Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Life on the Algoa - according to a student.

One of the young students from George asked me for some paper to write down some of what he had learnt during his day on the Algoa - bearing in mind he'd been awake since early that morning and was writing this quite late at night, I was very impressed with what he remembered. You can click on the picture to the left to read it yourself; I've transcribed it below for easier reading. I think I would also like to have my job title officially changed to the one he gave me in the first sentence! I've tried to retain the formatting and spelling as is:
Life on the Algoa, 25 September 2010

When we got on the ship there was a warm welcoming by James the expert of the ocean. First there was a tour of the ship and after that we had some breakfast after that we went ot the front deck where James explained to us more about the ocean and different things that exists these are some of the questions and answers that went out:
How do you tell the age of a fish?
Inside the ear of the fish if you open it up you will see that there are rings similar to those produced by trees each ring represents a year of life

How do anglerfish provide energy for the light on theire heads?
The anglerfish do not produce the energy it's actually bacteria that mixes with chemicals in the water and when they react to each other it produces light

Some children got sea sick and had to leave for theire cabbins while the rest of us whent to see everything in the bridge
first of all there is everything and more that you whould expect to see like radars, charts, radios etc.
We learned about the chlorofil of plants in the sea and we also learend about the eye and how light travels through the eye.
There is also a trawler on the ship with huge nets that they use to catch fish with and sort them out to do some research on the species and to varify the population and sex of the fish. There are over 3 million fish species in the world and only about 150,000 are descovered each year and we know so few of the ocean and did you know that the deepest depth of the ocean is about 2 kilometres straight down to earth
The famous Mozambique current does not exist and the reason people think that there is a current is because of the eddy's which turn in an anti-clockwise mosion and spirals down the coasts making the elusion of of a current
The part I did not mention was that the chlorofil in the ocean plants can redirect the uv-light say for instance you take a uv-flashlight and shine it at the plant ant take it away it would glow
Our current speed is ten nots which is basically 18 klilomitres an hour earlier we spotted some humpback whales and the were just slapping the water like crazy and splashing and playing in the water we watches a slide show on some of the previos research toures where the whent to Sodwana bay and actually found sealacamps the fish that every one thought was extinct
I was impressed with how much of the overwhelming amount of information he remembered during a very long day - with a bout of seasickness to overcome too!

As we were saying goodbye at the harbour in Port Elizabeth, the same young scholar told me as he came running past "You must keep studying the oceans, it's too interesting and important!" - motivation indeed!

In the next post, I'll clarify some of these points for your interest.

You can see that you made a very good impression on him.Our environmental future is in good hands
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