we as we were getting off the Kestrel a tug chugged by with a barge in tow and Matt, Grandpa Brian's son zoomed up with some fresh shrimp he'd just pulled up from his shrimp pots. A great boat-filled day!
One of my favorite memories is that when we headed back up the ramp to our car O Boy turned to me and asked quietly, "Can we go in and say good-bye to that lady?" He wanted to go back and say good-bye to Glo, the harbormaster! He never ceases to amaze me and I'll forever wonder why he asked - was it the dog, the cool flashlights, or he really did want to go say good-bye to her one more time?? When we got inside our mayor was there! So we finished off the tour with a little meet-and-greet with Mayor Al.

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