Natural History Museum by Cole

A few days ago we went to the Natural History and Arts Museum.  First, we went to the ocean part of it.  We saw one display about a prehistoric animal that had a very small hipbone.

You can see the hip bone on this animal.

You can see the hip bone on this animal.

Obviously it was evolving from a water animal to a land animal or a land animal to a water animal.  We also saw displays about how apes evolved into humans.

Do you see the resemblance between my dad and the ape?

Do you see the resemblance between my dad and the ape?

 

Then we went to the gems and minerals part of the museum.  We saw the famous Hope Diamond.

Hope diamond.

Hope diamond.

Then we saw all of the other gems.  There was one mineral there that glows when you shine a black light on it.

Phosphorescent rocks at the Natural History Museum.

Phosphorescent rocks at the Natural History Museum.

There were really big gems too. bigThis was also the museum that the movie Night at the Museum was filmed.  My favorite display was the gems and minerals part.  If you ever come to the Smithsonian, don’t forget to see the Hope Diamond.

…Cole

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Monkey’s Fist by Cole

Today I tied a monkey’s fist knot.  This is what it looked like.monky fist

This knot can be used for hand to hand combat, especially if you make them with a weight in the middle.  It can also be used in rock climbing by stuffing the knot into a crack to hold the line there.  Its traditional use was one end of a line was tied to the boat and on the free end of the line you would attach a monkey’s fist to it.  This made it easier to throw the line to other boats and you could throw the line farther.

Here are some steps on how to make them.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Step 5

Step 5

Step5

Step 5

Step 6

Step 6

Step 7

Step 7

Step 8

Step 8

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End

End

Cole…

Fossilized Shark Teeth by Cole

There are many kinds of fossilized shark teeth.

Sand tiger shark teeth.

Sand tiger shark teeth.

mako

Mako shark teeth.

bull shark

Bull shark teeth.

A couple of days ago we went to Cumberland Island and that’s where we found fossilized shark teeth which are black.  Fossilized shark teeth turn black because of the minerals they have in them.

There’s so many teeth at Cumberland Island, I found 53 teeth in all.shark teeth cole

We used sifters to find them.sifters

The first day was really hot so we came back later with umbrellas and more water.umbrella

Some sharks can lose up to 35,000 teeth in a lifetime!  The most common kind of shark teeth people find are from the Cenozoic which was about 65 million years ago.  The largest shark teeth of any kind is from the Megalodon shark.

This is a megalodon compared to a T-Rex.

This is a Megalodon compared to a T-Rex.

Their teeth can get up to 7 inches tall or more, but we didn’t find any of these.  This picture is from the internet.

megladon toothCumberland Island was a lot of fun but digging for sharks teeth was the best part.

Cole…

Castillo de San Marcos by Cole

A few days ago in Saint Augustine, Florida, we went and saw a castle called Castillo de San Marcos.  It was built in 1695 to protect St. Augustine which is actually the oldest city in the United States.  It is a castle that has four corners and a courtyard in the middle.  The four corners are filled with earth so they can support the weight of the cannons on top.  The fort had a shot furnace.   It’s like an oven that heats up cannon balls until they turn red.  Then they shoot them at ships to burn them up.

Shot furnace.

Shot furnace.

They had a moat around the castle that they put water in when they were under land attack. 946421_589952881017936_1664430460_nWhen it was not filled with water, they put domestic animals in it.  This is a video of the fort’s defenses.

The castle was made of coquina stone.  Coquina stone is made of tiny sea shells smushed together.

Cole

 

Waterspout at Green Turtle, Abacos by Cole

A waterspout is basically a tornado over the water.  Waterspouts usually occur in tropical areas.  Two nights ago was a stormy night at Green Turtle Cay, Abacos (26°45’7.1″N 77°19’4.2″W), and that’s when we saw one.  You could see lots of stuff flying around in it and we could see the waterspout spinning. Suddenly the temperature dropped about 15 degrees.

The waterspout started getting closer and looked like it was coming over the land toward us.  Our boat neighbor Dave and his crew, Dennis, was with us at the time.  Dave said, “Let’s get in my boat.  Now.”   We moved on to his boat which was heavier and more stable.

Dave is on the left and Dennis is seated next to him.  This picture was taken inside their boat.

Dave is on the left and Dennis is seated next to him. This picture was taken inside their boat.

Dennis told us that his boat had once been pinned down at a 90 degree angle by a waterspout and was held there for 20 minutes.  Dave and Dennis told us they have seen 10-15 waterspouts each during their years sailing, but this was the closest one they have seen.

Water spout we saw off the back of our boat on Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas.

Waterspout we saw off the back of our boat on Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas.

spout

After a while the waterspout dissipated and we went back to our boat.  It was very exciting to see a water spout up close.

Cole…

Shark Suckers by Cole

A couple of days ago we caught a shark sucker.  On top of their head, they have an oval-shaped sucker that they use to suck on to the bottoms of boats, fish and sharks.  After it got hooked on our lure, it sucked on to the bottom of the boat.  When it let go, we reeled it up and put it in a bucket full of water.  We looked at it and saw that its sucker was blue because that’s the paint color on the bottom of our boat.  If you slide the shark sucker forward when it is sucked on it will come off.  If you try to slide it backwards, it just sucks on more and does not move.

Some people use remoras to catch turtles.   They tie a rope to the remora’s tail and when they see a turtle, the fish is released from the boat with the cord still on the tail.  Usually the shark sucker heads toward the turtle and sucks on to it.  Then the people on the boat pull in the line, which brings in the remora and the turtle.

The sucker is pretty much like a cheese grater.  It feels smooth when you rub it one-way and raspy when you rub it the other way.

Shark Suckers are a remora.  In Latin, remora means delay.

Shark sucker disk.

Shark sucker disk.

shark sucker 2

look

The bottom of our bucket is a piece of plexiglass so you can see through it.  This picture was taken looking up at the bottom of the bucket so you can see their sucker.

Cole…

Elbow Reef Lighthouse on Elbow Cay by Logan and Cole

Today we went to see the lighthouse being lit.   The walls of the lighthouse were about five feet thick.  Otherwise hurricanes might knock it over.  Jeffery, the lighthouse keeper, told us it was one of only two lighthouses in that still run on kerosene.

Hope Town lighthouse on Elbow Cay

Elbow Reef lighthouse on Elbow Cay

When we got to the top Jeffery put a flame under the main light source,  he called it reheating.  After he did that he opened up a valve and lit the main light.

The lighthouse gives five flashes of light and then a pause.  It works that way because there are five Fresnel lenses that focus the light into five beams.  The sixth lens reflects the light back to the source, that is the pause.

Fresnel lenses

Fresnel lenses

To turn the lenses Jeffery had to crank up some weights on cables to keep the lenses spinning.  He has to go up every two hours to wind up the weights so he sleeps during the daytime.

The lighthouse was built in 1864 and so it is 149 years old.

Logan and Cole