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touch tanks

Touch Tanks

By | All Posts, Sedna Expedition, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water, Women Underwater | No Comments

Ruby Banwait our Chief Scientist has brought along mini-aquariums that can be set up at locations along our route. At each community we fill the aquariums with sea water and then go on a collecting dive, bringing back a variety of animals for a short vacation in our tank. The tanks are set up so that one is at eye level for small kids and another is easy to reach into. We show the kids how to gently hold some of the critters and teach them about how they eat and feed. We also share messages about keeping the ocean clean and protecting the habitat for sea life. Ruby is also teaching the team the fun stories we can share to inspire, gross out, and engage the children.

At the end of the activities, we have a release party where the kids help us bag up the animals and return them to the sea. The bits of garbage we collected underwater are disposed of properly and hopefully a seed is planted to prevent future litter.

The experience of working with the kids is moving. They are so enthusiastic about learning and many left us email contact information so we can keep in touch and perhaps pair them with girls in other parts of the world.

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Goodbye Nain, Labrador

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The next stage of our journey begins. We leave Nain, Labrador on the MV Cape Race and head north. The experience here in Nain has been incredible. I think all of us would agree that it exceeded our wildest imaginations. We wanted to tread very lightly and not make any assumptions about storming in with education for the community. Our fears were alleviated immediately. Everyone was eager to learn more about what we were doing. The community gathers around the pier to fish and hang out. They were keen to bring their children to learn about the residents of our fish tanks and talk about scuba, the ocean and the geography of our trip plans ahead. In turn we learned about the Inuktituk names and legends associated with certain marine life. We listened to stories about what was part of the food supply and what was not. We learned about a beautiful way of life that involves a high emphasis on family and community activities. The children are smart, curious and warm and we could not have had a better launch for the Sedna Expedition.

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Outreach Overwhelming

By | All Posts, Sedna Expedition, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water, Women Underwater | No Comments

We had another incredibly rewarding day with the community. We caught a fresh batch of animals from the public wharf. Many people turned up to watch us dive and were prepared to stock up the tanks when we emerged from the water. We also brought home a transom cover that had been lost by a local boater some time ago. He asked us to pick it up for him and was relieved to have his boat part back. I think it had been in the water for a while, because I had to scrape off some resident anemones and other animals before returning it to him.

Ruby got everyone involved in the tanks and we tried to share a delicate message about trash in the ocean as we chatted with the kids. They were very receptive and were eager to touch, hold and learn about the residents on their local pier.

We’ll set sail in the morning from Nain and move north. The ice is socked in around Saglek Inlet in the Torngats so we are not sure what lies ahead.

Reaching Out

By | All Posts, Sedna Expedition, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water, Women Underwater | No Comments

Our Chief Scientist Ruby Banwait launched our educational program today by setting up the touch tanks in Nain, Labrador. We had a fantastic turnout from the local community. We learned the Inuktituk names for animals from local people and shared our knowledge with kids who were able to touch the critters that are normally beyond their sight. Sea creatures were caught gently in the morning, lived in the tanks for the afternoon and were carefully returned to the sea by the enthusiastic kids. Erika’s underwater robots were a real hit with the kids until she ran out of battery power. We’ll launch again tomorrow and expect an even bigger crowd to come out.

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