Phase I - Cleaning Bones
September 18, 2012
Here we go! Our "Whale 68 Articulation Project" is finally underway. Over the past 11 years, park staff and volunteers have spent over a thousand hours flensing and cleaning her bones in hopes of one day putting her back together for education. This has been no easy task as whale bones are big, heavy, and very greasy. But over time, and by using many different methods, the bones are now ready for final cleaning and repair.
In April, the park hired two Whale Education Specialists to dedicate the time needed to get Whale 68's bones from storage to display. Her enormous skeleton will be put back together in two stages, we call them Phase I and Phase II. Phase I is the final cleaning, repair, and fabrication (replacement) of the skeleton. Phase II is the articulation and display.
Phase I "officially" began last week with the award of contract to Dan DenDanto of "Whales and Nails." He will be traveling to Glacier Bay this week to begin the process of transporting Whale 68's bones to Maine for final cleaning and restoration. Dan has been cleaning, articulating and restoring whale skeletons professionally since 1993 - www.whalesandnails.com . The park is very excited to have Dan join our Whale Team!
Over the next two weeks, the bones will be inventoried and carefully packed into trucks, ferried to Juneau then Bellingham, then driven across the country. It will be a long journey, but we're sure Dan will be sharing her story along the way!
Stay tuned as we have fun with local students tomorrow with an on-site field trip. We are going to be pulling bones out of the ocean
Check out our Whale 68 Project Webpage!
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Did You Know?
When Captain George Vancouver surveyed Southeast Alaska in 1794, the wall of ice that filled the bay was (at its greatest extent) 100 miles long, 20 miles wide, and 4,000 feet thick. Just 250 years later, this same ice has retreated 65 miles, the fastest glacial retreat on record.