Sunday, May 15, 2011

Catalina SIMI 2011

I wish that every child could have the CIMI Marine Biology Camp experience.  I chaperoned my children on their school excursion to Toyon Bay.

We slept in cabins, prepared food, snorkeled 3 times and became part of 1% of the population who have ever snorkeled at night.  Algae and sea mushrooms lit up in fiber optic colors under the sea.  I monitored the edges of the group and soothed and encouraged little first time snorkelers who were terrified but tried to be so brave.

the day, we swam with Leopard Sharks, Bat Rays, Garibaldi, and Shovel Nosed Guitar Fish.  We Dredged the bottom of the ocean to learn about its composition.  We examined the ocean water under the microscope to find hundreds of plankton varieties that resembled alien creatures.

We all dissected squid with great respect for their lives, lost for our learning.

We couldn't help painting ourselves with ink or tasting the nutrient rich eye lens.  We tasted Algae reminiscent of salty carrots, let Sea Hares lick us with their rough tongues, and had Sea Anemone hugs.

The Rays and Sharks rubbed into our touch and almost leaped out of the tanks to get a little more lovin'.

The instructors were amazing young women who had the knack for silliness and serious information that would teach children the best.  Sadly, Ladybug threw up for 24 hours and missed a whole day of learning and fun but Lauren, an amazing instructor took us in for a private tour of the touch tanks and octopus lairs.

Watching children discover, learn, and grow has got to be one of the most satisfying experiences ever.  Each child went home feeling a little taller, a little more independent, and a little happier having faced their fears and overcome them.
The last night of our trip, we gathered round the campfire to relive our favorite memories.  Tears were shed, gratitude was shared, and no one wanted to go home.  

I learned A TON about oceanography,but I learned a lot about my two older ones watching them with their peers.  And while some of it was disturbing, I see it as a little God Breeze to let me know, "Hey! you might want to help one of these little ones out with this.  Time for a little tweaking!" 

And that is what I'll do now.


  1. What lucky little girls to have such a Mom.

  2. Wow, So amazingly fun!