Diver Ed's Dive in Theater

Trip Start Aug 10, 2013
Trip End Aug 31, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Thursday, August 29, 2013

A reasonably early start again this morning to get over to Bar Harbor for the 9.30 sailing of the Starfish Enterprise with Diver Ed.  This trip had been recommended by the Evans's and a quick internet search brought it up as the number one activity on the Island on Tripadvisor.  

It rained this morning for the first time this trip since the day we arrived in Cape Cod and as it turned out, we had chosen the perfect activity for a rainy morning since the boat is completely covered and not dependant upon the weather as all the activity is taking place under the sea.

We were the first to arrive at the College of the Atlantic at the meet up point at the Dorr Natural History museum.  We were greeted by 'Captain Evil', aka Ed's wife, Edna who is such a lovely person.  She was most amused to learn that the trip was recommended to us by our Welsh friends and proceeded to name the village in Wales, you know the one with the longest name, in a perfect Welsh accent telling us that is where her family is from.

Once everybody had arrived, we all followed Edna down to the boat and were greeted by a hyperactive character in a wetsuit, no other than Diver Ed.  The remainder of the crew, The Professor and Plankton Girl were joined by 2 huge Newfoundland water rescue dogs.  Ed is hilarious and while the trip has an educational basis, it is so much fun for the kids, they probably forget they are learning a huge amount.

Once we got to the dive spot, only about 15 minutes from Bar Harbor, Ed dived down to around 45 feet giving a commentary all the time through a 2 way transponder radio set.  After a short while, he surfaced with a bag of sea creatures and took the huge underwater camera down along with his diving buddy, mini Ed, a little lego diver!  This is Mini Ed no 154, the previous mini diving buddies all having met sticky ends at the hands / claws / teeth of various marine animals.  Its a tough job being Diver Ed's diving buddy.  There is method in the madness since mini Ed not only provides a bit of humour, but it gives size perspective on things down there.  The feed from the camera is transmitted to an 80" TV screen at the front of the boat and is extremely clear.  I should mention at this point that this boat the Starfish Enterprise came into use in 2009.  Their previous boat, the Seal was destroyed in a storm on Thanksgiving day 2008.  The whole town rallied round to help them design and build and pay for another boat.

The whole time Ed is diving and we are watching the screen, Edna (Captain Evil) is narrating and providing lots of information about the creatures Ed and mini Ed are finding.  Ed constantly interrupts with squeals and yelps as he gets excited about finding something and Captain Evil keeps up a flow of encouragement by communicator back to Diver Ed. With a bag full of starfish, sea cucumbers, lobster, crab, sea urchins to name but a few, Ed surfaces again and much to he amusement of kids big and small he has inflated his diving suit with his oxygen tank to demonstrate its water tightness but looking like a cartoon sumo wrestler!

All the sea creatures are transferred into tanks and all the children are invited to sit at the front while Ed shows the creatures around and gives lots of information about them, like on the case of the sea cucumber the end its mouth is and where its butt is!  The lobster claws are taped and then everything is left in two tanks for the kids to dive in and hold touch and feel.  Robert and James didn't hesitate at getting in there and holding everything, which was great to see.  They had a good long while to look a the tanks and then headed back to shore.  

We were planning to head back to the museum for 2pm for the boys to take part in he Ranger led touch tank activity as part of Robert earning his junior ranger badge (James had opted out, but took part in the activity).  Ir was still a bit chilly, so we headed up to the visitor centre as we hadn't had a proper look there and seen the film and so on before heading back down to the museum.  We were there early so had a chance to look round the museum which was excellent.  It had displays of bird, marine and animal life found on the island, but all completed by the students of the college.  The Ranger, Tara was already there and herded all the children outside at 2pm and talked to them about tide pools and in particular, safety around tide pools, both from the childrens perspective but also how to protect the delicate habitat of the creatures they are looking at.  Back into the museum to their touch tank (with sea animals provided by Diver Ed as it happens, a graduate of the college) and a discussion on different things there.  Cue more touching and holding by the boys!  So, the boys are now experts on sea bottom marine life!

We had a little browse round the Bar Harbor shops afterwards and had a treat of some delicious fudge from one shop as an alternative to ice creams and back home via a town we had not visited, Northeast Harbor.  This is the 'posh bit' of the island, apparently Martha Stewart has a home in Seal Harbor near here.  We saw lots of long driveways heading down to houses on the ocean front.  Then back home and we treated ourselves to lobster rolls and clam chowder from he lobster pound next to the house.

It gets dark very early, sunset was around 7.15 last night.  Just after sunset, I went out onto the deck in the dusk just to chill a bit and after a minute of two heard a rustling and a deer and her baby appeared in the garden and went down to the tree to eat the leaves and  the grass.  Phil and The boys came out and we had a magical 10 minutes or so in complete quiet watching them till they wandered off again.  

Last day tomorrow before we had to the airport and for home on Saturday.  Sad, but we have had an amazing time and are ready to come home now.
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cusan on

So, so glad you all enjoyed it. It's always a bit of a risk recommending something that costs money and takes a chunk of valuable holiday time.Ed is still going, in Diver Ed has not changed at all, and neither has Mini Ed, surprisingly! We have an almost identical photo of Sumo Ed getting back in the boat. Why didn't you call in Martha's for lunch? I'm sure she could have rustled you up something tasty! Lucy x

Lyn on

Ed is mad I will be asking Robert and James lots of questions .... so will my lot, they still remember him.

Daphne Scott on

Have thoroughly enjoyed your blog, feel as if I have been with you all the way. You make it very interesting reading Julie, great!

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