Marine biology cruise on Take a Break

Our Stories

This week, the Take a Break group from a primary school in Hoppers Crossing all participated in a marine biology cruise with our friends from the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre. This was the first of many cruises to come in the near future.

Everyone was excited to see what the biology cruise was about. A very enthused and passionate staff member from the Discovery Centre, Harry, met us. Harry was our guide for the day and was eager to share all his local knowledge with our group.

The excitement started when the group jumped on the boat and sat down, ready to head out to the bay. As we were motoring along, one of the participants spotted some movement in a plastic tub full of seaweed. On a closer look, we saw it was a baby seahorse and we made sure it was put in water so it could breathe.

The first part of the session included us dropping a small net overboard to drag along the sea bed to collect seaweed and grass. Once collected, it was out into the tub for the children to sort through to see what they could find. Everyone was so amazed at all the different sea life wrapped up in the weeds. As they found a living organism, it was placed into the tubs with water so we could identify them.

As the children were sorting through the seaweed, the boat headed to Pope’s Eye for a closer look at the animals that call it home. Upon arrival, we spotted the seals right away – the children thought the baby seals were so cute and watched as they sun-baked on the rocks. They weren’t as excited to see the gannets (birds) that live on Pope’s Eye, but still enjoyed learning about them.

It was a little too choppy out at Pope’s Eye, so the skipper decided to head in a little closer to the shore for us to continue searching through the seaweed tubs and learning about the creatures among them. We found sea horses, pipe fish, sea stars, pygmy leatherjacket, sea slugs, shrimp, crabs and many more animals!

We all learned so much from the biology cruise and everyone really enjoyed their time with Harry and the crew on the tour. A big thank you to the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre for providing this amazing opportunity for children at Cottage by the Sea.