Find Out Friday

Welcome back friends of SSBG and sailors,
Our mystery monday has turned into an enigma that has surprised all of the Sea Scout Base Galveston team. While some words in the English language have acronyms such as radar, “Radio Detections and Ranging,” there are a few of these acronym created earlier than last century. 

In theory, POSH refers to sailing from India to England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “Port Out Starboard Home” was the shady and cooler side of the ship, which were “the best” accommodations before air conditions and cooling units were invented.

In reality, this origination was probably just a myth. According to our friend who replied to the link, Oxford English Dictionary state that “this word is derived from the initials of ‘port outward, starboard home’, referring to the more expensive side for accommodation on ships formerly traveling between England and India, is often put forward but lacks foundation. 

On another note, and interestingly enough, this was term was also referred to in the context of transatlantic crossings. Here, some say “Port Outbound Starboard Home,” referring to the trips across the pond (Atlantic Ocean) from Britain to America. 

However, this word was already coined well back in the early 19th century referring to money or dandy. Haven’t you ever been to an affair that was very “posh,” or at least heard other folks referring to it as such? 

Find Out Friday

Welcome back fellow biologist friends! It is find out Friday and the answer to this puzzling photograph is these rings are those of the Moon Jelly ("Aurelia aurita")! These four rings are referred to as "moons" and are the reproductive organs! 

Often referred to as a jellyfish, all species of jellies are boneless, brainless and heartless critters, wonder what life would be like being one of these? Moon jellyfish have short tentacles along the edge of the bell and four short arms situated around the mouth for catching food. The tentacles of the moon jellyfish are poisonous for small marine creatures but people are not affected by the toxin since it cannot penetrate our skin. 

Typically found in the harbors and bays, our photograph of this jellyfish was taken in the Texas A&M harbor during our first Sea Scout Base Galveston NOVA course! 

The most interesting fact that our local biologist loves to discuss is the dietary value of these creatures. Though considered a main food source for all sea turtles, jellyfish can be a special dish for humans too! Typical in Asian cultures, and the main ingredient on the Crabby Patty from SpongeBob SquarePants, jellyfish can be eaten raw or cooked. 

Find Out Friday

It’s FRYDAY FRYDAY, gots to get down on Friiiiday!!

It’s the end of the second week for mystery creatures found by our biologist team! This little critter was difficult to identify by both our biologist team and the Sea Scout Base Galveston followers. This common rocky shoreline inhabitant was found attached to the groynes of the sea wall along with many of its friends. In the previous pictures you saw mounds attached to rocks, but those were actually closed up bundles of this species of sea anemone! 

These next few pictures demonstrate the beauty hidden when “Bunodosoma cavernatum” blossoms or expands its arms.  Commonly named the Warty Sea Anemones, its name comes from the warty appearance from the arrangement of vesicles on the muscular column, or the trunk, of the anemone. Their tentacles are full of colors, like the blue and red, thanks to their symbiotic friends of green algae. 

There are over 1,000 species found throughout the world’s oceans and various depths. Sea anemones usually attach themselves to a hard substrate like the rocks of the sea wall, but do have the ability to move. The cool fact about anemones is the concept of their stickiness, which relates them to corals. These stinging cells are called nematocysts. Each nematocysts contains a tiny structure that looks like a harpoon that is filled with toxins. Any touch mechanically triggers an explosion of this harpoon that injects a small dose of poison. This toxin paralyzes their prey, but do not fret this toxin feels more of an irritation when in contact with more tender parts of the human body like our armpit or neck. 

Don't forget to sign up for the Sea Scout Base Galveston Summer Programs so that you can work with our biologist team and help them find and identify critters like these. 

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Find Out Fridays

Find out Friday is here! I know you all have been fretting over identifying this mysterious shorebird. Just as Mr. John Paul Stoddard stated, this animal is called the American oystercatcher. It can also be named “Haematopus palliatus,” which is its Latin biological classification. These birds are commonly identified as large stocky shorebirds with a long, bright orange bill and glaring yellow eyes with contrasting orange eyering. An interesting characteristic is that their legs and feet are tinted pink. Their diet is primarily limpets and other shellfish, but they also eat mussels and marine worms.

If you look closely at this oystercatcher’s legs, you will see little bracelets on both its legs. These bracelets help researchers learn about the demographics, movement, habitat requirements, and survival of the banded birds. There are fourteen different states whom color band these critters, so be on the look out and help report their locations. Our biologist did not get close enough to identify all four bands on each leg, so next time she will bring her binoculars!

Hold your hands high for recruit number five

SSBG has been growing at rapid speeds. David Gaston was welcomed aboard as our Adaptive Sports Coordinator. He will be responsible for coordinating all of the adaptive recreation provided by Sea Scout Base Galveston.

David was injured in a motorcycle accident in 1979. The accident left David with a broken back and paralyzed from the waist down. Prior the accident, he was a commercial diver, water-skier, sailor, hunter and scuba diver. David has not been defined by his accident and has committed his life to defying odds and pushing himself to new heights

In 1982 David received a Degree in marine electronics and avionics. Shortly after receiving his degree David joined POINT (Paraplegics on Independent nature Trips), an organization that most notably, created Adaptive Sports Day (an annual event) at Moody Gardens. Gaston received his US Sailing Keelboat Instructor license in 1995. This allowed him, and his team at POINT, to begin hosting the Drum tournament, a tournament for the physically challenged, their largest fundraiser going on 17 years. In 1998 POINT became Turningpoint, and named David the Director of the Gulf Coast chapter.

SSBG is eager to utilize David’s knowledge and passion for adaptive recreation to provide opportunities to individuals with disabilities.




The story behind our new boat....Dory

She was donated to Sea Scout Base Galveston by Dan Mingea from Ship 77. 

Dan wrote:

She is 16', planked with easten white cedar; transom and rails of mahogany; stem, frames, seat risers and breasthook of white oak; thwarts and bottom of pine. Fastenings are copper rivets/bronze ring nails/bronze screws. Bottom planks were originally tight and splined horizontally. Finish is traditional work-boat, linseed oil/turpentine/tar. She is a Strawberry Bank dory, built in Maine in 2004 at Woodenboat School. 

She came to Texas by truck, and has been largely inactive since coming here. After drying out for a few years, the Scouts caulked her bottom, but rarely put her in the water.

This year I reefed out her seams, pounded cotton in the open port garboard seam, recaulked the garboard seams and the lower topside planking seams. I splined the bottom planking seams vertically with cedar splines and 4200. I also drilled out the small knots in her bottom and put cedar plugs in the holes; the large leaky knots in the bottom were routed, one inside/others outside, and cedar graving pieces inserted. She now has a drain hole and a plug amidships. She has removable floorboards. I splined a large split in the aft part of the starboard garboard plank.

She once had a trailer which disappeared; she is now sitting on my utility trailer, which trailer I'd like to keep.

She once had a pair of 8' Shaw & Tenney oars, but CC kept those. I have been using some borrowed 8' oars; she has one pair of open bronze oarlocks. She has two rowing stations: the aft station is used when a single person is aboard, and the forward station is used for rowing when there is a person in the stern seat. She has a shallow sculling notch in the transom. She has never been rigged for sailing, and is not a motor boat.

She once had a cover (thanks to C. Doolin), but that too has disappeared over the years.

I put her in the water a couple of times recently, and she has some minor seepage, but seemed to be taking up pretty well. Putting a large load in the passenger seat, she seemed to have some leakage near the stern knee, somewhere under the stern seat. She is basically sound, no rot. It is best that she be kept wet, in the water, to avoid drying out again. She could be painted, if desired; if not painted, then annual application of the old work-boat finish is good enough.



All she needs is 8 oars to begin her journey as a training vessel for the Sea Scouts

All she needs is 8 oars to begin her journey as a training vessel for the Sea Scouts

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Dory taking a dip

Dory taking a dip

Recruit number four, but whose keeping score?

We've been busy over here at Sea Scout Base Galveston bringing amazing people aboard our crew. Recently, Captain Michael Janota became an official crew member of SSBG. Mike is now the Director of the Galveston Community Youth Sailing Center. Captain Mike overseas the development, coordination, and implementation of US Sailing programs for Sea Scout Base Galveston's Community Youth Sailing Center.

Captain Mike began his career in education. Spending a number of years in the classroom at Galveston Catholic School and O'Connel College Preparatory School. His passion for teaching sailing brought him to instruct classes at HYC, LYC, GBC, Galveston College, Texas A&M Galveston, as well as start his own Non-Profti (HLK Sailing School). As a US Sailing instructor, Mike has been able to incorporate his desire for teaching with his passion for aquatics. Captain Mike has been awarded a USCG 100 Ton Masters. Captain Mike has competed regional, national, and international events, granting him numerous awards and honors throughout his sailing years.

SSBG is excited to begin programs with Captain Mike Janota and our newly founded Galveston Youth Sailing Center.

Yip Yip Yippie! Heres to recruit number three

There is no better way to start off the week than with a new addition to our Sea Scout Base Galveston Crew. Yesterday was Abigail Hils’s first day at SSBG. Abigail accepted the position of Maritime Education Coordinator. Abigail will be responsible for ensuring effective and professional facilitation of the BaySmart, Scouting programs, and administering maritime education to youth and their parents/guardians.

Recently earning her Masters in Environmental Science with a specialization in coral reef monitoring from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; Abigail has chosen a career path to supplement her passion for teaching, environmental preservation, and sea life. Abigail began her career working at several different zoos throughout the US focusing on community-based conservation, participatory science and media, and interactive exhibits. Nonetheless, she pursued her interest in aquatics by traveling abroad by comparing the tropical marine ecosystems of the Florida Keys to the islands of the Bahamas. As time progressed, Abigail moved to the island of Bonaire to work with the Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) as their Tropical Marine Conservation Biology intern where she was involved with Lionfish research, recording and analyzing benthic covers for the CIEE long-term research project, and teaching classes such as: AGRRA methodology, mangrove and sea grass bed habitat loss, and community-based conservation.

Abigail has a wealth of knowledge that will not only be beneficial to the youth participating in the BaySmart programs, but also to all of us that work with her. The entire SSBG Crew is ecstatic to begin working with Abigail. 

Woot Woot Another Recruit !

The SSBG crew is elated to invite Margaret Candler on board. Candler recently accepted the position of Senior Captain. Margaret is responsible for safely operating and navigating the BaySmart and other SSBG vessels. This includes managing the readiness of vessels, USCG emergency drills, maritime education and training for participants in support of the programmatic missions of SSBG. She will also be first in command aboard the BaySmart vessel.

Captain Margaret has over 30 years experience in the maritime industry. Candler began her career after receiving her 100T masters license in 1983. Candler got her start as a sailing instructor at Annapolis Sailing School. From there, she spent a number of years as a Captain for Chesapeake Marine, Star Fleet Entertainment Yachts, and Kemah Baywatch Tours. Most notably, Candler was a part of the Boardwalk Beast project. Joes Boardwalk Beast is 70 foot powerboat that takes passengers on high speed, 25 minute thrill rides. Candler participated in the final three months of the vessels construction in New Jersey and assisted in researching and applying the CFR/USCG regulations for passenger vessels. She was involved in creating standards, programs, and training the crew.

SSBG is proud to have Captain Margaret on our crew.