Yesterday, Glenn and I went Queenscliff to do the marine biology cruise. This is normally targeted at children, but I enjoy doing it as it is an affordable (and disability friendly) way of learning more about marine life.
Glenn isn’t a marine life aficionado like multiple family members. He’s passionate about larger wildlife such as birds and mammals. I pitched it as a way for him to explore Port Phillip Bay and get photos of the seals and gannets. I did have an ulterior motive: I was hoping to find some interesting marine life and convert him to a rockpooler. Seeing the specimens in clear water is a great way to get a closer look and discover new species.
Alas, no-one on the boat really looked for any marine life in the containers. We were too busy getting saturated 🙂
It had been windy yesterday morning. It was calm enough for people to go out on the ocean, but I underestimated the swell(?). The swell/waves hit the boat and splashed onto the people sitting on one side of the boat. Guess who was in the direct path?
Now, I have heat intolerance. I overheat very easily, even in cooler weather. I normally just wear my dress and a cardigan, and lose the cardi very quickly. I assumed this would suffice on the trip, even if I got a bit wet.
Air and water are different temperatures – and cool/warm the body differently. I underestimated the temperature of the water. Not only that, I became saturated and the cold water clung to my skin. It was a very different experience.
The team members were great, despite our naivety. We were copping the brunt of it, so they offered for us to sit somewhere where we’d be a bit more sheltered. We were dumb enough to have the camera and our bags on the boat. I reminded myself that I had done two of these trips before and not experienced conditions like this. I’d also gone out on other boats and in more exposed weather. I wasn’t prepared for these specific conditions, as I don’t go out on the water as often as I’d like. I’ve definitely learned from the experience.
We weren’t the only ones getting wet. The kids were getting splashed pretty bad – and were enjoying it! But the boat was a bit rocky, so no-one was really looking for marine life. This was a shame, this was my main motivation. Someone found this cool sea anemone, and they had a wandering anemone in a bucket. The marine biologist was showing people different types of seaweed and talking about what they tasted like. They also shared what species we did find. Alas, no sea hares or sea horses.
I ended up feeling very guilty after this trip. I have severe anxiety, so I was worried that we detracted from the experience. In retrospect, I don’t believe we did. We were in a bad position on the boat, and the staff trying to accommodate that. It was definitely worth it; Glenn is still buzzing about the gannets. I’m going to look at doing trips with Sea All Dolphin Swims in the future so we can spend longer at both sites. I definitely want to do more marine biology cruises, but will make sure I plan ahead. I’m very grateful that these cruises are offered so people – not just kids – can learn more their natural environment. My heat intolerance means I struggle looking for marine life in warmer weather. This is a great opportunity for me to learn more.