Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Acadia National Park is a National Park located in the state of  Maine. It reserves much of Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands, off the Atlantic coast. Originally created as Lafayette National Park in 1919, the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River, it was renamed Acadia in 1929.

Along Acadia National Park's rocky shores, there is only one sand beach.  Over 15,000 years ago glacial ice carved out this valley.  Melting glaciers and rising sea waters flooded it, creating a protected cove.  A headland and a rock shelf off shore divert and diminish power of the ocean, allowing fine particles to settle in the cove.  Take a look at a handful of beach "sand" and you will discover mostly bits and pieces of crushed shells, an unusual composition for a northern beach.  Swimming at Sand Beach is only for the hardy.  Even on warm summer days the water temperature may be a chilling 50 degrees. 

This is us at the stairs at the top of the beach area

Jim, Terry, me and Rog.
We are standing on the beach.  We did not see much of the park because of the fog.  It reminded us of the visit to the Shenandoah  National Park in Virginia when we went and could not see a thing. 

Wild roses
More park with fog lifting just a little

Pretty purple flower

Yellow flowers

Fog has lifted, but it did not last very long.

This is Thunder Bowl the way we saw it today.
Thunder Hole is located in the one place in the country where mountains actually touch the sea.  It is an amazing testimony to Mother Nature, where, when the tide turns, a thundering impact of the frigid North Atlantic ocean waves force tons of gallons of sea water into a natural stone crevasse.  The sound is thrilling and deafening.  We did not hear or see this at its full potential but this is what it might have looked like if the weather and tides had worked out.  

This is the way it should have looked.

When we left the National Park we came upon, quite by accident, a Lobster Farm (hatchery).  

 Explore Maine's marine biology and wildlife at the Mount Desert Oceanarium located in Bar Harbor in Southeast Maine. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about lobsters at the Maine Lobster Museum then play with a live one at the Lobster Hatchery. Make sure to visit the "petting pool," the Oceanarium's marine equivalent to a petting zoo. Also enjoy a guided Salt Marsh Tour. The Oceanarium's hands-on and playful approach to teaching makes this trip a joy for all. 

This was our museum guide, her day job is a fisherman.
She is showing how they measure the lobster.  There are limits set by the state and they are strictly followed.  So as the lobster is taken out of the trap on the boat they are measured and kept or thrown back into the water. 

 If a lobster loses a claw he can grow it back and if you look closely you can see the beginnings of a new one.  It is that little pink thingy on the side of the head where a claw should be.


The first part of your visit here is the Lobster Museum.  You see what the fisherman uses on a daily bases and can even try on the clothes a fisherman would wear.  Then you get to find out all about fishing for lobster.  Our teacher, above, is a lobster fisherman with about 300 traps out hoping to have 400 out before season is over.  She was very informative and did it in a very humorous way.   When this part was over we headed over to the hatchery building.  

Our guide here was very informative and knowledgeable.

Big mama with about 40 to 50 thousand eggs.  In the wild about 10% will live to adulthood.  They are hoping here to bring up this percentage.  

  After the eggs have hatched they are placed in these big tubes with water that is constantly bubbling so they do not met one another.  They do not want this to happen because the lobsters  will eat each other.  The only thing a lobster thinks another lobster is good for is dinner.

  The little black specks are tiny baby lobsters.

  When the lobsters get bigger and are not light enough for the bubble tubes to keep them away from each other they are put in these tubes to grow a bit more.  They put one 1 inch long lobsters in each tube with a turkey baster.  They can only stay in these tube about a week because, they like gold fish, grow to  the size of their surroundings.  From this tube they are placed in a igloo container, taken to the ocean and released through a tube to the very bottom of the ocean to grow up to big lobsters.   Yummm

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