Sunday, August 02, 2009

Cruising Cape Cod Waters with Massachusetts Audubon

Many parents with young children visit Wellfleet every summer and need activities to keep them busy. A fun activity for the whole family is to take a cruise with naturalists from Massachusetts Audubon. Last August one of our regular guests boarded The Navigator at Wellfleet pier and explored the harbor with his parents. Cory told me about the different sea creatures that were hauled on deck for the children to see. Thirty-five people at a time can enjoy this Cape Cod Bay Marine Life Cruise, offered again this year. Last week our current cottage guests went on a similar cruise, but out of Orleans: the Nauset Marsh Family Cruise. Their vessel, a pontoon boat, was named, appropriately, Queen of Orleans. The trip lasted two hours, perfect for the attention span of younger children. With only three families on board, plus the crew and a naturalist – total fifteen max – everyone was able to take full advantage of the experience. Maggie remembered seeing green crabs. She learned the difference between the males and the females. “There’s a patch on the belly where the eggs go,” Maggie told me. She also saw snails in the marsh and tasted some pickle grass: “very, very spicy, and salty, like the sea!” But it was the horseshoe crabs that really attracted her interest. “It was cool to see a live one. Usually you see the shells they molted from,” explained Maggie’s mom. “The eyes are in a funny place on the back,” added her daughter. “Did you know horseshoe crabs are ticklish?”