Floating Classroom with Surf Skate Science and Colossal Academy
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
May 24, 2023
On Wednesday, May 24th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted a floating classroom snorkel with our partners Surf Skate Science and Colossal Academy. We were joined by 20 students and 10 educators waterside at Sea Experience in Fort Lauderdale, where we had the opportunity to board one of their glass-bottom snorkeling boats. After a safety briefing from Captain Brito, we headed out into the ocean toward Twin Ledges, a snorkeling spot named for its two ledges that run parallel to each other with a valley separating them. While on the way to the spot, we discussed fish physiology with the help of a big plush Mahi Mahi. We talked about how fish have different body plans and coloring specialized to help them hunt and avoid predation, such as billfish, which use their rostrums to stun prey. We passed around some fish ID cards to allow students to get a taste of some of the species we may see during our snorkel. When we reached the site, first mate Mike gave us all a briefing on the site and we donned our masks and snorkels and hopped in the water. We immediately saw plenty of fish, and a few lucky students and educators saw a nurse shark. We snorkeled for about an hour, during which there were sightings of interesting species like French Angelfish, Porcupine-fish, Blue Tang, a large Spiny Lobster, and a Yellow Stingray! After an hour, Captain Brito called us back to the boat and we headed back to the marina, with a pit stop for Mike to fetch a balloon from the water. We are so grateful to Colossal Academy and Surf Skate Science for joining us, and to Sea Experience for allowing us to have such a wonderful experience!
The goal is to give students the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the ocean through snorkeling and to improve their knowledge of fish physiology by observing many of the species of fish off our coast.