Some pretty large vessels have been seen in Penobscot Bay recently, demonstrating that, in spite of tropical storm warnings, the 2011 season may not be totally over.

The 171-foot motor yacht Marjorie Morningstar visited Trident Yacht Basin Sept. 1 for a one-night visit. According to Trident Waterfront Director Charlie Foote, the luxury craft carries a crew of 11 plus owners and guests. Foote said he believed their cruise of Maine waters would continue to Bar Harbor, before heading to points south.

After-school sailing begins

ROCKLAND — Youth sailing will continue for Midcoast students this fall with Rockland Community Sailing’s after-school classes. Students in grades four through seven are invited to go sailing on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. from Sept. 12 through Oct. 12.

Classes will be held at The Apprenticeshop waterfront, 643 Main St. in Rockland.

Sailors will learn the ropes on single-person Optimist dinghies, two-person 420 sloops, and a variety of modern and traditional larger boats. They will learn to rig and sail their own boats while becoming familiar with water safety, weather, tides, knots, basic racing, and other boating skills. Instructors teach from safety motor boats and are U.S. Sailing, CPR, and First Aid certified.

Rockland Community Sailing (formerly Atlantic Challenge) has been teaching adult and youth sailing lessons for 13 years at The Apprenticeshop, a nonprofit school teaching traditional boatbuilding and seamanship.

After-school classes cost $150 per season. Youth sailing scholarships are available. For more information, call KC Heyniger at 594-1800 or visit the website at apprenticeshop.org.

Low tide walk at Sandy Beach

ROCKLAND — On Sunday, Sept. 18, the Coastal Children’s Museum will lead a low tide walk and discovery workshop at Sandy Beach in Rockland starting at 9 a.m. Al Petterson, who ran the museum’s Sunday science series this summer, will introduce children to the life in the ocean that is right outside their front doors.

Sandy Beach is located on Ocean Street and there is no telling what species will be found on this tidal discovery walk but Petterson will discuss tidal zones, habitats, and the importance of the ocean for all who live by it.

Petterson has been working on the water for 23 years as a lobsterman in Maine in the summer and as a volunteer for the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center in Florida in the winter.

The workshop is free for everyone and registration is appreciated. To register, email the museum at info@coastalchildrensmuseum.org or call 596-0300.

Participants will meet at Sandy Beach for the low tide at 9 a.m. and should be dressed ready to discover the beach and to have fun. Sandy Beach is a protected beach and all animals found will be left in their homes on the beach. For more information about the Coastal Children’s Museum and upcoming events visit the museum website at coastalchildrensmuseum.org.

Ocean Renewable Power Company submits application to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PORTLAND — Ocean Renewable Power Company announced Sept. 1 that it has submitted its pilot license application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project in Maine. The project’s purpose is to test and refine ORPC’s TidGen Power System and deliver clean renewable electricity to the grid.

According to a press release, issuance of the pilot project license will allow ORPC to demonstrate that its system can generate zero-emission energy without adverse environmental effects. The project will be located in Cobscook Bay near the boundary separating Eastport and Lubec. Once completed, the project will become the first grid-connected tidal energy project in the state and potentially the first in the nation, and will initiate commercial operations to deliver renewable electricity to the grid within the Bay of Fundy, one of the largest tidal energy markets in the world.

ORPC’s pilot license application can be accessed online at ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Search for Docket No. P-12711. For more information, contact ORPC’s offices at 120 Exchange St., Suite 508 in Portland or at 22 Washington St. in Eastport.

Carbon dioxide builds bacteria bodies

WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Researchers from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences have discovered that many of the bacteria living in the deep ocean are able to use carbon dioxide to build their bodies in a process akin to plant photosynthesis, but that these bacteria convert carbon dioxide to organic compounds in complete darkness. Results of the new study by Swan, et al., have been published in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal Science.

Funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and other agencies, the discovery was made using a series of research techniques, including a combination of cultivation-independent single cell genomics and analyses of the physiology of individual cells. The project included collaborations with scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, the University of Vienna, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Penobscot Marine Museum seeks boat donations

SEARSPORT — In a move that will provide it with operating funds while offering significant tax benefits to its supporters, Penobscot Marine Museum has joined the nonprofit Maritime Funding Association of Maine. The organization manages the boat donation process for other maritime-related nonprofits to generate funds for education programs while ensuring that boat donors receive the maximum allowable tax deduction for their gift.

According to Susan Rhodes, executive director of MFAM, boat donations to nonprofit organizations can be deducted from income for their fair market value, but only if a complex set of conditions are met. These include:

The nonprofit recipient must use the boat for at least three years or make material improvements to it before selling it.

Boats valued at over $5,000 must be appraised within 60 days of the donation.

Various documents must be produced and filed on time.

In addition to Penobscot Marine Museum, MFAM includes The Apprenticeshop, the Maine Island Trail Association, Maine Maritime Museum, and Friends of Casco Bay. For more information, call 669-4999 or visit the website at maritimefunding.com.

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.