We had a fun time at archery club shooting at pumpkins this week. I was a great shot. I had to dispose of the pumpkins by the trees and they started to gush into pieces as I was moving them. YUCK! We had a brief 4-H District Council Meeting. I am trying to keep people motivated and going but it is hard. I am getting taller. Almost as tall as Dad. For sure taller than Mom! I am running for VP of Latin Club. I had to give a speech during the monthly meeting. We went back to SPC for the October Skies program. I just love how they decorate the entire building! I was a little scared but I honestly won’t admit that! Okay I will! I was terrified! SPC had a mini STEM fest this weekend too. I love the rock wall a lot. I learned a lot about clubs that are offered on campus too.
We bought these new chairs for the lining room. Mom just laughs when we are all sitting playing on our tech. We went back to Marine Quest with our 4-H group again this year. We had a lot of fun with the microscopes. We got the duck people again this year. So many questions but so few answers. I loved the shark ID lab. We used the dichotomous key to ID several sharks. But my favorite display with year was the carnivorous plants. We went back on Saturday with Dad and enjoyed some crafts, molecule building and ocean learning. The weather cooled off for one day! Thunder thought the world was ending and curled up for snuggles. Lately he wants to lay on me each evening. We upgraded the little tree this year to something taller. We had a lot of fun shopping at Robert’s Christmas Warehouse. This one has so many lights and we even added a few more!
We are back from the cruise and settled in, barely. We went to the 4-H awards banquet and both Emmerson and I were awarded youth of the year for our age category. E and I did our demos at Archery Club. I taught about the history of the atlatl. Then we co-lead a meeting on how to throw an atlatl. We worked on our wreathe for Festival of Trees at the ARC center. We squeezed in a Young Eagles Day at Clearwater airpark! We even found a not so red tide stinky day for exploring Honeymoon Island State Park. We came home and spent the afternoon sorting through the change jar looking for wheat pennies!
Our family cruise this year took is to the Western Caribbean for a week. We enjoyed the ports in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth Jamaica and Disney’s private Island, Castaway Cay. Considering it was the midst of hurricane season we faired well with weather. I got to meet the magician who wasn’t happy about Mom taking a photo or video! Guess he was worried it would spoil his tricks!
I had a lot of fun in the club, The Edge. I made animation cells and had fun playing gag ball and many other things. My favorite this to do was to be grumpy when Mom took my photo.
The food was delicious and the company was grand. Grandma Susie and her friend Nina, from Boston, joined us. I loved the aqua duck at night.
We didn’t do many excursions but had a fun time wandering in the ports and then enjoying the less busy ship for a few hours. I made a friend, shocking I know! She was from Utah and was really nice to hang out with. I still hung out with Emmerson when I could but really enjoyed the time away from him too. My meals were pretty much bacon for 7 mornings! Dad bought me some fancy iced coffee drinks that made my skin crawl, boy were they good! The whole ship was decorated for Halloween. We ran into my friend in Jamaica! Heading back to the ship to prep for pirates night. Mom and Dad were off to a formal dinner.
Mrs. Nina made these really neat pirate bandanas for us! THANKS! We missed towel folding but Mom and Dad had fun! For Halloween we dressed in our Steam Punk outfits. We snorkled at Castaway Cay and had a blast! Every good cruise ends with watching them sort and load the towels from the island! See ya real soon!
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!