Days 4 and 5: They Eat Better Than We Do!

Attempting to use the lift bag in the Giant Ocean Tank, and not kill the fish on the way up!

Can you believe that all the food that the GOT animals eat is restaurant quality? All the way down to the cooked shrimp! These past two days I’ve spent most of the time feeding. Myrtle and the needlefish are the main ones that I’ve been feeding-the needlefish love the shrimp! Friday I worked with volunteers Jeff, Narda, Don and John. I love interning at the aquarium because every day I’ve met at least four new people. All the volunteers that I’ve met come from really different backgrounds ranging from freelance artists to computer programmers to college students.  Everyone has given me great advice on what to do after college, and how to stay in contact with the marine world.  A great idea that Tara suggested was that I should take advantage of travelling and studying abroad in college; if I want to keep traveling than working on live-aboards in Australia is definitely the way to go (that’s what she did).  It’s comforting to know that I don’t necessarily have to be a marine biologist to work with aquatic life.

Saturday was my last day at the aquarium  :-( and I met Barry, Neal, and Dan.  I got to do two dives on the last day, both of them were with Dan. Dan took me on a great tour of the GOT; we went through all the passageways and holes above and below the reef, and he let me pat the giant green moray. Underwater it has the softest, slimiest skin- it felt like I could almost poke a hole in its side if I pushed to hard, it was so malleable. A very different feeling compared to the tough, sandpaper-like skin of the nurse shark that Holly let me touch the first day.

On the second dive Dan taught me how to use a lift bag and we each used one to transport buckets of sand from one area of the GOT to the main tray. It was really cool, but hard to swim with so I guess I didn’t put enough air in the bag. At the end of the day Dan took me on a tour of the galleries behind the scenes. It’s a room with holding tanks for the galleries, and many aquariums with one side displayed to the public. If you look down you can see the people looking in- but they don’t see you! The aquarium was a fun place to spend five days. I learned so much about the animals, and what it takes behind the scenes to keep the aquarium going (a lot!). Now I want to volunteer at an aquarium when I’m away at college!