CMERA Field Trip

Today our 4-H group with out with Coastal Marine Education and Research Academy out of Dunedin. Alan and Moriah provided an excellent education experience full of hands on learning and amazing experiences. We learned a lot about the research and field experience they give to college students. We boarded the research boat and headed out to Anclote Key for some research of our own. We had to do a lot of work but it was super fun! We learned how to bait these giant hooks! I worked the bait line as we set the long lines in the water. We had quite a system going! Miriam, Dominic and I helped Moriah get the lines out. They, the waiting game. Our first hit! I medium sized nurse shark. Safely landed on the boat and measurements being taken. The white pole has holes where saltwater flows through into the mouth/gills of the shark. The skin has dermal denticles and feels rough one way and not so rough the other way. I felt bad for the shark when it was tagged but I learned that sharks are super healers. These tags provide information if the shark is caught again it can be remeasured for growth and also range of habitat. I volunteered to help release the shark. I thought that meant turn it around and push it off the boat. NOPE! I had to pick it up and HUG it. I was terrified but then so excited! It was an amazing experience. I am so inspired! The weather is still beastly hot out. We cooled off in the water for a bit until someone yelled “shark on” and we all scrambled out of the water. This time it was a bonnet head, not quite fully developed so still a juvenile. We quickly went to work measuring, watering, sexing and recording all the data. I got to tag this one! It was harder than I thought. Shark skin is very tough. They don’t have all the same nerves like we do so this doesn’t really hurt them. The research that will be gained over time from tagging and releasing sharks will help better understand habitat range, growth rates in the wild and much more!  We were hauling in the second long line of the day and it was empty like the first. We were almost done and felt a tug. We had something… but what? Turned out to be a nice sized black tip shark! Alan safely landed it and we allowed it to calm down for a minute before jumping in to start the science data collection and tagging. Water in the mouth and safely pinned to the deck so the shark didn’t hurt itself or the people. Alan bravely showed us the teeth. Wyatt tagged this one! It was hard work! We ran a net out too but sadly no skates or rays in the net today. I got to drive the boat most of the way in. I worked really hard and concentrated to make sure I didn’t drive into any channel markers! Cheesy smile! Our fun crew! Goofy too! Alan cleaning the boat after our fun day out learning about CMERA! I am so inspired now!

Bee-Hive Building for the Farm Bureau

We enjoyed a morning of helping and building for a display that will be at the Farm Bureaus booth at the Country Fair in November.

We had a super and a small and had a LOT Of nails to hammer in! A LOT! The room was super loud but we moved to the floor to make our building a little quieter. Now we have to finish paining it and then return it for the fair display! This got our artistic juices flowing and we had fun working on watercolor art at home.
I even made a toilet paper tube microphone!

Karate, 4-H and life

Here is me in my karate class. Normally there are no photos. Several of us went to the 4-H leader training and learned about new programs coming up and about conflict resolution. Zoe came down for the day to hang out. We went to Build a Bear and got the new Anolan Vulpix and then went to Cici’s for games and pizza. We finally cashed in some of the tickets we had been saving and I got an electric guitar. It isn’t high quality but it will allow me to play and see if I like it. We looked at my insect collections! I love to show them off. Practicing jamming! I need to learn some chords!

Fun Filled Week

I got my black stripe on my green belt. So now I am the second ranking belt in the class. I am so excited. The coach uses me as a tackle dummy but it is making my skills improve quickly. E and I finished school early in order to go to Disney this week for a day or two when Dad is in California this week for work. We were supposed to be packing and instead we were hanging out, not fighting, and playing Minecraft. We had a fun class on ukulele at 4-H this week. I think I am resparked with music. At Disney we were able to get on the new Slinky Dog coaster first thing in the morning. I loved the new ride. Everything in Toy Story Land was so bright and colorful.
Be careful! Mom caught a smiling teenager. We spent the afternoon at Animal Kingdom. It was terribly hot outside. We kept attacking each other and dumping water and more water. Soon we were both soaked. After a few spins on Kali River Rapids we were soaked to the bone. But the cooling each other off kept up all day! I LOVE my new popcorn tub! We even got on the new Flights of Passage Avatar ride with only a 35 min wait! The next day it was just as empty. The boat to Magic Kingdom was nearly empty! Main Street was oddly deserted. We loved all the halloween decorations. Small World must have the ability to read our Mickey bands even-though we didn’t have a fastpass. Of course we found insects! Next up was EPCOT. We rode a ton of rides. I enjoyed the new Gods of the Vikings that is in the stave church. We had a great two days and were exhausted when we left.