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Top’s’l Sea and Science Program


These links will not be live until January 16, 2023 at noon.

Top’s’l Week 1: Ship to Shore: Discovering BSSC
Top’s’l Week 2: The Sea That We See
Top’s’l Week 3: All Hands-on Deck
Top’s’l Week 4: Life Down on the Edge of the Rise
Top’s’l Week 5: Do Rising Tides Lift All Boats
Top’s’l Week 6: Weight and Sea
Top’s’l Week 7: Getting Carried Away
Top’s’l Week 8: Inside the Secret Garden
Top’s’l Week 9: Meeting the Farmers

Who: Ages 13 – 17 as of start of first day
When: June 19 – August 18, 2023
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $285/week

Offsite transportion schedule
Due to limited parking at our new home, youth requiring transportation attending summer programs will travel to and from 12 Carter Road in East Boothbay from an offsite location (more information to follow) on a van/bus provided by BSSC. Dropoff will be at 8:30 a.m. and pickup will be at 4:30 p.m.

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.

The Top’s’l program is designed for more experienced sailors. This full-day leadership program builds on skills developed at Stay’s’l I & II programs. Instructors and advanced level sailors will use BSSC’s fixed keel boats as a platform for advancing maritime skills and knowledge. This program also incorporates an advance understanding and respect of the marine environment. Participants work and learn as a team. The development of leadership skills in the Stay’s’l-I, Stay’s’l-II, and Top’s’l programs opens the door to our Apprenticeship Program.
The development of leadership skills in the Stay’s’l-I, Stay’s’l-II, and Top’s’l programs opens the door to our Apprenticeship Program.

COVID-19 Statement
Boothbay Sea and Science Center’s 2023 summer programs will be COVID-19 compliant. At the beginning of each session, appropriate modifications will be made as directed by Federal and the State of Maine CDC as well as those put forward by local healthcare organizations.

Because this is a fluid situation, our programming plans may change.

Helpful links

Themed Sessions

6/19: Ship to Shore: Discovering BSSC
Together we will experience a sampling of what BSSC’s 2023 summer program will be offering 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 activity each day.

6/26: The Sea That We See
Learn through the voices of artists, musicians, and storytellers that celebrate the sea through their trade, music, and sea tales. Work side by side with artists discover with our eyes our individual “point of view”.

7/3: All Hands-on Deck
Explore the history of Shipbuilding in Maine and beyond by talking with boat designers and shipwrights. Learn sailing techniques and seamanship skills necessary for collecting scientific data in and around Linekin Bay and Boothbay Harbor.

7/10: Life Down on the Edge of the Rise
Investigate how geology, weather, and climate change over time and how these changes impact the organisms and plant life living in local waters and in the Gulf of Maine. Explore solutions for Maine coastal communities.

7/17: Do Rising Tides Lift All Boats
Measure and record rising sea levels and their impact on our living shoreline, erosion, and the ocean’s ecosystem. Talk about the impact on the fishing industry and what it creates for working waterfront.

7/24: Weight and Sea
Explore different technologies that help solve the problem of plastics in the ocean. Work with an artist who uses marine debris as her medium. Conduct research by investigating currents, towing for microplastics, and tracking trash in the local waters and on a nearby island.

7/31: Getting Carried Away
Explore where marine debris comes from and where it goes. Interview people about their plastic usage at nearby beaches, restaurants, and the Transfer Station. Create “trash stories”.

8/7: Inside the Secret Garden
Recording the vegetation and sea life in the Damariscotta River, Back River, Kennebec River, Linekin Bay, Boothbay Harbor. Discuss what we do on and off the water and its impact on natural habitats.

8/14: Meeting the Farmers
Learn from fisherman, aquaculturists, and scientist about the effects of growing oysters, mussels, and seaweed on the ocean and the air we breathe. Talk about the laws governing the sea farming and fishing industries and what the impact of the support from coastal communities has on Maine fisheries.

BSSC Collaborations:
Bristol Marine at the Shipyard in Boothbay Harbor; Southport Island Marine; Bigelow Laboratories for Ocean Sciences; Nathaniel S. Wilson Sailmaker; Washburn & Doughty; Hodgdon Yachrs; Maine State Aquarium; Burnt Island Light; USCG Boothbay Harbor; Department of Marine Resources; Rozalia Project; Blue Ocean Society; Gulf of Maine Research Institute; OceansWide; Darling Marine Center; Fresh Sea Farms; Springtide Seaweed; Mook Sea Farm; Spartan Sea Farms; Focus Maine/Maine Career Compass; Down East Gallery; National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens; Lincoln County Regional Planning; Southport Central School; Boothbay Regional Elementary School; Edgecomb Eddy School; South Bristol School; Medomak Middle School; Medomak High School; Lincoln Academy; Freeport Middle School; Lisbon Middle School; Pownal Elementary School; King Middle School . . . to name a few.

The Boats
See the boats we use in our program

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 activites on some days.


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