Jim Sharp at the Sail, Power and Steam Museum has acquired an unusual object and is offering a family membership to the first person to figure out what the item is.

Interested and curious visitors can see the large metal object at the Sail, Power and Steam Museum at 75 Mechanic St. in Rockland. For more information call 594-0200, write to ssmuseum@midcoast.com or visit the website at sailpowerandsteammuseum.org.

Fishermen sought for rope survey

BOSTON — The Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction is investigating whether changes in rope manufacturing over the past several decades have had an impact on the severity of entanglements. As part of this investigation, they would like to learn more about how fishermen choose rope and how changes in rope manufacturing have impacted the way they fish.

The research team at the New England Aquarium has been assessing right whale entanglement interactions for nearly 30 years. This work has shown that right whales frequently encounter rope with 82 percent of the population showing distinct scars from an interaction with rope. The results from the questionnaire will help determine if there are certain rope characteristics that lead to an entanglement becoming severe, or result in a whale breaking free on its own.

Survey data will be used to help identify practical methods to reduce entanglement risk to whales. Responses will be tabulated and compiled into a report to be shared with industry, state and federal governments, and the general public.

To take the survey online, visit the website at surveymonkey.com/s/Z6ZQL7R.

Courageous captains at Camden library

CAMDEN — In late 1914, renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 set out to attempt the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent after their tall ship Endurance became locked in the ice 80 miles from land. Endurance was crushed and sank, leaving the men stranded. For 21 months they struggled to survive against the demanding climate of that region.

Richard Cornelia will present an illustrated talk on Shackleton’s adventure during Windjammer Festival, on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Camden Public Library.

The library will also host an outdoor screening of the movie “Captains Courageous” at 7:30 p.m. that evening, weather permitting.

Geology at Pemaquid Beach

BRISTOL — The final workshop of the Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center season will take place Friday, Sept. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to noon and will focus on the geology at Pemaquid Beach.

Educator/geologist David Pope will lead participants on a beach stroll to explore and discuss the shimmering sand, streaks of reddish brown, sand dunes, and more. Families and all ages are welcome. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required by Aug. 31 by calling PWA at 563-2196. The workshop is free, but participants must pay the town’s admission fee to the park.

Canned salmon an environmental alternative to tuna

BOSTON — In an online story at theatlantic.com, Paul Greenberg suggests that canned salmon is a better choice for the environment than canned tuna. “A Tale of Two Cans: Why Canned Salmon Is Better Than Tuna” calls the decision to buy salmon a clear choice.

Among the reasons given in Greenberg’s story is the fact that salmon’s reproductive cycle allows regulators to monitor how many salmon there are and how many can be caught.   “Salmon do something that makes managing them relatively easy — they return to spawn in the place where they were born,” Greenberg wrote. “This means that fisheries managers can, year in and year out, determine how many salmon there are and how many we can take without damaging the long term viability of a given population.”

Since tuna travel freely across the oceans, in no recognizable pattern, it is hard to estimate their population sizes.

“In addition, tuna stocks are fished by multiple nations simultaneously, with a significant amount of tuna coming from the no man’s land of the High Seas,” he wrote. Greenberg also said catching salmon is less harmful to the marine environment and “the species of salmon used in canned salmon eat lower on the food chain than tuna, and are thus lower in toxins.”

Rockland Yacht Club celebrates annual cruise

ROCKLAND — Rockland Yacht Club Press Secretary Paul White gave the following report of the club’s annual cruise, Aug. 6 through 13.

The following boats and crews gathered at the breakwater lighthouse Saturday morning to head Down East:

  • Sea Monkey — Judy Turner and Alan MacDonald
  • Intuito — Melissa and Jim Evers with guest Elizabeth
  • Spirits — Steve and Jennie Pierce and their four guests

Acadia, manned by Gerry and Karen Hull, left Rockland later and caught up to the other boats before the Fox Island Thoroughfare, but then turned back to Rockland.

The remaining vessels continued east, running into fog at the entrance to Merchant’s Row. Although the fog didn’t last long, it was again encountered as the flotilla approached Burnt Coat Harbor at Swan’s Island. The fog at Burnt Coat was so dense “that we had to almost hit a boat before we could see it in the mooring field,” according to Steve Pierce, the cruise director.

The plan was to anchor, but there wasn’t enough visibility to see if there was swing room to safely anchor.

Altair, crewed by Julie and Rick Palm, and Persephone, with Toni and Gerritt Vander Veer on board, were already in the harbor and provided guidance for safe anchoring. Also checking in via VHF radio were Sea Jab, crewed by Al Hodsdon, on the other side of Swan’s Island at Buckle Harbor, and Snowy Owl, manned by Jody and Don Abbott, and Selkie, crewed by Terry and Bill Burrows at Cranberry Islands. Cocktails were served aboard the Altair, a Saga 48.

Sunday was wet and windy. Due to the weather, the five boats stayed put in the harbor. Snowy Owl braved the weather and came over to join the others in Burnt Coat Harbor. The planned destination for the club cruise was Roque Island, but due to the weather forecast, the itinerary was changed on Monday, and the flotilla headed for Southwest Harbor.

Tuesday was cool and clear with a wind from the north-northeast. Some sailed to Pretty Marsh while others, with less patience for the very light winds near Bass Head, motored.   Wednesday morning, the group made the short journey from Pretty Marsh to Blue Hill, arriving at the Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club early enough to walk to town and explore.

Thursday was cloudy with a good breeze right from the direction the sailors wanted to go. This proved to be no problem, as the boats all tacked out of Blue Hill Bay along the west side of Long Island for a wonderful day of sailing. Boats ending up in Buckle Harbor included: Altair, Sea Monkey, Spirits, Summer Salt, Intuito and Persephone.

On Friday, boats split up to go to various destinations. Some headed for Eggemoggin Reach, Altair headed to Seal Bay at Vinalhaven, while Summer Salt, Spirits and Sea Monkey headed to Laundry Cove at Isle Au Haut.

Saturday dawned as a splendid day with bright blue skies and enough wind to enjoy a wonderful sail from the Fox Island Thoroughfare to Rockland, completing the loop.

According to the website wordorigins.org, “Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle — to cut a hole in — and butt — a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor.”

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.