By Meg Hills
I am joining Sea Synergy this summer as an education intern. In my first week here I have been working in the Sea Synergy shop and sea-life exhibition. The shop stocks lots of local made sea-themed crafts and in the guided exhibition, we teach people about the marine life found around the Irish coast and show them some of it up close in our tanks.
It was a busy first week as we were running a Sea Camp. The Sea Camp group were all around 6 years old and came in from 10 am until 2 pm everyday for the week. We took them onto the beach everyday to explore the rock pools and learn about the animals that live there. We then carried out lots of activities in the centre such as shark puppets and identification games. The sessions covered a great range or topics from Sharks and Dolphins to how rock-pool animals are adapted and some of the threats facing these animals.
The amount of information that our Sea Campers were able to learn, amazed me. I found it really rewarding to be able to have an in depth conversation with them and to broaden their knowledge and understanding of marine life. A particularly good conversation we had was about the practice of shark fining which resulted in a great game of shark vs the fisherman in which the shark was definitely not the bad guy! The Sea Camp was rounded off by a day of kayaking and paddle-boarding on Lough Currane which with a group of 6 year olds definitely kept us busy!
I’ve also managed to go on some other cool activities during my first week here. I woke up early on Monday morning to make it down to Lough Currane for a paddle-boarding fitness class. This was my fist time on a paddle-board and definitely a very energetic way to start off my Monday morning. It was worth it for the picturesque views around the lake. I was also able to help out on a guided seashore walk and snorkel on Ballinskelligs beach. During the coastal walk we managed to catch a baby conga eel in the estuary which was about two inches long and very cute. During the snorkel we swam out to a kelp forest and saw wrasse, sea urchins, blue spiny star fish and snakelocks anemones. I’ve really enjoyed my first week here and can’t wait to get involved in more of Sea Synergy’s activities and projects!