Last Day on Clearwater: Sailing Back to Beacon

“Noooo, my pillow is all soaking wet.” My day started right when Thomas complained about the unpleasant weather. I looked out of the tent. Everybody was busying packing their stuff to head to the Clearwater in the chilling rain. During breakfast on the boat, we were so quiet that I could almost only hear the clash of forks and dishes along with rain drops. To be honest, I was quite upset about the rain since this is our last day on the Clearwater and none of us wanted to finish up the adventure under such a stressful situation.

Fortunately, Lady Luck was on our side. The rain relented a little and finally stopped around 9 AM. We went out to the beach to catch some unique species in the river. We tried two times with the net in two different areas. None was much a heart-stirring news because the net got stuck under the water and tangled with the rocks, which made it easy for the fish to escape. On the bright side, at least we caught one blue crab under the muddy-mud:)

Around 10:30 AM, we returned to the vessel and departed the dock. As usual, we were divided into several groups and did some deck work with crew members and educators. But it was not all about reviewing and repeating old works that we have already done. We are constantly learning and applying new stuff as well. Here are some things we did on our way back to Beacon:

Skillwise:

• Test vessel’s velocity by tossing water bottle that was held by a long string into Hudson river and count the time that the bottle flows from bow to stern.

• Locate the vessel by using compass and line it out with parallel rulers according to the Hudson River map

•Use a little plastic trawl that draw a line through water on the side of the vessel while the vessel moving forward. It is meant to collect small plastic pieces in the river to which PCBsor other contaminants can attach.

Knowlegewise:

• Professor John Cronin gave us a lecture about the history of environmental laws especially the Clean Water Act. He indicated that technology and innovation are the key elements for solving environmental issues. In order to make or keep the laws/policies relevant, we constantly need the most advanced modern technology to back it up. He also told us an interesting personal story of himself being a Riverkeeper back then.

• We had some water sample analysis with one of the crew members, Keene. He taught us their own kind of traditional old-fashioned way of measuring turbidity, temperature and pH of water.

As the captain ordered to reef the sails for docking,  our journey on Clearwater came to an end. During these 3 days we RiverU students along with all the crew members and educators established good relationship with each other and also experienced all the “extreme weather” together. At the last moment, We did a big group hug and bid farewell before we left.

This was a really a great experience as well as a great time for everyone on the Clearwater. Thank you all! Hopefully we shall meet again!