Mizzen Sea and Science Program

Who: Kindergarten – Grade 4
When: TBA
Where:  Ocean Point Marina, East Boothbay, Maine
Cost:  TBA
Enrollment/Session:   Minimum of 4 participants. Students are encouraged to enroll in two sequential week sessions.
Free Day

Registration begins Monday, January 15, 2018



BSSC’s fleet of Turnabouts, Sonars and rowing dinghies provides the perfect gateway for your child’s first sea and science experiences. Students in the mizzen sea and science program will gain a beginner’s level understanding of boating safety, sailing principles, and become comfortable in row boats, small sailboats, and larger sailing vessels. Students will also gain a beginner level understanding of Weather; Marine Plants & Animals dockside and intertidal; and an appreciation for Oceanography and the tools of the trade. Through various fun activities and challenges, instruction begins on shore, moving dockside and culminates on the water!


With each consecutive week, sailors will advance their sea and science abilities and skills by experiencing and practicing on the friendly waters of the Damariscotta River. In addition to gaining an understanding of the basic principles inherent in sea and science, participants will develop communication and teamwork skills that embrace an increase in self-confidence. When possible, each week will conclude with a fieldtrip such as sailing on a larger sailboat in the region or a maritime adventure.

These descriptions are from the 2017 season. They are subject to change.

Sessions 1 & 2: Gulf of Maine Fisheries

This this 2 week session investigates how people use, consume, and manage the harvesting of marine creatures from the Gulf of Maine. Hands-on activities will include lobster trap hauling and fishing (catch and release) and the proper handling and preparing of various types of fish and seafood overseen by a local chef and a local entrepreneur in the food industry. Participants will gain an understanding of how and why humans affect the marine food web.

Sessions 3 & 4: Marine Technology and Marine Debris

This 2 week session highlights the different types of ocean technology, including, submersibles and remote operated vehicles (ROVs) and how they can be used to explore and understand the ocean. BSSC will provide hands-on opportunities to build and study the use of these technologies to bring awareness to problems associated with marine debris from the surface to the sea floor. Rachael Miller and crew of the Rozalia Project (a non-profit organization for a clean ocean: www.rozaliaproject.org) will be working with the participants on marine debris projects.

Sessions 5 & 6: Art and Science of Sailing

This 2 week session focuses on the interaction between sail and hull design and its relationship to recreational boating and scientific research. In this module, students will gain a better understanding of the use of sailboats as working platforms for exploration and inquiry and a historical perspective of their impact on maritime art, music, and folklore. Students will spend time learning sailing techniques and seamanship skills necessary for data collection such as net tows and other scientific sampling methods to gain a better understanding of the Damariscotta River habitats.  A local sailmaker, marine architect, artists and scientists will help students unravel the mysteries and wonders of the art and science of sailing.

Sessions 7 & 8:  Exploring Maine Aquaculture

This 2 week session explores the aquaculture industries along the Damariscotta River. This module focuses on learning about the marine microbial food chain and its importance to Maine aquaculture species, analyzing and interpreting water samples, interacting with scientists and stakeholders within the aquaculture industry (farmers and aqua-culturists) and exploring different career paths within aquaculture. In 2016, this session received funding from the Maine EPSCoR SEANET Mini-Grant program.



  • Pass a swim test at the Center.
  • Parents / Guardians must present signed Registration forms, Liability Waiver, Medical forms before participants begin the program.
  • Parents / Guardians and students must jointly sign “Code of Conduct” before the start of the program.

The Boat:

The primary teaching sailboat for the Mizzen program is the Turnabout – a centerboard sailing vessel. The Turnabout, designed in 1953 by Harold R. Turner, is a small wooden single or double handed dinghy class. The boats were initially built as a junior training boat, although adults enjoy the boats as well. The class has grown mainly in the New England and Northeastern regions of the U.S. Fleets are located in Northern Lake George, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Jersey. Size: 2.95 M long, 1.60 M wide, weighing approx 116 kgs.