Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Marine Biologist’s Mecca: Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) – all familiar names and acronyms if you’re a marine biologist (that would be Anne). The waterfront is lined with research buildings, some quite beautiful, like this stone building. Research vessels, when they’re in port, are moored at the numerous docks. We saw the NOAA/NMFS vessel, Delaware II, being readied to head to the Gulf of Mexico to participate in research related to the BP oil spill. We caught up with Rich McBride, who used to work with Anne at FWRI, and now works at the NMFS lab here. We had a great dinner with Rich, his wife, Susan, and their daughter, Sarah, at their lovely home in Falmouth – thanks so much! Woods Hole also has lots of great restaurants. Pie in the Sky is a small restaurant/bakery with a pastry case that will have you drooling for one of everything. We walked a portion of the bike path that runs to Falmouth. The scenery was beautiful, from little harbors to tree-lined paths, and the smell of roses was everywhere.

While visiting Woods Hole, we anchored in Hadley Harbor, a beautiful protected little cove. The harbor abuts Naushon Island, a private island with lovely big houses, grazing horses, and an adorable little bridge over to another small island. Either the island residents or Naushon Trust, which owns the island, have installed mooring balls in the harbor that cruisers can use for free. Also, cruisers are welcome to land on adjacent Bull Island, which has a dinghy dock, a well-maintained picnic area, and a welcome sign. Quite a difference from some areas where all you see are no trespassing signs and fences!

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