I leave today for an eight day trip to the Bahamas. Not just any trip, but a research and collecting trip with the New England Aquarium! To say that I am excited about this trip is the understatement of the year. As a little girl I dreamed of becoming a Marine Biologist (that or an artist.) So much so that my parents even sent me to SCUBA camp in the Florida Keys at the age of 15. I have been diving ever since and love every minute I get to breath some compressed air. Lucky for me, as an adult I get to play at being both a marine biologist and an artists! (Well the artist thing is not so much playing, as really trying to making a living now.) For the past 4 years or so I have been volunteering at aquariums. First, at the Georgia Aquarium, where as a volunteer diver I swam with beluga whales, hammerheads and whale sharks. Now at the New England Aquarium, where I hand feed majestic sea turtles, take care of the Giant Ocean Tank, and will soon be diving.
I firmly believe in the mission of aquariums, to provide research and eduction to the public about our oceans and the animals who inhabit them. Conservation v. Preservation if you will. After all, a child who visits an aquarium on a field trip, may fall in love with a penguin or stand in awe at the sight of a narley toothed shark. That child may one day become a marine biologist, or the very least want to protect the amazing creatures in our oceans and the world in which they live.
So I am off to help the New England Aquarium collect fish for their Bahamian reef exhibit. We litteraly have a shopping list of the fish we need to collect and bring back. I also plan on taking a bajillian photos and videos in the hopes of creating a little film or photo journal explaining why aquariums have collecting trips and their importance. So wish me luck.
Oh, and I cannot promise that I will able to update this blog while I am out to sea. We will be living on a research vessel and the satellite internet connection is not guaranteed. Check out previous trip photos and blogs here and here.
Till then here are photos from some of my previous dive trips. Now, with camera and net in hand...off I go!