We started the day at the Oceanarium. The Oceanarium is an educational center to teach bout the area and especially lobsters. You buy a ticket for four rotations. We started at the touch tank where we learned a lot about echinoderms. We review that they had bumpy skin, suction feet and radial symmetry. I impressed the intern with my knowledge. We weren’t allowed to HOLD the critters, only touch. Many of the adults were scared and refused to touch things.
The one thing they did let us hold was a horseshoe crab. I was first to volunteer! You can tell by the look on my face this was a totally cool experience.
Then we went on a hike and learned about the plants of the area. I was able to correctly identify spruce by the spike like needles and the smell of cat litter box. We also identified balsam fir by its flat and pretty fragrant smell. The intern doing the walk said she was really excited to see a young kid so interested in learning about the trees.
Our next rotation was my favorite. We learned about the life cycle of a lobster. We learned more than I imagined we could. This is a mama lobster that is COVERED in eggs! The center has a hatchery and will help raise those eggs and release the baby lobsters back into the ocean a few months later.
They release them in stage 4 when they develop their claws. Lobsters are cannibalistic and at that stage have to be kept in lobster condos so they don’t
These are some of the tanks they keep the babies in as they grow and molt.
The last room was fun too. We learned about the history and regulations of lobster fishing from the owner of the center. He was a neat guy with lots of colorful tales to tell. I even got to hold the lobster and return it to it’s holding tank. We learned how traps have changed over the years, how hard a lobster fisherman works, and about different rare lobsters like the BLUE!
After the Oceanarium we headed to the main visitors center of Acadia because there was a centennial Jr. Ranger badge that was only available there. We were sworn in and off to explore the park loop in more detail.
Mom took the wrong direction and we were only able to do half the loop. Which worked out fine since we ran short on time to do it all before it closed. We drove up Cadillac Mountain again and worked on our journals at a picnic bench while enjoying the views. That wasn’t very productive so we worked more in the car later not he way home.
Mom’s knee was feeling a bit better to we took a fun hike to Bubble Rock. Bubble Rock is a rock that is perched on the cliff. It just seems to balance and stay.
We are NOT touching the rock, although other people were. We staged our photo from about 10 feet away.
It wasn’t a high mountain but we got to the top.
What a fun day exploring.