The 2014 ISHRA June Conference was a resounding success. Old and new friends gathered on Star Island to explore the “Changes in the Sea and Marine Science Discoveries” on and around the Isles of Shoals. Speakers from the Shoals Marine Lab, the University of Maine, and our own ISHRA President Dr. Nathan Hamilton entertained and educated twenty-five happy conferees as we traveled through fourteen thousand years of natural and cultural history at the Isles of Shoals. Walking tours brought to life the geology, marine wildlife, flora and fauna of the islands, and as Amy Cook pointed out the many often unnoticed photo opportunities we all saw things which surprised even the most veteran Shoaler.
Creativity exploded under the talented guidance of Amy Cook and Gretchen Gudefin as we learned about, collected, and pressed seaweed and worked polymer clay into ancient Ivory and Bone replicas, producing wonderful souvenirs of our time together on Star Island.
Quiet time was enjoyed socializing at gatherings at several different locations across the island, and rocking on the Oceanic porch. The highlight of the week may just have been the excitement of the Whale and Bird Watch aboard the Granite Star, or the Captain John Smith Anniversary events enacted to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Creation of his 1614 Map of New England.
A delightfully touching Chapel Service and Blessing of the Boats reminded us all just how precious these islands are to each and every one of us and how tight the ties to the ocean are that bind us together. Many conferees took advantage of the new kayaks and explored Smuttynose, Malaga, and Cedar Island from a watery vantage they had never seen before.
A private concert by the Star Island Music Director Sara Lewis put the finishing touch on our island time, and sent us off with the sweet words whispered in our minds “you will come back, you will come back…” See you all next June.
June Conference Organizers: Maryann Stacy, Nathan Hamilton, and Amy Cook