Each year we are proud to be a part of the Wooden Boat Festival sponsored by the Toms River Seaport Society and Maritime Museum. The day includes a collection of wooden boats moored along the canal, vendors selling nautical goods, pirates and of course the Pt. Pleasant Dive Team touch tank and display.
The Dive Teams day starts at 5:30 am as we don our scuba equipment to collect our specimens for the touch tank. It takes about an hour to collect the proper specimens and enough water to keep our touch tank and our specimens healthy throughout the long day ahead.
Our displays at the festival included photos of various marine life found off the Jersey coast, a multimedia display showing artifact recovery, marine life and Dive Team drills, our shell display case, a sample of our bottle collection and of course “Dry Suit Guy” – a fully suited representation of what equipment we wear during our dives.
We spent quite a bit of time explaining about the different bottles and artifacts we find on our dives. It never fails to interest people when they find out the age of some of the bottles we find. Chief Nesley is quite good at dating bottles and makes it seem so simple once you know the features to identify. One of the games we played was to ask “What is the oldest thing on the table?”. Each time someone from the Dive Team would reply “Chief Nesley!”. Sorry Chief, but you have a few years to go to beat that lump of coal!!
The highlight of our display was our Touch Tank. Kids and adults alike had a great time learning about the marine life of New Jersey from members of our Dive Team. Our Touch tank included specimens such as the Sea Star (or Starfish as most would call them), Spider Crabs, Snails, Hermit Crabs, Star Coral and the Red Bearded Sponge.
The weather was a scorcher this year. Everyone was doing their best to stay in what little shade they could find. Hydration was the key word of the day. Of course a few Italian Ices didn’t hurt either. The canal’s waters were quite tempting throughout the day, but we refrained from jumping in the cool inviting waters in fear that everyone at the festival would join us!
12 hours after starting our day and we were finally on our way back to the RR Bridge to release our marine specimens. The Chief and Joe S. took a few minutes in the refreshing waters to cool off. A much needed treat after a long day in the heat.
A huge thanks goes out to all who helped make our 2013 Wooden Boat Festival Display a great success. We hope to see everyone next year!