Monthly Archives

May 2015

The Paint Factory Gets Clean… Clean Utilities!

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If you have been on Rocky Neck over the last 10 days, you may have seen a lot of big trucks heading up and down Horton Street. As part of an EPA funded restoration and remediation project at the Paint Manufactory, we have been digging a clean utility corridor (to carry our utilities – sewer, electricity, water, cable and gas).


A lot of the utilities for the Paint Factory were laid down in the 1920’s or earlier – so with the help of McConnell Enterprises, Nobis and National Grid, we are slowly switching out our utilities.  Until just a couple of months ago the power here was Delta and we just changed it to Wye – prior to the change from Delta, everything here from the lights to our robotics lab had to run though a small transformer.  We did have to have National Grid on site as some of the site records were incomplete and there were concerns as to whether or not the gas line was still live. Luckily, it was not.
Looking for gas... but not fracking!

Looking for gas… but not fracking!

When you dig around an old industrial site like the Paint Factory, you know that you are going to find some surprises. The first surprise was finding a very large, barrel ceiling, double wall brick cistern – this cistern was 16 feet wide, 8 feet long and about 4 feet high. Our guess at this time is that it was a water cistern that was used to feed the steam engine that used to not only run all of the equipment but also heat the buildings. I did crawl into the cistern to take a couple of photos.
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The most interesting thing we found were two stone walls that were about 1 foot under the surface that lead more than 100 feet from one of the brick buildings down the road towards Rocky Neck.  These walls were at least 4 feet high (we did not dig to the very bottom of them) about 8 inches thick and just over 3 feet apart.  If we were in England, I would say they we had found an old Roman aqueduct, but the Romans never made it this far! At the very bottom of this trench we did find the water main. We do not know if the walls were there to protect the water main, or if they served some function before the water main was installed.  Please have a look at the photographs and tell us what you think!
– Iain Kerr, CEO

Happy Mother’s Day, Spoon!

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Mars in the Foreground, Spoon in the background and Spoon's new calf in the middle.

Mars in the Foreground, Spoon in the background and Spoon’s new calf in the middle.

Happy Mother’s Day, Spoon!

On May 9th, Spoon was spotted back on Stellwagen Bank with her new calf.

The day before Mother’s Day started off bleak and foggy – not a typically great whale watching day. However, our partners at 7 Seas Whale Watch managed to work their way through the fog and found three humpbacks – two mature females and a young calf. Capt. Jay identified the two females as Spoon and Mars. Based on interactions and similar fluke patterns, it was determined that the new male calf belonged to Spoon and Mars was acting as an “escort.” We’ll have to wait awhile longer for Spoon’s new calf to be named, but we are ecstatic to wish Spoon a happy Mother’s Day.

Spoon's calf waving to all the Mothers for Mother's Day!

Spoon’s calf waving to all the Mothers for Mother’s Day!

Spoon and Mars are two of the five humpback whale matriarchs that we previously offered in our whale adoption program. First sighted in 1977 and 1979  respectively, Spoon and Mars have been lighting up whale watches for years.

Spoon, one of the largest humpbacks in the population, was given her name  due to a large, spoon-shaped white spot on her fluke, a trait she seems to have passed on to her new calf.

Mars has the distinction of having more calves than any of the other whales we regularly see. As an “escort” for Spoon and her calf, it is reasonable to believe that she is giving the new mom a helping hand.

Great Shot for Photo Identification of Mars!

Great Shot for Photo Identification of Mars!

Mars and Spoon are no longer available for adoption, but Etch-a-Sketch, Salt and Owl are. If you are interested in adopting one of these whales, you can adopt through Ocean Alliance’s whale adoption program

Stay tuned for more updates from 7 Seas Whale Watches!


All Photos provided by 7 Seas Whale Watch

Adopt A Whale For Mom – Mother’s Day is May 10!

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Mother’s day is fast approaching, and if you’re like many of us, you still have few clues about a meaningful gift for the person who gave you life.

This year, consider giving the gift of a whale adoption from Ocean Alliance. It’s the perfect idea for the mom who has it all. In fact, donation gifts for mothers day are increasingly popular, since they aren’t just another dusty knicknack on the shelf. Making a difference by way of a charitable donation will be a thoughtful gift for mom this year.

Our basic Adoption Package is $30 and includes:

Basic Adoption Package includes:
Whale Adoption Certificate, signed by Roger Payne and Iain Kerr
Whale Adoption poster/fact sheet with 2015 calendar
Voyage of the Odyssey – Acoustic Adventures CD
Ocean Alliance Logo 3” diameter sticker
Subscription to Whales Tales
Two digital (wallpaper) Whale Images

Basic Whale Adoption

Please consider helping our research and local programs by donating today.