Right Whale Discovered Pregnant in August, Spotted with New Calf

Amid the growing concern that endangered North Atlantic right whales could be creeping toward extinction due to their declining numbers, every winter calving season offers a chance for hope.

On January 2, 2020, Harmonia, an 18-year-old right whale who was discovered to be pregnant this summer by the New England Aquarium right whale team, was spotted off Cumberland Island, GA, with her newborn calf.

An aerial survey team from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission saw the pair just over 7 miles from shore while doing routine surveys of the right whale calving ground. This is optimistic news for the right whale population, which now stands at about 411.

“Every calf gives us hope, and seeing Harmonia, who we’ve watched grow from a calf to a healthy mom, with her third calf is particularly exciting. The future of this species rests on the backs of dependable reproductive females like her,” said Philip Hamilton, a Research Scientist at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium.

Harmonia, right whale Catalog #3101, was sighted with her newborn calf about 7 nautical miles off Cumberland Island, GA, on January 2, 2020. Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit 20556-01

For 40 years, the Aquarium’s right whale team has extensively researched and tracked the endangered North Atlantic right whales with the photo-identification catalog it manages. The scientific team monitors the whales’ arrival at breeding and feeding grounds, registering new calves, death rates, and measuring changes in stress and reproductive hormones through scat and blow, or whale’s breath, research developed by the team. The team collaborates with fishermen on new techniques to reduce deadly entanglements in fishing gear, and it works with lawmakers locally and nationally to lobby for protections for the whales.

On Aug. 7, the team collected a sample of Harmonia’s feces in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where she was sighted with two other whales. An analysis of her hormones indicated that she was pregnant. By Nov. 23, she was spotted off the coast of Florida, the first right whale spotted in the Southeast this winter, exciting researchers with hopes that she had migrated to warmer waters to give birth. She was seen again on Dec. 10 off the coast of Georgia by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium aerial survey team.

Harmonia is well-known and well-studied by the New England Aquarium team. She was born in 2001 to parents, Aphrodite and Velcro, who are both thought to still be alive. Harmonia also has at least six half-brothers and two half-sisters. Harmonia has previously given birth to two calves – one in 2009 and another in 2016. Her first calf barely made it past its first year before being struck by a vessel and killed during the summer of 2010. Harmonia’s second calf, “Gully,” is still alive but was discovered in 2018 suffering another major threat to right whales – entanglement in fishing gear, leaving severe wounds and a deep gouge in its head.

As the right whale team has developed its health assessment techniques using blow and scat samples from free-swimming right whales, Harmonia has been an invaluable test case. The team was able to gather two blow samples and one fecal sample from Harmonia in 2015. Those samples showed elevated levels of reproductive hormones, characteristic of pregnancy, and she subsequently gave birth to Gully 10 months later. That finding was pivotal because it was the first proof that a sample of exhaled blow could effectively detect pregnancy.

Harmony on December 10, 2019. Photo: Clearwater Marine Aquarium, taken under NOAA Permit #20556-01.

Looking back on Harmonia’s history, she was one of a handful of calves from 2001 who stayed with her mom into her second year – unlike most calves who are weaned by the end of their first year. Harmonia also gave birth to her first calf three years earlier than average and was pregnant by the age of 7. She’s had two suction cup tags attached to her – the first at age 2 so researchers could understand how she behaved underwater, and the second to assess how she and her calf vocalized. Her blubber thickness has been measured, and she’s been observed by a special aerial camera designed to provide accurate length and width measurement – all in addition to her involvement in the feces and blow hormone studies.

Harmonia has been seen by the Aquarium right whale team in the Bay of Fundy many times and almost every year up until 2011, but has not been seen there since. Due to ocean changes brought on by climate change, few right whales use the Bay of Fundy now. Harmonia is one of the 130 or so right whales that have adapted and now feed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where she has been seen every year since 2015.

“Harmonia” waves her fluke around in the air. Photo: Monica Zani, New England Aquarium/Canadian Whale Institute.



Shared by our City Councilman Scott Memhard, “Rare gigantic Blue Lobster landed at Boston’s NE Aquarium, with ice sculptor extraordinaire Donald Chapelle, Gloucester’s own Lars Eric Miller (who wished it was a Blue Fin Tuna), Brilliant Ice Sculptures, and Cape Pond Ice, of course….!”

First Calico #Lobster Of The Season @CaptJoeLobster #GloucesterMA @NEAQ Says They’re Incredibly Rare.

The New England Aquarium pegs the odds of getting one at 1 in 30 million. Read the article here


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Nichole’s Picks of the Week: February Vacation

Many kiddos are on vacation this coming week so I’m throwing out some extra suggestions to the universe in case you have some extra downtime.

The possibilities are endless and this list is not meant to be comprehensive…just some of my favorite choices!

Pick #1:  

The New England Boat Show!

The boat show runs from February 14th-22nd at the the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center!  Children 15 and under are FREE and adults are only $16.  Actually, for a limited time, adults are only $13.  It’s a good idea to purchase tix online as the line to buy tickets can get long at times.

My boys LOVED the car show….I can only imagine the mayhem that will ensue when we unleash them at the boat show.


Pick #2:

Slope Fest!  Lawn on the D February 20th-22nd

This event sounds like a blast!  Tubing, music, food trucks, frost ice bar, winter sports exhibition, family friendly activities, and much more!  This could easily become quite the staycation.  Book an inexpensive room and make a little getaway out of it!

Winter on D’s Slope Fest, a three-day wintertime festival offering city-dwellers an urban escape featuring a two-story-high snow slope for tubing, downhill winter sport exhibitions on the slope, a custom-designed illuminated bar carved out of ice by Boston’s Frost Ice Bar, activities for families and the young at heart, a hot Latin dance party and more!

With over five feet of snow blanketing The Lawn, Winter on D’s Slope Fest offers Bostonians the chance to tube down a 70-foot-long slope made of fresh snowy powder – without heading to the mountains. You can leave your snow tubes at home as they will be provided by the MCCA, but make sure to buy a ticket* to ensure that you get a chance to slide down the snowiest hill in Boston! The slope will also be the location for an hour-long sport exhibition featuring the SnowRiders, a team of experienced skiers and snowboarders, who will be twisting and turning in the air to show off their hottest moves on and off the slope**.

Once you’ve had your fill of tubing, grab a hot beverage or choose from local wine and beer selections from the ice bar provided by Boston’s Frost Ice Bar, the world’s largest permanent indoor ice bar in the U.S. Order a special drink to pair it with your favorite menu item from one of the many food trucks that will be on-site for Slope Fest.

Watch Latin dance performances by MetaMovements and even learn the latest dance steps before trying them out yourself during a Latin dance party that will take place before Friday’s Slope Fest downhill winter sport exhibition.

If that isn’t enough, Slope Fest will also feature fun family friendly activities, music from DJ Frankie White, fire pits on The Lawn and more (think snowy selfie photo opps)!

Pick #3
Salem’s So Sweet  This event is still going on so if you didn’t make it last weekend…you still have time.  Chocolate and ice sculptures…sounds like you can’t go wrong!


Pick #4 
Pinkalicious! The Musical

February 14 at 2 pm
February 15 at 2 pm and 4 pm
February 18, 19, and 20 at 2 pm
February 21 at 2 pm and 4 pm
February 22 at 2 pm

Back by popular demand! One of the biggest hits with BCT audiences, PINKALICIOUS returns for a limited run in our 2015 season. This pinktastic musical features everyone’s favorite pink princess, Pinkalicious, along with her brother Peter and her adoring parents! Learn why it’s so important to eat your green vegetables! A pinkerrific time will be had by all!  Single Tickets Now On Sale!  All Performances of PINKALICIOUS at the Cambridge YMCA, 820 Mass. Ave, Cambridge


Pick #5

Dave and Buster’s

I’m not typically an arcade fan, but my boys love it here and I actually usually have a pretty good time too!  We’ve been to the Providence and the Braintree locations.  We eat a decent lunch, play a ton of games, the boys run around like crazy scoring tickets, and then cash them in for some silly little prize.


Pick #6
The Mary Baker Eddy Library has February Vacation activities.

The Mapparium is really cool to see while you’re there!


Pick #7
The Museum of Fine Arts

As with other museums, the MFA will be hosting February Vacation activities for children and their families!  Check out their program of events.


Pick #8
Maritime Gloucester!

One of our favorite summer places of all, Maritime Gloucester will be having some great February Vacation activities!

Be sure to click on the link to discover just what they’ll be offering!



Pick #9

Eurostoves in Beverly is offering kids’ cooking classes most days during vacation week, but they are filling up QUICK!

Check out their class schedule and call ASAP if you’re interested!


Pick #10
The Wenham Museum

The 6th Annual Lego Train 

by The New England Lego Users Group 

February 14 – 15

Learn more…

February Vacation Fun 


February 16 – 18

Train Time D IY Maker Studio 

February 16 – 20

Learn more…


Train Time 18: Farm to Table By Train



Open through February 22 

Learn more…


Pick #11

So, I know that you all know to go to the New England Aquarium, but right now I’m particularly excited about the Humpback Whales 3D IMAX Movie!


GMG Update for Marine Mammal Response From Mendy Garron

Dear Good Morning Gloucester Community:

We know people were concerned and had questions about the harbor seal that was at Good Harbor Beach over the weekend.  I wanted to take this opportunity to remind people of what they should do if they see an animal that may need assistance.

October 4, 2014 injured seal

Donna Ardizzoni Injured Seal photo Oct 4, 2014 Good Harbor Beach Taken With Telephoto Lens

Up until this year, the protocol was to call the New England Aquarium.  The Aquarium served as the NOAA authorized responder for the Northshore area for many years.  On January 1st, the Aquarium refocused their response effort to sea turtle rehabilitation and the study of infectious disease in marine mammals. As a result they had to scale back their response area for stranded marine mammals and now are focusing their efforts on the area from Salem to Plymouth.  

Over the last year, NOAA Fisheries has been seeking an alternate organization to help us fill this void on the Northshore, which includes Cape Ann. Until an alternate organization is identified and authorized to help us, we ask that all stranding calls be reported to our offices.

Our program oversees the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program from Maine to Virginia.  Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to respond to every animal in the field and do not have the legal ability to authorize individual volunteers to respond to these cases.  As a result, marine mammal stranding cases in Gloucester will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  When needed, we will seek help from other authorized stranding response agencies, but their ability to help will be limited and based on their available resources. 

I would like to ask the Gloucester community to spread the word about the current status of response to stranded marine mammals and remind one another to be responsible viewers of wildlife by:

– Staying a safe distance of at least 150 feet from animals on the beach or hauled out;

– Do not let dogs approach seals or other marine wildlife.  Marine mammals do carry diseases that can be transmitted to your pets, and vise versa;

– Do not touch or feed the animal.

Remember, seals are wild animals.  Medical treatment of these animals is significantly different from domestic and terrestrial animals.  We have to consider a variety of factors when making a decision about how best to respond to an animal on the beach including individual animal health and potential risks to humans and pets, the overall health of the species’ population , and how intervening may affect the natural ecosystem. Seals and other marine mammal species are federally protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

I would like to thank the Gloucester Police Department and the Massachusetts Environmental Police for their assistance in maintaining a safe viewing distance for this animal while it was resting on the beach.  The seal did go back into the water on its own Saturday evening and no further reports have been received.

More information about the National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program can be found at the following website:–

Mendy Garron, CVT
Marine Mammal Response Coordinator
Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office

NOAA Fisheries


A Wealth of Resources for Sure!

For the last few summers I have come out of summer retirement to run a two-week summer session at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School.  The camp is focused on both Marine Science and Maritime History and the goal is to get the kids out on the water/waterfront as much as possible.  I am fortunate that my boys have that opportunity often and that they are naturally drawn to the ocean and all it has to offer.  That having been said, I know that isn’t true for all children who are growing up in this area.  Most importantly, I wanted to help educate these children on the history of the fishing industry and how important the ocean is to the community’s livelihood and to the creatures that call it home!

This year’s camp was a large success thanks to many local businesses.  I’m happy to be able to fire off a quick post to thank some of those places/individuals.

While one day took us into Boston to explore the New England Aquarium and watch a Journey to the South Pacific IMAX movie, all other days were spent outside experiencing the waterfront hands-on.

Our students spent a couple of days aboard the Sea Station vessel, Endeavour, in Salem Harbor.  This unreal floating classroom afforded us the opportunity to haul lobster traps, observe ocean life in its giant glass holding tank, sink the underwater camera to observe the ocean floor and eel grass beds + observe our discoveries on the giant flatscreen TV, and preform beach landings on Misery Island to go hiking, swimming, and tidal pooling. If you haven’t explored Misery Island, you’re missing out!

Sea Station

We had a fantastic day at the Nahant Marine Science Center where the children were given the opportunity to become scientists while recording their tide pool findings and the properties of the water in small groups.  They also had a wonderful tour of the facilities and the gorgeous property that the science center calls home. The Northeastern graduates/students that took care of our group were fabulous!

Nahant Marine Science Center

One day was spent onboard Cape Ann Whale Watch’s vessel, the Hurricane.  We saw several humpback whales and enjoyed a fantastic trip.  The naturalists, as always, added a wonderful educational component with small group lessons throughout the trip in addition to the narration while observing the whales.

Cape Ann Whale Watch

We greatly enjoyed a morning at Maritime Gloucester and were incredibly pleased with the workshops that Mary Kay had planned for our students…who ranged in age from 1st grade to 8th!  Maritime Gloucester was, as always, a must-do on our excursion list!

Maritime Gloucester

We enjoyed a visit from a wonderful artist named Kathy Abbott, who helped the children learn about caring for our beaches, waterfronts, and oceans while adding the element of art.  Learning about the Angry Ocean Project inspired many of our students to go home and create masterpieces of their own with debris the discovered on local beaches.

Angry Ocean Project

We headed North to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH where we did a self-guided tour of the exhibits, participated in a 60 minute Whale presentation (the highlight of which was definitely seeing the entire skeleton system of the Fin Whale that washed ashore on Cape Hedge Beach several years ago) and then explored the rocky shore of Ordione State Park with a naturalist who helped the children learn about all of the amazing things they found in the tide pools.  Stunning scenery!

Seacoast Science Center

Captain Steve Douglas, from Cape Ann Harbor Tours, agreed to a custom designed trip on his King Eider.  I really wanted the students to see the waterfront from the water.  I asked Steve to point out the many different types of vessels that call Gloucester Harbor home and to explain the different type of fishing gear that we saw along the way.  I wanted the children to get a feel for the history and the diversity of the fleet.  They also learned about the Cut Bridge and Annisquam River, Cape Pond Ice, the schooners, the state fish pier, the auction house, Capt. Joe and Sons (of course), Ten Pound Island, and so, so much more.

Cape Ann Harbor Tours

And a day that exceeded all expectations was the day that we visited the NOAA offices up at Blackburn Circle.  I was floored with the presentation and hands-on activities that had been prepared for our visit and the number of staff that was able to make themselves available to work with our students.  With several different learning stations, knowledgable staff, a large inflatable whale, an amazing interactive game that helped the children learn about sustainability, and much more, hey truly went above and beyond to help educate our students.  Their efforts were a perfect match for what I was hoping to achieve throughout the summer session.  I can’t thank them enough!

NOAA Gloucester

This summer session served as yet another reminder of the wealth of resources that we have in our area.  How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such a wide array of fun and educational resources.  I am well aware, that a longer camp session could have visited so many other amazing destinations and that the places I have included are certainly not the only amazing choices that we have.  There’s always next year 🙂


Washed up Finback Whale Being Disassembled!

The finback whale that has traveled the currents of the Boston and the North Shore to rest, post-Superstorm Sandy, on Cape Hedge beach, was taken apart by a team of hearty souls armed with butcher knives and a whetstone this morning. It looked like bloody hard work, hacking away gigantic pieces of flesh and whale muscle from gigantic bones. Like butchering a school bus.  Most of the people wielding the knives looked suitably attired with commercial rain gear covering all the parts that mattered, but a few looked like they had drifted over from the North Shore Mall with only sweatpants — sweatpants! — standing between their own flesh and that of the whale. Thousands of pounds of rotting whale flesh. I’m just guessing that those sweatpants, having absorbed dead whale moisture, are going straight into the trash can just off the beach, as it would be better to ride home naked than wearing sweatpants saturated with the smell of long-dead marine life.

The smell was epic when you were downwind, and on the car ride on the way home the air began to fill with an aroma suspiciously similar to that of our dead friend. It turns out that my 3-year-old managed to step in an infinitestimal string of whale flesh residue. His little shoes will probably be a casualty of the day along with the whale team members’ sweatpants.

It was an amazing sight and hats off to the team from Mass Wildlife and the New England Aquarium and the guy at the Rockport DPW who handled the backhoe with the delicacy of a surgeon. It was a rare privilege to see, here in New England and in this high-tech age, people on the beach breaking down a whale by hand, just like our ancestors. But in this case the whale died of natural causes and even better, he will live on in perpetuity, recreated piece by piece for display in a museum. Experiences like this remind me that living here on Cape Ann is a rare sort of gift.

The spinal cord

Whale butchering as a Family Field Trip! The 6-year-old is grossed out. The 3-year-old seems confused. The baby (not shown) just seems bored.
Jawbones of the whale: the first pieces of the skeleton loaded into the trailer.

Aquarium Seeks Marine Animal Response Volunteers for North Shore and N.H.

Photo Credit – New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is searching for volunteers for its marine animal response team on the North Shore and in N.H.  Volunteers monitor mostly live seals resting in prominent public locations but also some harbor porpoises that are swimming near shore. Volunteers also respond to dead wash-ups of sea turtles, whales, dolphins and seals.

Given the distance from Boston, the Aquarium relies on this network of trained local volunteers to be first responders. Volunteers act as the “eyes and ears” on the beach so that the Aquarium’s rescue biologists and veterinarians can make decisions on the best course of action.  A typical response includes traveling to the stranding site and identifying the species and location of any stranded animals. Volunteers then conduct health assessments of live animals to determine if they are injured, sick or in good health.  With dead animals, they take measurements and determine the animal’s gender.  Volunteers then take and transmit photos and information about stranded animals to the Aquarium as soon as possible. Volunteers also establish and maintain perimeters around stranding sites and answer questions from the public.

Field stranding response volunteers need to be year round residents, have access to a car and have a flexible schedule so as to respond on an on call basis. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and fit enough to walk on uneven ground and lift moderate weight. Working with stranded or dead animals can be stressful. Volunteers need to be able to remain calm under pressure and report objectively. At strandings, there are often a wide range of audiences including curious and emotional bystanders, media representatives, law enforcement officers and local officials. Effective communications skills are essential. Previous animal handling experience is helpful and given preference.

Due to the inherent risk in working with wild animals, which can carry diseases and bacteria, this position is not recommended for applicants who are immuno-compromised or pregnant.

The deadline for applications is May 13. To apply on-line, please visit the aquarium’s website at:

For those without web access, please call the Aquarium’s volunteer office at 617-973-5235

 After completing applications, Aquarium staff will interview prospective volunteers.  New volunteers will need to be available for a full day of training on Sunday, June 3 in Gloucester.

Scuba Divers- Northeast Great Annual Fish Count (GAFC) 7/24/2010 at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester



From New England Lobsta Divahs messageboard member macado

There will be food and raffle prizes. You dont need to be a member of the New England Aquarium Dive Club to participate but in order to submit a survey and take part in the raffles and prizes you need a REEF ID before the event.
There are about $7000 worth of prizes to giveaway, including a trip to Bonaire.
More information available at Great Annual Fish Count


Participants need to have a REEF Member # prior to the day of the event. A REEF member # is required in order to do a survey and then hand it in to get a raffle ticket.
The process is painless:
•Becoming a REEF member — Click here to Join Reef and follow the directions on the site.
•Already a member, but forgot your REEF member number? Click here to lookup your Member number. If the email lookup is not working, email and they can look up the number.
Most dives begin at 7-8 am and the Volunteer Coordinator at that site sets time.
After the dives, participants fill out their surveys, and meet at Stage Fort Park. The survey papers are handed in and participants get 1 raffle ticket. (1 raffle ticket / diver no matter how many surveys are handed in).The diver can choose what grand prize they wish to go for, only 1 prize per diver can be won.
There will be food and drinks for sale, as well as a touch-tank and many other activities.
The surveys must be handed in by 1:30 pm, and the Raffle is drawn at 2 pm. The Grand prizes are pulled 1st followed by general raffle prizes drawn in order of descending value. When you turn in your REEF survey this year at Stage Fort Park for the GAFC event you will also get a little gift from the NEADC.

What to do this weekend-

From knitting to Dr. Seuss

Around Cape Ann
Gail McCarthy

Knitting is again gaining popularity as a growing number of residents are getting together to share their projects. To that end, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library will present a program Monday at 6 p.m. in the Friend Room titled “Know Your Knitting (K)Neighbor — The Ecological Knitter.”

This will be an evening of talk and demonstrations on ways to reclaim, recycle, reuse wool, cotton, cashmere, silk yarns and fabrics. The public is invited to bring their own projects or just come and chat. At the last knitting event, a woman shared with the group how she would buying hand-knit sweaters in thrift stores, unraveling them to reuse the yarn. This sparked a discussion about reusing fiber, both yarn and fabric.

Rose Ann Hunter, an Old Sturbridge Village Craftsman, will bring examples of projects she makes from fabric recycled from garments and thrift stores. Kathleen Valentine, author of “The Mermaid Shawl & Other Beauties: Shawls, Cocoons & Wraps,” will bring two of the shawls featured in the book, made from reclaimed silk.

Call Leslie Wind for more information at 978-546-6539, or e-mail

Wine tasting and music

The Rotary Club of Rockport is holding a wine tasting at Rockport Golf Club this Saturday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Requested donation is $30; tickets are available at the door or at the club’s Web site at The evening of wine sampling includes hors d’oeuvres provided by Classic Cooks and live jazz and blues music by Alek Razdan and the A-Train. There will be a silent auction. There will be more than 100 wines to sample, including those from California, Washington state, France, South America, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Portugal.

‘Suessical’ in Gloucester

“Seussical,” a musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss that made a Broadway debut in 2000, will performed by the Department of Performing Arts of Landmark High School, opening tonight at 7:30. Shows also are tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. Show are at Fuller Auditorium in Gloucester. This popular show is for all ages and will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Tickets are available at the door for $5, general seating, and $15 for special VIP seating.

Pete Lindberg CD release

Tomorrow, The Dog Bar will host Pete Lindberg’s first CD release party. Lindberg spent the last few months recording his first solo CD with Bradley Royds at his Cape Ann studios. Royds described Lindberg as “a gifted storyteller with prolific talent — a true bard.” He is part of a growing musical family, which includes his father Mike Lindberg, who plays with the Irish/Celtic group O Brien’s Boru. The new CD features his songs, accompanied simply by guitar and harmonica. The show begins at 9 p.m. The Dog Bar is located at 65 Main St. in Gloucester. There is no cover. For information, visit or

Gloucester Maritime celebration

The Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center is host a three-day celebration, today through Saturday, to celebrate the opening of its new Gorton’s Seafoods Gallery and the start of the 2009 season. All events take place at the center, located at 23 Harbor Loop in Gloucester.

Bud Ris, president and CEO of the New England Aquarium, will present a free slide lecture, “The New England Aquarium Today and Tomorrow” at 7 tonight.

Erik Ronnberg, renowned New England ship-model maker, will present a free slide lecture, “New England’s Earliest Otter Trawlers,” includes slides of the Surf he built for marine artist Tom Hoyne, tomorrow at 7 p.m.

The center will host a “Demonstration Day” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Events include an Historic Postcards slide show, seafood cooking demonstrations, live music by Not That Blonde, storytelling by Fred Dodge, and presentations on whale tagging, shipwrecks and sustainable fisheries. Ongoing demonstrations include net stripping, sail making, dory building, and ship model construction. Visitors can explore a simulated shipwreck with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary maritime archaeologists and observe a boat being hauled out of the water on the center’s 19th century marine railway. Children’s activities include fish printing, compass making and knot tying. Sea Pocket Lab, the center’s outdoor aquarium with touch tanks, will be open.

Visitors can also explore the first exhibit, which focuses on the shoreside industries that supported the local fishing fleet at the dawn of the 20th century. Displays feature ship models, and artifacts ranging from oilskins to foghorns to sailmaker’s tools. Chart your course to the Grand Banks. Experiment with the interactive marine railway model. Watch vintage film footage of fishing schooners. For more information, call 978-281-0470.

Cape Ann Community Cinema

Joaquin Phoenix plays an emotionally unstable man who must choose between Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw in the film “Two Lovers,” showing at Cape Ann Community Cinema through Sunday at 7:15 p.m., with a bonus show tomorrow at 5 p.m.

There will be two benefit screenings of “The Breast Cancer Diaries” on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38, Ann Murray Paige sets up a video diary camera in her bedroom. The result is an unvarnished first-person account of her nine-month battle, punctuated with humor, poignancy and romance. Part of the proceeds benefit breast cancer awareness and The Breast Cancer Diaries Foundation. Tickets for this special event are $10 each.

Opera on the Island features “Benvenuto Cellini” on Saturday at 1 p.m. with this French opera written by Hector Berlioz in the 1830s. It is described as complex, richly detailed and prolifically imaginative, and which Berlioz’s contemporaries often considered unplayable. This production came from the 2007 Salzburg Festival, with a cast accompanied by the Vienna Philharmonic and its chorus. Tickets $12.50 all seats.

A free show takes place Saturday at 9:30 p.m. with “Sita Sings The Blues,” a film about a goddess separated from her beloved husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by e-mail. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this animated interpretation of the Indian epic “Ramayana.”

The films are shown at Gloucester Stage Co. at 267 East Main St. in Gloucester. For tickets and show times, visit

Salute to Spring

Chorus North Shore sponsors the Honors Youth Choir’s concert “Salute to Spring” this Saturday at 7 p.m. at First Parish Unitarian Church, 225 Cabot St., Beverly, in a concert dedicated to spring. Twelve Cape Ann youth are members of choir, comprised of 33 students representing 20 North Shore schools. Those students are Katherine Boucher, Emily Daily, Matt Favaloro, Katherine Maddox, Sophie Palmer and Katrina Tuck, all from Rockport; Christine Anderson, Lara Carney, Carly Curcuru, Olivia Francis and Elisa Smith, from Gloucester; and Nancy MacMillan of Manchester. The event is described as a choral choreography including narration, choral gesturing, duets, solos and more. Under the direction of conductor Sonja Dahlgren Pryor and accompanied by Robert Littlefield, the program includes music from early Baroque to the present day. The program is designed for a wide audience including families. Tickets at the door are $10, children under 12 are free.

Gentle yoga

ACI-Cape Ann’s Dr. Pat O’Brien has created a beginner’s gentle yoga class that meets every Saturday at 9:15 a.m. at the Vajramudra Center, 154 Granite St. in Rockport. She designed the class to provide an understanding of how yoga works and how it helps work out aches and pains. The classes are open to all, suggested donation is $10. For more information, contact O’Brien at or visit

Local music and Mother’s Day events

The Seaward Inn will host a Mother’s Day jazz brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., kicking off the Sunday Morning Live Series. Performing will be Al Boudreau on vocals and drums, Barbara Boudreau on vocals and Jack Senier on the piano. Reservations encouraged, no cover. The inn is located on the coast at 44 Marmion Way in Rockport. For information, visit

The Linda Amero Trio featuring Steve Heck on piano and Bronek Suchanek on bass will play a Mother’s Day Lunch on Sunday at Captain Carlo‘s from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. For reservations, call 978-283-6342. On May 15, the jazz vocalist will perform at the Franklin Cafe “Supper Club” at 118 Main St. in Gloucester from 7 to 10 p.m.

To kick off the sailing season, the schooner Thomas E. Lannon is offering free sails to mothers on Sunday, when it sails from 1 to 3 p.m. from Seven Seas Wharf at the Gloucester House restaurant in Gloucester. Reservations suggested. For more information, go to or call 978-281-6634.

Museum announces guided tours

The Cape Ann Museum will provide weekly guided tours led by docents trained in teaching the public about the museum’s art and history collections. Eleven docents recently completed a five-month training program in preparation for leading public tours this spring. Starting this month, the docents will lead tours of the Highlights of the Collection, the Captain Elias Davis House, and the Fitz Henry Lane Collection. Tours are free with the price of admission. Tours for May are as follows:

Highlights of the Collection: Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.; Captain Elias Davis House on May 16, May 30 at 2 p.m. and the Fitz Henry Lane Collection on Saturday and May 23 at 2 p.m. Visit for further details. The museum also provides tours to private groups through advance reservation. For more information to book a private tour, contact Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455, ext. 11.

Spring jazz concert

Jazz in Rockport presents “Swing into Spring” with Kendra Shank and Quartet. She performs as part of the Jazz in Rockport concert series, introducing her new CD release “Mosaic” on May 16 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Art Association. The jazz vocalist was described by The New York Times as an artist with “effervescence, depth” and “integrity.” There is a discount for those also attending Rockport Art Association’s Arts and Flowers event on May 15. For information, call 978-546-6604 or Brickhouse Productions at 978-546-8474. Tickets on sale at Rockport Art Association, Toad Hall Bookstore and The Book Store of Gloucester.

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000, ext. 3445 or, or fax to 978-281-5748.

Anemone At The New England Aquarium

I needed about 3 hours more to get the pictures I wanted to at The Aquarium.  This is one of those times where you have to balance family time with trying to get the right shot as the girls were going nuts.  The Bean excitedly screaming that each exhibit was her new favorite and Snoop Maddie Mad flying up and down the ramps with wreckless abandon.  I managed one or two decent snaps out of dozens though. 

This one is kinda pretty.

Anemone At The New England Aquarium, originally uploaded by captjoe06.


Monkfish At The New England Aquarium

Before The Gloucester Seafood Display Auction came along and we were handling fish we would handle tons of monkfish.  The boats would sometimes sell them whole and sometimes cut the tails.  When cutting off the heads they lose over half the weight of the fish but the price would go up a ton.  Some people say that monkfish tastes like lobster.  I think that’s a bunch of bull but hey they gotta sell this ugly sucker somehow.  they have it listed as goosefish on the tag at the aquarium but as long as I’ve been in the fish business I’ve never hearda single person in the industry ever refer to it as a goosefish, even the government reports we had to fill out listed them as monkfish.  Here’s the wikipedia page for monkfish


Horny Penguins

Here our horny penguin begins his courting by pinning down his mate for some one on one back door penguin action at The New England Aquarium.  What are they feeding these things, a potent concoction of crushed up Viagra, Cialis and Levitra tabs mixed with herring?

Yeah Baby!

Horny Penguins, originally uploaded by captjoe06.