*SCREECH* Hold your horses! We’re not going to NC just yet! Turns out I get to have one more New England Aquarium day! Just, with a bit of a twist..I don’t have to leave Duxbury! Apparently the NEA has a holding tank in Duxbury! It’s mainly used as a porpoise recovery rescue tank, but they were keeping the three sharks from the Giant Ocean Tank, two sand tigers and a nurse, there for a little while this summer, and they needed some volunteers to help clean the tank.
Thirty-two foot diameter, 8 foot deep tank covered in algae? Naturally, I HAD to help 😉 We had an absolute BLAST! Picture about 6 or 8 people in this algae covered tank with sponges on their feet, scrubbers in their hands, good music, and a hose, and you will get a pretty good idea of how our day went. We started in a green tank, and ended in a shiny yellowish colored tank. AND, we found a ton of shark teeth in the process! It was like panning for gold…in algae. Same thing, I swear!
Once the tank was spiffy clean, we ate lunch, and then I got invited to ANOTHER New England Aquarium location by Mr. Dan Dolan! They have a facility in Quincy, and he was in charge of helping to feed the two brown nose sharks that they were holding there. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, and off we went! The building was once used for building ships, so it was HUGE. There were several of the same types of tanks as in the Duxbury facility, and they held a bunch of different critters. Most of them were rays, southern and cownose, and then a few sharks.
This is where all of the sharks and rays for the touch tank were kept before going on exhibit, and they have a few of the ones that are still too young there. They were SO cute! They also had some rays there in the process of being shipped to other aquariums. And, in another room, they had a few tanks where they raised some corals, and a bunch of little baby cuttlefish! I wanted to take them home they were so adorable!
I got to help prepare the food for the two female brown nose sharks that Dan was there to help feed. They eat a lot of squid, herring, and capelin. The sharks get fed by two divers that go in the water and put the food on the end of a small spear stick for the sharks to take. It was pretty neat to watch, and I even managed to get some shots and footage of it with my little waterproof Olympus Camera. After the sharks were fed, Dan continued to show me around the facility.
Then, just when I thought I had seen it all, Dan opened another door that lead to a room almost as big as the one we just came from! It was FULL of a bunch of tanks sitting on a platform, that were like 3footx3foot cubes, with open tops. And, what was inside of them you may be wondering? …TURTLES! They were all fairly young turtles that had been caught against Cape Cod while swimming down the east coast. The aquarium rescues the turtles, rehabilitates them if they need it, and then releases them back into the ocean! I never knew how many other facets of the marine world the New England Aquarium has its hands in! I can’t wait till I get to go back in the future!