Millport Fieldcourse 2011: Scooby-Doo, The Newton and some fieldwork

by Vanessa Mazza

We arrived to Glasgow airport on schedule followed by a 40 minute bus ride to the ferry. The most expensive ferry in relation to time took only 8 minutes to arrive to our destination, Isle of Cumbrae. From then on we took a local bus where several students spoke to elderly people from the island.

Our first day consisted of settling into the hostel, getting familiar with the Marine Station and the island itself. We also came across the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo, which sadly was not our transportation for the week. That night we all congregated at The Newton pub where Dr. Mark Jessop crucified everyone in pool.

The next day was interesting, with sandy shore fieldwork taking place during what felt like a hurricane on the infamous Kames Bay. We collected our data followed by an extreme cycle home against high speed winds which the lecturers enjoyed every minute watching from the mini bus. The rest of the day consisted of lab work and delicious meals.

Our third day was spent on the sunny rocky shores of White Bay with zooplankton identification and lectures to finish the day.  The following day which was not as sunny involved a boat trip with Scottish fisherman showing us how to do a Beam trawl. We then went back to the lab and identified every species collected from Squat Lobsters to Brittle Stars. At night we all reunited again at The Netwon pub where we experienced our first Scottish disco. Cycling home was definitely a challenge especially for Paul Ryan and Cian Luck who decided it was a great idea to go the other way around the island, which took over an hour in complete blackness.

Our final day was spent on our individual projects followed by a trip to the islands highest point and the September festival. We enjoyed spectacular fireworks, street performances and cotton candy before heading to The Newton bar for our last drinks on the Isle of Cumbrae. Everyone was sad to leave the island and the amazing food and hospitality at the hostel but we were happy to be rejoining the rest of our class for Monday morning.

There are more images from Millport 2011 on the BEES Facebook.

 

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