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Maritime Aquarium Cruises Study Creatures From The Depths Of The Sound

Children found baby crabs and fish, eggs, and other marine life on a study cruise at the Maritime Aquarium. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Maritime Aquarium's brand-new, all-aluminum research vessel. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The bridge goes up so the boat can pass under to start the cruise. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
A cruise instructor shows a map of Long Island Sound. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Children look over the back of the boat as the crew prepares to pull up a net filled with marine life. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
An instructor shows how a Sand Crab holds on to whatever it can. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Crew members pull up a crate full of rocks, mud and sea life from the bottom of the Sound. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Crew members examine microscopic sea life, and show it on a projector. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Kids got to examine sea life under a powerful microscope. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
A visitor holds a baby crab dredged from the bottom of the Sound. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Children examine the rocks, mud and various microscopic organisms pulled from the bottom of the Sound. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Looking right into the eyes of a Horseshoe Crab. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
An instructor shows how the Horseshoe Crab grips. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
A cruise instructor talks about the Horseshoe Crab pulled from the bottom. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Children on a study cruise pose with one of the cruise instructors and a horseshoe crab that was pulled up during the cruise. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

NORWALK, Conn. — Visitors to the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, one of Fairfield County's top tourist destinations, can now take a two-and-a-half hour study cruise out on Long Island Sound on a new 63-foot all-aluminum catamaran.

Cruises run Wednesdays through Sundays and offer visitors the opportunity to study marine life from the Sound — from the water's surface straight down to the bottom.

Participants use such sampling techniques as a plankton tow, bio-dredge, mud grab and otter trawl that could bring up fish, crabs, squid, skates and more. A video-microscope and touch tank on board enhance the observations.

A large number of children, of various ages, took sail on a recent cruise, which was sold out.

Advance reservations are recommended, and the cost is $29.95 per person.

For more information on the cruises and on the Maritime Aquarium, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org .

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