For twenty one years Hardy Boat Cruises has been offering educational cruises to schools throughout the state of Maine and beyond. Owners, Capt. Al and Stacie Crocetti, recognize the importance of using their boat as an educational platform for both the general public and educational institutions. In doing so, they have developed strong relationships with marine educators and National Audubon’s “Project Puffin.” Both of these organizations offer in-school programs, which culminate with the “hands on” experience of a field trip aboard the HARDY III. The in-school programs are not, however, a prerequisite for the educational cruise. All cruises are fully narrated and highly educational on their own.
Our most popular school trip is a Puffin and Seal watch combination. This is a fun and educational trip for children of all ages. This 2-hour trip is fully narrated and we discuss the amazing lives of Puffins and Seals as they navigate the cold and frosty waters of the North Atlantic. The trip includes an excursion around Eastern Egg Rock, home to the Atlantic Puffins, and a trip to Webber’s Dry Ledge to visit a resident colony of Harbor Seals. On the way to Eastern Egg Rock, we point out and discuss the marine life around us. Seals, Porpoise and Minke Whales are often sighted. Upon our arrival at Eastern Egg Rock, the narration changes it’s focus to the Atlantic Puffins and the tremendous and ongoing efforts to re-colonize this small rocky island. The onboard staff will locate and point out Puffins to teachers and students and be available to answer questions throughout the trip. The cruise then takes us to Webber’s Dry Ledge to visit a seasonal colony of Harbor Seals. We will discuss the life history of these gregarious creatures and their impact on the local environment. Students will get a first hand understanding of the interdependency that exists between a migratory seabird colony, other bird species, and the marine ecosystem that surrounds it.
A few other examples of available trips are listed below. Any trip can be customized to compliment classroom programs. Call us if you have any creative ideas. Trips are normally 1 to 2 hours long.
- “A Study in Marine Biology”: With the help of a marine educator, we can collect plankton and study it under microscopes. Students can test for salinity and visibility in the water and touch tanks are provided. This hands-on program inspires the Jacques Cousteau in all of us!!
- “Maine Coast History Cruise”: This fascinating trip cruises through the islands of Muscongus Bay and details the history of each island and the origin of its name. The stories of the first settlers, their troubles, triumphs and local folklore is shared. This trip can also travel around Pemaquid Point Lighthouse to Fort William Henry, where the history of the first settlers to this area is explained.
- “Monhegan Island for a Day”: Take your group to one of only 14 year-round working islands off the coast of Maine. Go for a hike, visit an old shipwreck and take in a magnificent view from the lighthouse. Islands are closed systems with finite borders which present the people living there with unique problems. Students can contemplate questions like “where does their water come from?”, “where does their trash go?”, “how do they generate electricity?” and “what about education?” This can also be an interesting exploration into how we live our own lives, the choices we make and the impact they have on our planet.
- More about Monhegan Island
We have found these trips to be rewarding and informative for students, teachers and parents alike. If you think your school might be interested, please call 1-800-278-3346.
- The Hardy III is available to school groups in the Springtime: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from May 16th through June 10th; and Monday through Friday from June 10th through June 19th; and Fall: Sept. 8nd through October 12th. Morning and afternoon trips are available.
- Cost for a cruise is based on a per head pricing schedule. The boat is licensed to carry 113 passengers. For small groups, a minimum fee is required. To help smaller groups keep the trip affordable, we can pair your group with other small groups. Prices do vary depending on the length of the trip. We work hard to keep our pricing affordable for schools and we will work with you to accommodate any needs. Please call 1-800-278-3346 for more information.
- For additional information on in-school educational services provided by the National Audubon and Project Puffin, contact Peter Salmansohn or Rose Borzik at 607-257-7308. For an additional $1 donation per person to Project Puffin, an Audubon staff member will lead your trip.
- One chaperone is recommended for every 5-8 students depending on the age group.
- The boat is available with or without a galley depending on your preference.
- As is always the case with Hardy Boat Cruises, education and safety are the primary focus. Careful consideration to weather and sea conditions is always a priority.
- All trips originate from and return to Shaw’s Wharf Restaurant, 132 State Rt. 32, New Harbor. directions
- Local points of interest include the Rachel Carson Salt Pond, The Colonial Pemaquid Restoration at Fort William Henry and Pemaquid Point Light.
- Suggested reading: The remarkable story of the recolonization of Egg Rock has been told by Peter Salmansohn and published in the book “Project Puffin: How We Brought Puffins Back to Egg Rock” (Tilbury House, Publishers, Gardiner Maine, 1997)
- Space is limited and bookings are now being accepted.
Call Stacia Crocetti at 1-800-278-3346 for more details.