Thanks to those of you who have reminded me that it’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been juggling adventures with Sophie, who is now in Switzerland & two weeks in Crete with her European relatives until the end of August. Before she left, I took her on an activity-packed road trip, including, now that she is six, the “Whales Up Close” program at Mystic Aquarium with Kelly, a trainer, and a beluga whale named Keyla. First Kelly explained and with Keyla demonstrated training methods. We felt Keyla’s melon (beluga whale’s enlarged forehead where it produces a variety of vocalizations), gave her hand signals for different vocalizations, and patted her tongue (positive reinforcement, Kelly explained); from beginning to end it was an astonishing, amazing experience!
The following week, on a blistering hot day, we spent 2 1/2 hours on the Research Vessel Oceanic, a 40-foot trawler that does marine research on Long Island Sound. Sophie threw in a seine net, helped haul in a large net, sort through what the dredge brought up, catalogue all the marine life in the net and throw it–flounder, whelk, snails, crabs–back into the Sound. The crew/educators were terrific & the experience fascinating.