Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sea Life Park Hawaii

Last week, our homeschool co-op took a trip to the Sea Life Park.

This is what homeschoolers look like in case you were wondering.

Because we had set it up as an educational field trip we were treated to a special talk given by one of the trainers at the park. She brought a Sea Lion right out in front of us. He was close enough that the kids on the front row could have reached out to touch him.

She advised them not to do that though.

She showed us how they had trained him to do tricks and gave us an educational talk about the care and feeding of Sea Lions and how they differ from Seals.

She then showed us how they train the dolphins to do tricks and talked about their care and feeding. The dolphins did some really cool things. They did all kinds of flips and threw balls around. All the kids near the tank got splashed and were really happy about it.

I wish I was a dolphin trainer. Or a dolphin.

Then they had two penguins waddle out and we were treated to an educational talk about them.

Katie asked me to take her picture in front of this gray wall.

We then got to watch the "Sting Ray Ballet". A scuba diver swam around in a tank full of many fish and sting rays. He hand fed the sting rays. It was really funny to watch him poke food right in their mouths. He even got one of them to give him a kiss!

There was a "petting zoo" where the kids got to pet Sea Cucumbers and a Sea Urchin.

One trainer held a turtle on her lap for all the kids to touch. We aren't allowed to get near them when we see them on the beach, so this was a new opportunity for everyone.

Then we went to see a dolphin show. This is always one of the most fun parts of a Sea Life Park. Dolphins are natural performers and are very entertaining to watch.

I once read a story about a trained dolphin who was accidentally released into the ocean when the wrong channels were left open into his tank and he was able to swim right out. They found him at three o'clock that day, performing his routine out in the ocean for a boat full of tourists.

In this dolphin show, one of the trainers rode on the back of a dolphin like he was a surfboard. Then he propelled her into the air and did a flip. Who wouldn't love a job like that?

They also had a Sea Lion "Beauty Pageant". We watched the Sea Lions perform in the talent competition. This was an adorable show! I loved it!

It was a hot day, and right behind the stands for the sea lion show, some sprinklers were in full gear watering the lawn. All the kids begged to be allowed to run through the sprinklers and we moms all shrugged and said, "Sure, why not?"

The we sat in the stands and pretended we didn't know them in case they got in trouble for playing in the sprinklers.

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