Home » Mizzen Sea and Science Program

Mizzen Sea and Science Program

Who: Kindergarten* – Grade 3
*If your child is 5 years old, prior attendance in a Pre-K Program is required. If you have questions, please contact Pauline Dion at: info@boothbayseaandsciencecenter.org or call 207-350-5357.
When: June 22* – August 21, 2020 (8:30 AM – 4:30 PM)
Where:  Ocean Point Marina, East Boothbay, Maine
Cost:  $275/week

Financial assistance available
Please note: If you plan on requesting financial assistance, the  Financial Assistance Request Form MUST be submitted and approved before registering for a session.


Minimum of 4 participants. Students are encouraged to enroll in two sequential week sessions.

*June 22 – June 26: “Discovering BSSC” week.  Everyday a different topic and exciting and fun sea and science hands-on activities. Cost: $275.00.


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 2-week thematic Session week will conclude with a fieldtrip such as sailing on a larger sailboat in the region or a maritime adventure.

Themed Sessions

Each session includes weather, basic boating and sailing skills, local marine life, and responsible marine stewardship. Dates of each session will be announced later (with the exception of the first week).

Ship to Shore: Discovering BSSC (June 22 – June 26)
During this 1-week session participants will experience a sampling of what BSSC’s summer program offers on and off the water. Together we will sail, row, seine, tie knots, explore the shore and touch tank, and have fun with all that’s sea and science. A different topic and related activities each day.

Session I: Tracking Trash: The Secret Lives of Trash (June 29 – July 10)
In this session, participants will explore where marine debris comes from and where it goes.  We will interview people about their plastic usage at nearby beaches and restaurants, in addition to visiting the transfer station to learn more about where our trash goes in order to create “trash stories.”  Together we will investigate currents, tow for microplastics, and track trash in the local waters and on a nearby island.

Session II: Sea Fever: What’s Hot in the Gulf of Maine (July 13 – July 24)
This session will focus on the environmental changes that have occurred in the Gulf of Maine since its formation. We will investigate how geology, weather and climate change over time, and how these changes impact the organisms living here. Big questions include: What causes environmental changes? How quickly do these changes occur? How do local species respond to these changes?

Session III: A World Below the Waves (July 27 – August 7)
During this session we will investigate what lies between the surface and the seafloor. Together, we will try to answer questions like: What sea life is found in the Gulf of Maine and where? What is sea farming and who’s doing it? Also, we will learn from local sea farmers and Bigelow Laboratory scientists about how growing seaweed is affecting the ocean and the air we breathe.

Session IV: Tall Ships and Taller Tales (August 10 – August 21)
Together we will take a look at the history of shipbuilding in Maine. We will talk with the people that design and build boats and meet and work with the artists, musicians, and storytellers that celebrate them in their art, music, and sea tales. We will learn about the tools of the trade and use them to build model boats. Included are behind the scenes tours of boats that have been and are now undergoing restoration.

Boating time disclaimer:

We make every effort to provide your son and/or daughter with as much time boating on the water as possible. However, please note that safety concerns raised by local weather conditions may require us to emphasize land-based activities on some days.


  • Prior attendance in a Pre-K Program for all 5 year olds.
  • 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 sailboats used in all programs include the:

  • Turnabout – 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.
  • Sonar – a fast 23 ft sloop that performs well in light winds but with a 900 lb. keel is both stiff but able to surf in heavier winds. It is a fun and safe day sailor. The 11-1/2 ft self-bailing cockpit provides ample leg room to spare while angled seat backs and coamings are designed for comfort when heeled. It is an ideal boat for beginning sailors and racers as well as family day sails. With minor adaptions it is often used by disabled sailors and has been chosen for the Paralympics.
  • Ideal 18 – is a fun daysailer designed by Bruce Kirby … commissioned for: Simplicity (easy to rig and sail); Comfort (8-foot cockpit with well-laid out lines and rigging, full-length molded bench seats with angled backs, and 700 lb. keel keeps the boat stable and dry.); Performance (boat maneuvers like a dinghy and has a large, powerful mailsail 108 sq. ft.) in mind.
  • Precision 15 – has earned high praise for her lively and rewarding performance. Designed to provide safety, stability (250 lb. fixed keel), reliable handling, and sprightly speed under sail. The Precision 15 features an unusually broad beam, substantial freeboard and high-volume coamings to help prevent swamping or capsizing. Her cockpit is safe and comfortable for children, with footwells and seats unusually wide and deep.