As soon as we got to the ocean from scenic Alamitos Bay we found a pod of long-beaked common dolphins on last year’s See the Sea, Si? trip aboard the 118-foot RV “Challenger.” Soon we were surrounded by dozens of leaping dolphins.
As fun and exciting as a dolphin encounter is, the experience was not difficult to top during the remainder of the three-hour trip. We pulled up many different species of very interesting crabs from the bottom and also several species of fish. The sharks were big crowd pleasers, as always. My favorite part of this expedition was the tiny plankton. After towing a net with really fine mesh for a while, we brought thousands of really small but fascinating creatures aboard. Some are really simple but many look like space aliens and others like something straight out of a science fiction movie. They all swim in different ways using different types of appendages; I could watch them for hours. And it was easy to watch them, thanks to a device built by Outreach Coordinator Chris Brodie which involves a submersible camera. You can just slowly move the camera through the dish with all the critters and watch them really big on a video monitor.
This trip is so much fun that you don’t even notice how much you learn. Like so many programs offered by the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, it is a fantastic outing for the whole family.
This year’s floating oceanography lab is scheduled for Sunday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Unfortunately the word about this great event hasn’t gotten out fast enough and at this point it might even get cancelled because of insufficient participation. That would be a shame.
Please sign up for the trip as soon as possible and tell your friends and family about it. More information is at CMA’s website, http://www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org/events-news/events-details.as.... Or you can call Programs Coordinator Larry Fukuhara at (310) 548-7562, extension 223.
The cost is $30 per person; $27 for Friends of CMA members. To register, call (310) 548-7562.