Please send us any stories, photo's and poems that you may have about Our Ocean to firstname.lastname@example.org
us your paintings or drawings!
We'll put your images, stories and poems up on this page!
Here's an email from the Patete Whanau....
Congrats on your success with finding a site to create what you are so
passionate about. (See news page article of 13th June, 2009)
Thank you for the open days you hold monthly. Our 3 girls (8, 5, 3) love
your centre and always take photos when they go. We were lucky enough to
spend 16 months living in the Cook Islands. This really gave our girls a
passion for sea life which is very much a part of daily life there. In a
small way your centre keeps that love alive. Thank you!
Pictured is Maia Patete 3yrs
The following images have been supplied by Tom Law, who attends most of our Open Days and other events, documenting those experiencing Our Oceans Classroom! See for yourself, join us on an Open Day! Who knows, you might see yourself here!
Ocean's Classroom is right on the foreshore, with natural
rockpools to explore after a visit to the facility. The entire family
will be amazed!
Bait House enthralls all ages... as Our Ocean's Classroom is an exciting
place to visit!
a baby seal on the
rock by the Bait House ... and our new
giant red rock lobster!
some of our "touch
gently tank" residents - a sea cucumber and an 11 arm star!
from sociable octopus to amazed children, schooling fish to rock hopping humans......
Visit Our Oceans Classroom next Open Day! Thanks Tom!!
Getting close to an Octopus (by
Many years ago (probably the late seventies) I was scuba diving with friends near a large rock about a mile south of Makara Beach. Water depth was 7 to 10 metres and it was a beautiful calm summers day with great visibility under water.
At that time I had a clip on a short length of cord attached
to my regulator mouthpiece. The idea was that I could attach the clip
to my buoyancy compensator so that I could always find the mouthpiece in
a hurry. The clip was not a very good idea and I usually did not bother to
attach it. The
cord was just left hanging free.
I had recently seen a Jacques Cousteau tv program in which
his divers were stroking an octopus they had found living in an ancient greek
amphora (a big wine jar) in the Mediterranean. I came upon an octopus sitting
calmly on the bottom and decided to try stroking it. I approached it very
slowly and stroked it on the back with my gloved hand. It accepted the stroke and closed its eyes the same way a cat does. I
took off my glove and stroked it again with my bare hand.
While this was happening I felt a slight tug on my lips from
my mouthpiece. I tried to look down to see what what was happening
but of course the bottom of my face mask prevented me seeing the regulator.
What I could see was seven octopus legs spread out around the octopus body
and one leg stretching vertically up my stomach towards my mouth. The octopus
was tugging gently on the cord attached to my
mouthpiece. I like to think it was enjoying our meeting together and was curious about this short tentacle I seemed to attached to my head.
I realised that with an octopus hanging on to a rock with seven
legs and my mouthpiece with the other I was literally fixed to the spot. I
very slowly backed away, put my glove back on and continued on with my dive.
It was one of hundreds of happy memories in a lifetime of diving.
Another was a time I was scuba diving for crayfish in about
20 metres of water near the entrance to Pelorus sound. A seal pup joined
us. It wanted to understand what we doing staring into holes in the
rocks. It looked into all the same holes at the same time that we were. Now
and again it would head for the surface straight up and fast like a Polaris
missile and come straight back down again. Sometimes when it came down it
would dive bomb past us blowing bubbles. Sometimes
it was right way up and other times upside down.
I was the biggest diver and ran down my air supply faster than
the others. I eventually signalled to say I was returning to the boat, the other two divers indicated they still had plenty of air and would stay down a bit longer. I reached the surface accompanied by the pup who was in a dilemma. Obviously it wanted to wanted to know what I was doing but it did not want to miss out on the action down below. It swam with me towards the launch for about a minute then charged back to the point vertically above the other divers and dived down to them. A
minute or two later it rocketed back up to surface and came back to me. It
kept doing this until I reached the boat and climbed out of the water. By Chris Caudwell
family perspective on an exciting open day at the Island Bay Marine Education
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