Birthday

I’m 13! I broke my wrist a few weeks ago, so my birthday pictures have the cast in them. I had a party at Skate city and a dump cake, I also went out to eat with my family at Fazoli’s and had cheesecake.

grace

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Poetry and henna

Did some Surrealist poetry and got henna tattoos at the library.

poem

henna

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Cool cruise

I saw a great magician and he taught me some tricks.

magic

We went to a Mayan pyramid and climbed up to the top.

maya

We went swimming in the ocean, played games, saw shows, ate at fancy restaurants, toured around and went to the most amazing beach in Cozumel. If my Mom’s underwater camera hadn’t broke, I would have tons of pictures of fish and coral from there, it was so pretty and colorful.

beach

Our last stop was Roatan and all we did there was swim. We saw a starfish, sea snake, and a flounder irritating a crab and cuttlefish (that was the best part.)

beach

I wish I could see a whale on one of these trips, but no one wants to go to Alaska! After the cruise we spent a few days in Galveston and saw my Grandma. We toured around and saw some of the tree carvings that people did after the last hurricane there.

tree

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GILLS club

I went to a GILLS club meeting hoping to get paired up with a marine biologist. But, it turns out that the club was all about sharks and getting girls interested in them. Sharks are fine, but I really like cetaceans. The meeting was fun though, I really liked the metal detector shark. We had to use the ‘shark’ to find the ‘fish’ that were hidden under the water. The metal detector acted like the electroreceptors in a shark that let them find fish.

shark

It’s a long drive to Boulder too, so unless they have a meeting about whales I won’t be going to it.

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Extreme life of the Sea

I didn’t know that I would be able to see the authors of the book Extreme Life of the Sea, I reviewed the book on here last year and my Mom found out they would be coming into town to talk about their book. I brought my book so they could sign it, but no one else brought one! The authors, father and son, talked about some of the stories in the book and showed pictures. They talked about things that have come from the ocean, like bumps on fan edges that move air 35% more – that idea comes from the bumps on humpback whale fins. They made me not want to eat low fat ice cream when I heard about an antifreeze gene in a fish that has been replicated for use in ice cream. They ended the talk with ideas about what we can do to help the ocean. I waited for a long time to get an autograph and talk to them. Tony and I talked about our favorite swimming places (he lives in CA and since we had been there in September I told him about the aquariums I visited and my favorite swimming spots) and favorite sea creatures. I told him about Deep sea news, he said he’d look in on it and i got a picture.

pic

We also heard about a marine biology event for girls coming up in a few weeks, I’ll be there!

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Long time

Since I last posted I’ve been on three cruises, finished 7th grade, turned 13, met the authors of Extreme Life of the Sea and read books about whales. I’m going to go back and post about all of those things.

First, we went on a 7 day cruise to Grand Bahamas, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay in November. I lost another pair of goggles in the ocean, sometimes I think the ocean hates me.

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beach

We toured a museum with Junkanoo decorations, swam in the ocean, saw shows and spent a day swimming with the fish in the Cay. I wish I could live on that island!

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sea

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The best day ever

This was our last day in Monterey Bay. So far I hadn’t seen any whales, but today that was going to change. We set out in the morning on a whale watching trip. We had to go pretty far but then I saw a blow and another and another. I cried when I saw the humpbacks, they were so beautiful. They were breaching and blowing and diving right next to the boat. When they dove down their fluke would leave a fluke print on the water. We watched a pod swim and dive, then another pod came by.

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I think by the end we had seen about 50 whales. I saw them lunge twice, then the rest of the time they were diving and slapping their flukes. At the very end of the trip the whales came very close to the boat and sprayed us, then they went under the boat and popped up on the other side. It was so amazing to see these whales up close, to see their fins and flukes to see the spots and bumps on them. I am so glad that we were able to see them.

In the afternoon we went to Natural bridge park and swam, then Mrs. Maris came and we got to talk to her and go tidepooling with her.

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So that was the best day ever, whales, swimming and a friend.

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More California

We swam every day when we were in CA.

beach

We went to some tourist things like the Kissing statue and Old Town San Diego. We found a festival in Dana Point and saw the Hollywood sign.

kissing

We went to a pier in Santa Barbara and drove onto it. We walked around the pier and got to see pelicans up close and lots of anchovies in the water.

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pelican

We were headed up the coast to our next spot, Monterey Bay. We pitched our tent near the beach and walked on the beach, there were sand dollars everywhere and lots of sea gulls.

On Sunday we met Mrs. Maris from Save the Whales and some friends of her daughter’s at the harbor. The friends had offered to give us a boat ride around the bay. We got on the boat and went past sea lions and when we were out far enough we started looking for sea life.

boat

We finally spotted a pod of Risso’s dolpins going by, they swam under the boat and came out the other side, it was so beautiful.

dolphin

After the boat ride we talked to Mrs. Maris, she gave me the tickets that I had won for the aquarium and we said that we’d see her there later. We went to the pier and saw a sea lion jump into someone’s boat and then jump out again and land in the water. We also saw a sea otter swimming and diving for food. That was such an awesome day.

The next day we went to the Monterey Bay aquarium and had fun looking at the otters, jellies, octopus, fish and more. The touch tank was really cool and I loved all of the whale statues.

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Sponge Bob jellies!

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There was an octopus that had slithered into a jar and so many different kinds of cuttlefish. There were sand dollars, which I had never seen alive, floating back and forth in a tank. Touch tank time, we touched anemones, chitons, mussels, star fish, sea urchins, abalone and more. We spent about 5 hours there and I’m sure we could have spent more. From there we went to a creepy John Steinbeck wax museum, my Mom went there when she was a kid, it was scary. Then we went onto the beach to tidepool, we found anemones and a starfish.

tide

Another very cool day.

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It’s been a while

Sorry it’s been so long. We had a great trip to California. It was a long drive the first day and we were so glad to get to swim in the river, it was very hot at our campsite.

camp

When we got to San Diego it was very nice, a cool breeze from the ocean and not too hot. Our first stop was to meet Alex W. in person. I met her through Mr. Cousteau’s Mission 31, I even took a Skype class with Alex, but this was the first time we’d met in person. We met Alex at the Scripps aquarium and she showed us around. Her favorite room was the kelp forest, she was so excited to show me that room. It was a giant glass wall and the kelp looked so cool just floating back and forth.

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The octopus came out and we got to see him move around the tank. Outside at the touch tank Alex showed us how to tickle the anemones, they felt like they were sticking to our fingers.

touchtank

After more looking around we left the aquarium and went to La Jolla. We ate lunch and then Alex took us to a cave. We walked down the steps an were inside the cave with the waves splashing in there. There were lots of sea lions outside the cave and they really stank.

cave

Our next stop was Alex’s lab, Alex is an aquatic chemical ecologist working at the Coastal marine institute laboratory. Alex works with kelp and invertebrates, but not everyone there does. One lady was working with marsh ladybugs and as she was showing us one, it flew off into the room! She said that she loses a lot of bugs that way. Alex showed us the lab, the places where people work on experiments.

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Alex said that working in the lab you have to know about many different things like diving, engineering, plumbing and how to drive a boat. Something to think about.

lab

We said bye to Alex and headed out to swim. The ocean was really rough and I lost my goggles and lost my breath when the waves tumbled me over and over. I got out for a bit after that scare, but eventually I got back in to swim, I was just more careful to not get sucked out to sea. I also found a lot of kelp and pulled it up onto the beach to look at it. It was pretty cool.

kelp

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Going to California

I won tickets to the Monterey Bay aquarium in the STW’s Vaquita art contest (it was the zentangle picture.) We are leaving on Tuesday for California and I am excited. I am meeting Alex W. and Mrs. Maris from STW. I am going on a boat, to an aquarium, to the beach, to a tide pool, I hope I see some whales or dolphins or anything!

 

I will post some pictures when I get back. 

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