Unicorn of the Sea – the Narwhal

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Narwhale

 

Widely – yet incorrectly – believed to be a character introduced in Greek mythology, The Unicorn, an equine-like creature, was first documented in early natural history. It came to be known as a symbol of purity. If you wanted any shot at catching the absurdly illusive creature, you yourself had to be a symbol of purity. Yep, only virgins could capture the woodland creature. The common imagery when thinking of a unicorn’s horn is a long, spiraled, pointed object. To create the appearance that unicorns were a reality,

Narwhal tusk

Tusk of a Narwhal

Renaissance merchants would sell their “horns” at market, profiting from a complete fabrication. The product sold at markets was not a horn, but a tusk of a Narwhal. Convenient for the substantiation of the unicorn’s existence, the mammalian anomaly’s tusk was also spiral in shape. The real unicorn was not a white horse galloping through the forest. Rather, it’s existence came at the exploitation of a whale hidden beneath the mysteries of the ocean, not well understood in the Renaissance era. As the term suggests, the tusk is not a horn, but a very long tooth. The Narwhal’s tusk can reach lengths of up to eight feet. The whale’s total body length reaches anywhere between 15 and 17 feet at maturity.

So, what use would a whale have for such an elongated tooth? While centuries of research yielded no evidence of what the tusk’s purpose might be, the turn of the new Millennium held some direction to the answers scientists had around the globe have pursued relentlessly. As scientific research resources evolved, studies began to show that the Narwhal tusk was more than just a tooth. It also serves as an antenna of sorts. With over 10 million nerve endings lining the entirety of the mammal’s tusk, a number of fundamental survival needs are met through its use. Narwhal spend their entire lives in the Canadian arctic waters, never migrating to warmer waters. There was much debate that carrying on among scientists as to the exact purpose of the protruding tooth. Since the discovery of the tusk being a tooth, several theories have come into the debate of its’ purpose. Many of which conclude the tusk is a sensory organ. If correct, these organs do not have to exhibit just one, single function. Given the channels located on the tooth that lead inner layers of the tooth, water is allowed to travel in through these canals. Through these channels, the Narwhal is able to detect the changes in inhabited waters’ salinity, helping them to navigate treacherous waters in the arctic environment. The sensory organ also may help the mammal to detect nearby food that is consistent with its specific diet.

One final theory is that based on a gender study. Evident through the study of large Narwhal populations (reaching a sum of nearly 100,000) has shown that males are the only ones to have the outrageously long tusk. Females have a much shorter version. Like a deer would use its’ antlers, a theory from the study is that the tusk serve as a Narwhal dating service. Dependent upon the females for continued existence, bold gestures from males hoisting their tusks are made to impress nearby females. Regardless of its’ exact purpose to the Narwhal directly, it has certainly served in the debunking of one of the earliest bloopers in recorded natural history. Unicorns make for great storytelling, but all good stories must come to an end.

 

There are no narwhales nor unicorns in our area.  All we have are wild horses on Cumberland Island. See for yourself,  join our Cumberland Island Tour, one of our most popular tours. (more…)

 

 

 

Protect Water from Pollution

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Intracoastal Amelia Island

 

Government funded agencies, nonprofit organizations, and – last but certainly not least – concerned individuals are our world’s best defensive line against the destruction of our planet. Unfortunately, there is only one way to destroy our planet. It’s by our own hands. As industry pushes forward, society has evolved to become obsessed with its own survival. In that act, mankind has neglected that which is responsible for its’ own survival. Before environmental awareness took on a more public presence, pollution was all but overlooked in modern America.

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Got Water?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Sunset on an Amelia River Cruise

 

 

New perspective makes themselves known in every all sorts of ways you never before imagined if you look deep within the confines of your everyday experiences. The greatest illusion of all is that of control. It is quite certain that there is none. As children, we have our toys… God be with whomever dares to go near the ones that are deemed untouchable. Yet inevitably, at some point when the guard is down, your favorite transformer finds its way to a spot where it has never belonged. The day is marked, and control has been lost for the first time.

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“And So It Begins” the Anton Laplume Band on the Amelia River Cruise

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

 

The Anton Laplume Band

 

A buzz has been vibrating the surface of the music scene in the Southeast. The source, you ask? That would be none other than the emanating sounds of The Anton Laplume Band. With rhythmic bass lines echoing the phrasing of Bootsy, melodies so infectious they’ll take control of your dreams. Lyrics that embody the struggles of the mundane, and grooves that make the song you’re hearing become your only concept of time. Why wouldn’t you want to experience the vast flavors of this musical spread?!

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Boo Radley Music Duo Joins Amelia River Cuises

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Boo Radley Music Duo

 

It is with great pleasure that we at Amelia River Cruises welcome the acoustic stylings of the Boo Radley Music Duo. Michael Shawn Turner and Patricia Matson have been working together as a duo, creating a sound that has yet to be comparable to any other local sound. With high quality vocal harmonizing backed up by the organic sounds of full-body acoustic, warm tones and well-rehearse harmonies set the Boo Radley apart from any other duo in the Northeast Florida music scene.

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Find Your Zen on Cumberland Island

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Robert Stafford's Plantation

Robert Stafford’s Plantation on Cumberland Island, GA

 

In this age, we have become quite savvy at discovering new ways to find harmony with ourselves. Many find solace in performing a simple mantra every day when they arise from what has been – hopefully – a good night’s rest. “Your destiny is your own.” “I am calm and collected.” “The day holds nothing I can’t bear.” Repeating’s mantras just like these have been documented to make a person feel secure and empowered, ready to take on their grind for the day.

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Adopt a Pet and Gain a Lifelong Friend

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Dog on the boat

 

One of the most beautiful things about being or becoming an American, a privilege not to be taken lightly, is owning your own domesticated animal. Pets are what turn your down time into fun time of the day. Yes, when they are little, they can leave you with – quite literally – a handful. Sure, there are all sorts of animal lovers out there. Dogs and cats are great, but don’t believe for one second that the only viable pets in today’s culture are only house cats and Frisbee-dominating dogs. I grew up in a neighborhood that we could have opened as a half-way legitimate wildlife reserve. With the neighbors keeping everything from ferrets, possums, sugar gliders (flying squirrels), and even the occasional snake, there was never a dull moment where our pets and interactions among them were concerned.

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The Great Eastern Florida Birding Trail starts on Amelia Island

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Osprey

 

With almost 500 different species of birds, Florida has been a long revered destination for bird watchers all over the word. Ranking 3rd in the nation in number of species, one can imagine the number of enthusiast and new hobby seekers that report to this region on a regular basis. Moreover, Amelia Island is the entrance point to the eastern region of the Great Florida Birding trail. Fortunately for you, many of the most sought after bird sightings can easily be seen from a seat aboard one of our cruises. Today, we are going to gaze into the life of one of the areas most popular hunters. Ladies and gentlemen, the Osprey.

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Setting The Sun

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Sunset Tour

 

Chances are, if you have made good use of a weekend evening and ventured off with us on one of our sunset tours, you have been most fortunate to witness – firsthand – a pretty impressive spectacle. Yes, so maybe it is a spectacle you have seen a thousand times over. The question is, do you know what it is you are truly seeing? In most cases, those who lack interest haven’t been lucky enough to see the sunset in such a way as you might experience from a river tour along the first coast.

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Bike Lanes Make a Difference

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

 

Atlantic Ocean

 

If there is any one occupational hazard to being a human being that comes at the greatest cost, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship we have with our home planet earth. Or even worse, we ignore it altogether. Most of us are pretty savvy about staying up to date on what’s happening in our own zip codes. That’s a great thing, but it’s a good idea to take in as much knowledge as our eager minds will allow! Then, use it. Ocean acidification is as worthy a recipient of that brain space as any other. The burning of fossil fuels has resulted in the acidification of our oceans. The decrease in the ph level of earths’ largest bodies of water has resulted in countless damaging factors; including the bleaching of the coral reefs along the once beautiful coastlines

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