Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bamfield Marine Science Center

We've been in Bamfield for two and a half weeks now.  The first 10 days were pretty dull but since it stopped raining things have perked up.  First I, daringly, drove into Port Alberni with the kids to meet a dear friend.  It's only 80 km but it took me a good 2 hours along a gravel road that was chockablock with speeding trucks and enormous logging lorries carrying full loads of massive cut trees.  It was dry, so every time I encountered a vehicle a huge dense fog of dust was thrown up and I had to slow down to even see the road.  I must remember to clean off the number plate because right now it is painted with a solid layer of dust. 

This week the kids were allowed to join an elementary school doing a Marine Biology course.  First up was oceanography...and what was the first creature we saw?  A river otter. Second?  A bald Eagle.  Third?  A seal, Fourth?
a very cool bear.  All a bit big for the plankton net, but... We measured the clarity of the water with secchi discs and measured salinity and temperature at top and bottom of the inlet.  These kids were Grade 5.  I did that for my degree!!

After that we IDed animals off the pier...
See this huge predatory starfish?  They're everywhere.
There are animals everywhere.  I've seen so many species I've never seen before.  And everything is bigger in the Pacific.  Seriously! 

Next we headed off for a dredge, but on the way we past these guys...Harbor seals on Wizard Island.

That night we had a seaweed lab--which the kids really enjoyed especially when they discovered how to make brown seaweed green.  And the next day we were in the lab conducting experiments.  Experiments!  Really, the program here is super!!

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