Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Sunday, March 19, 2006

An Octopus's Garden

Steven with two sea sponges

Steven's fifth grade class had a field trip to the Floating Sea Lab in San Diego Harbor to experience our local sea life.

The dock was teeming with sea birds

We took a small boat, just Steven's class was on board, along with the teachers and parent volunteers.

The boat was equipped with all sorts of equipment for measuring the water temperature, the depth of the water, the color of the water (an indicator of the amount of plankton), the direction of the current.

One of the creatures captured was a sting ray

Also on the boat were nets for capturing sea creatures and for scooping up samples of the sea bottom.

This sea bird caught a fish

The kids functioned as deck hands, lowering the nets into the water and bringing them back up with sea life.

They sampled mud from the bottom and sifted through it to find mud-dwelling sea creatures.

Steven with a sample of plankton

They trapped plankton in nets and then looked at them under the microscope to identify the different types.

We learned that the reason the water in Hawaii is so clear and lighter in color than the water in California has to do with the large plankton population in our southern California waters.

A sea bird with seals and sea lions in the water behind the dock

The boat pulled up to a dock while we ate lunch and watched the sea birds, sea lions and seals catch and eat fish.

A lost gray whale in the harbor

On the way back to the dock we encountered a gray whale that was lost, they don't normally come into the harbor. We hope he found his way home.

It was sunny, blustery and cold, a stunningly beautiful day for exploring our Octopus's garden.

- Kathleen

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