Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 7, Friday, August 10, 2007

Last water day....and we are all sad to say goodbye to the beautiful Caribbean. We've explored, been excited and learned so much in this past week. We now know that the goatfish below is using its barbels to search the sand for tasty critters. Did you know that the blue parrotfish below is a super male? We do, by looking at that prominent bump near the front of its head. We have so much to take back to our classrooms. Dana and the other snorkelers hovered above the divers as the group explored the Tug Boat, a favorite underwater site.

The parrotfish to the left is being cleaned by a small fish and the Christmas worms below get their name from their appearance. Don't get too close or they will disappear in a flash back into their protective coral homes. Divers, Tom and Helen had a close up view of these underwater wonders.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Day 6, Thursday, August 9, 2007

The upside-down jellyfish was the "hit" of the morning snorkel to the mangroves. Several of the snorkelers met the stinging cells of the Cassiopeia on their cheeks, arms and other tender areas. The "catch of the day" is checked out by Suus, our SeaAquarium naturalist and several of the group members.

Helen and Dana are twin mermaids..not really, but they both wore mermaids on their shirts!
These are some pictures taken during our afternoon snorkels at 2 beaches (Playa Lagun and Playa Gnip) Wow!! We've learned that Playa means beach....bilingual in less than a week! The pictures of the little red crabs on the fire coral and the lobster (Yes, that's what you eat when you order lobster tails.) were taken during a night dive...Margie's first night dive!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Day 5, Wednesday, Aug. 8

We all went to bed with visions of dolphins dancing in our heads...

and awoke to island dreams.........

You may have seen the lights of Paris, but not in this ocean!!! Isn't this a French Angelfish ? Qui, qui.

Tile in your kitchen?? Not this one, this is a tile fish.

Farewell to Klein Curacao!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Day 4 Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Boat ride to Barbara Beach, Spanish Waters to snorkel the seagrass beds. Rose finds a Heart Urchin as Pete looks on enviously.

Pete responds eloquently, "Mine, Mine, Mine!!!"
Dolphin Academy.... Dolphin Encounter/Dolphin Snorkel

What a day for a daydream, what a day for a dolphin dreaming crew.
I want to hold your fin..... I want to hold your fin....

Do you want to know a secret? Ooh, aah, ooh. Do you promise not to tell? Ooh, aah, ooh. Move a little closer.

Helen: "Get out of my way, Dana. I'm the leader, I get to pet first!"

Dana: "Great role modeling, Helen!"

A little to the left, please.

Hold me, thrill me ain't got nothin but love babe, eight days a week......

Love, love will keep us together. Think of me, Dolphin, whenever.....

Love me tender, love me true.....

The dolphin kissed me on "porpoise".

Happy Anniversary to Chris and Mike..... WHERE is Mike?
Hurry up, Sandy! Now's your chance, Mark's not looking.
...and FINALLY, Mark got kissed by another woman, Deedee.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday 8/6/07 - Day 3

Who's zoomin' who? Garry Dole is taking video of a spotted moray that can be seen just to the left of the camera lens. You'll need to look closely, as it blends with the large coral rock just above it.

When the eel lurches out and he bites off your snout, that's a moray...a green moray to be exact!
This one was about 5' long and moving about the reef.

"Holy cow!! Is that Batman with the black mask and suit?" wonders this honeycomb cowfish.
No it's not's Doleman...Garry Dole, our trusty videomeister. He's been busy taking lots of underwater footage that we can use in our classrooms to take our students on a virtual tour of the reef.

The group has been as good as angels...these rock beauty angelfish are just some of the underwater angels we have seen!

Our busy schedules leave us little time for doing our nails, but if we needed a file this slender filefish might be a good source. We've learned that he's rather it's hard to schedule a manicure.
If we run out of ink while taking notes, we could always ask this squid for some of his... We learned that the ink makes an underwater "smoke-screen" to confuse predators. How many tentacles does a squid have??

This porcupine fish always makes his point with the many sharp spines that cover his body. These unique fish can inflate their bodies with water to make them difficult to swallow.
Here's a beautiful trumpetfish tooting his own horn as he swims along the reef with bright blue coloration. We've seen how they mimic the shape and motion of flexible corals on the reef to get closer to their prey.

We met one of the reef's top predators today when we came face-to-fin with a barracuda. During the afternoon snorkel several small barracuda were also sighted.

It's time to pack our trunk (trunkfish) for the day after 2 exciting snorkels/dives. We're learning so much and can now recognize many of the reef fishes...and its only the 3rd day!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

In the Water!!!!

This nocturnal soldierfish uses its large eye to find food at night or in low-light conditions. The group learned to identify soldierfish and many other reef fishes that they saw on their first snorkel out on the reef. Many of the teachers commented on the diversity of fish life on the reef.

Front row: Spotted Drum
Back row: Black Bar Soldierfish
Margie's first open water dive!
Here is a great shot of a Queen Angelfish taken by Helen Domske on the afternoon dive.

Arrived in Curacao!

Hi Everyone! What a beautiful Island this is!! We are all checked in and gotto snorkel on Saturday afternoon in the Seaquarium Encounters. Saw lots of fish and got to feed turtles,sharks and even a pesky pelican. HOPE TO HAVE PICTURES BY TONIGHT....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Packing Tips (11 packing days left)

Just a reminder regarding TSA Permitted and Prohibited carry-on items... This link will give you all the details but, in general, remember the 3-1-1-rule: all liquids or gels must be 3 oz. (3) or smaller size, fit in one (1), one-quart(1) zip bag. Also remember to pack things you can't live without in your carry-on like meds, a swimsuit, and snorkel & mask if you can fit them.

Any liquids or gels over 3 oz. must go in your checked bag. I recommend you put them in a heavy zip bag that has as much air squeezed out as possible. If they get crushed or popped the bag will contain the mess rather than your cloths!

If anyone wants to borrow an underwater light, I have a deal for you! I have an extra UK 8-D-cell light (lime green if that matters). It's really bright & ready including the batteries! All you have to do is carry it there in one of your checked bags. I'll carry it back since it weighs next to nothing without the batteries! Just let me know....

Finally checked bags over 50 lbs. will cost you extra. Carry-on bag can weigh up to 40 lbs.

Please call if you have any questions or concerns. I'm in the office most days this week and next...


Friday, July 20, 2007

15 days to departure!

Check out this Curaçao Travel Guide for answers to questions regarding island info... Departure tax is included in the trip cost.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Snorkel Practice --Saturday, July 14, 1:00 PM at Cassadaga Lake. Please call for directions.

Summer e-mail --please let me know if you will be using a different e-mail at the end of the academic year.

Passports --If you have applied for your passport but not received it prior to travel, the following site lists the necessary alternate documentation: Royal Netherlands Embassy. The alternate documentation may take a few weeks to assemble so folks without passports should begin immediately to secure them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May Reminders

May 15, 2007

How time flies! -4 weeks to the pre-trip meeting, -6 weeks of school and only 80 days to travel!

We are planning a pre-trip get-together at our home in North Collins for Thursday Evening, June 7 at 7:30 PM. We will discuss things to take, packing strategies, worthwhile reading, ID books, airport arrival info, complete required waiver and medical forms and pass out the group shirts. Please bring your health insurance card and passports. Give me a call if you need directions.

Final payments will be due at the pre-trip meeting. Remember that checks are to be payable to Tropical Marine Ecology.

Monday, March 26, 2007

March Reminders

If you have not applied for your passport please do so soon. The State Department has some delays due to the volume of applications and normal processing times have been extended. There is a Passport link to the left. If you have not already done so please e-mail your passport number and expiration date to me when available. Thanks.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

February 28, 2007 UpDate

Hi All,

Thanks to everyone that made it out on a stormy night for the Info Meeting. I will be mailing meeting packets to folks that have made deposits but were unable to attend. Please give me a call if you have questions about anything on the agenda.

As it currently stands we have one COSEE Scholarship available.

Two questions came up at the Info Meeting: First regarding the possibility of a Discover Scuba Diving Class. I'm checking on the possibility and cost but in the mean time reply to this e-mail to let me know if you might be interested. Click Here: Check out "Discover Scuba Diving Course Details"
The second question was about travel insurance. You may be interested in getting a quote at the following site: Click Here: Check out "Travel Insurance -" or I will not be able to offer trip insurance so if you are interested you can buy directly or call a travel agency.

The Pre-Trip meeting is tentatively set for Thursday, June 7, 2007. At the meeting we get to know each other a bit and talk about what to take, packing strategies and airline regulations, check out books you may want to borrow, set up a snorkeling practice, complete required waivers and medical forms and make final payments as necessary. Please let me know if this date works for you. Feel free to bring the family.... We usually meet at our home in North Collins. Map to follow....

The payment schedule for the trip will be as follows. I have printed accounting sheets and will be sending them by regular mail sometime this week.
By March 30, 2007, your account will need a $1000.00 balance. (This is $600 plus the $400 deposit)
The Final Balance will be due by June 1, 2007, and will reflect any COSEE Scholarship award.

I have attached a two page .pdf file of suggested locations if you need to purchase snorkeling equipment. If you can't open the file the included locations are Lake Erie Diving Center, 8542 Route 5, Angola, 549-3338; and Dip ‘N Dive, 500Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, 837-3483. Any of the local Scuba Dive Centers should be able to assist in selecting gear.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Trip Information

DATES: August 4-11, 2007 (8 days) Travel arrangements from Buffalo, NY Airport.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Curaçao Sea Aquarium & Bon Bini Seaside Resort, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles; double occupancy rooms with private bath, air conditioning, classroom, dolphin encounter, and aquarium.

Costs: $1760.00 for COSEE Scholars* (See funding possibilities below.) Cost includes room and meals, round trip airfare from Buffalo, bus and boat fees, transfers, admissions, hotel and departure taxes, and all tips and gratuities. Tuition and souvenirs extra. School districts may financially support their teachers; see note below. Significant others welcome at the regular cost of $2260.

Graduate CREDIT: OPTIONAL: Three hours of graduate credit are available from SUNY at Buffalo. Tuition costs are extra and must be paid directly to the University. Please call if interested.

EQUIPMENT: You will need snorkeling gear: mask, snorkel and fins. If you need to purchase equipment we will make recommendations and provide any necessary training before the trip.

Content areas: Topics to be covered with presentations and field visits: the coral reef, including reef formation and ecology; reef fish; reef invertebrates; animal relationships; sandy beaches; tide pools; zonation at a rocky shore; mangroves; and turtle grass beds.

ADDITIONAL INFO: An informational meeting will be presented Monday, February 26, 2007 at the Science Resources Center, 10001 Route 60, Fredonia, NY at 7:00 PM. For directions or additional information please call Helen Domske, Sea Grant Resource Agent at (716) 645-2114 x2337 or Garry Dole, Science Resources Coordinator, Erie 2 BOCES at (716) 679-3419 or 800-344-9611 ext. 2598 (from 716 area code).

Funding Possibilities to explore....
• * COSEE-GL will provide $500 scholarships for the first 10 eligible educators. (Trip cost of $1760 reflects the total cost after the scholarship is applied.) Please call for more information and a scholarship application.
Check out:

• This is a Professional Development activity and may qualify for both local district funding and inservice course credit as required by the NYS Commissioner of Education.

Sponsors of this workshop reserve the right to limit group size and cancel due to insufficient numbers of participants. Cost is based on a minimum of twelve participants and current air fare prices. Participants must be able to demonstrate PADI snorkeling skills or be willing to wear a snorkel vest when in the water.

Garry W. Dole
E2CC BOCES, Science Resources
10001 Route 60
Fredonia, NY 14063

Please enroll me in the Tropical Marine
Ecology Workshop.
I am 21 or older.

NAME _________________________________
HOME ADDRESS ________________________
CITY / STATE / ZIP ______________________
HOME PHONE __________________________
e-mail _________________________________
Educators please complete:
SCHOOL ___________________GRADE_______
SCHOOL ADDRESS _______________________
CITY / STATE / ZIP ______________________
√if you want an application for Graduate Credit.___
Please include a $400.00 deposit payable to
Tropical Marine Ecology and return by Feb 26, '07