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Science at Sea cruise encourages discovering what lies in our waters

By Staff | Jun 23, 2011

Environmental Educator Richard Finkel holds a small puffer fish netted during Captiva Cruises’ new Science at Sea. Kids and adults can become marine biologists during the one-and-a-half hour cruise in Pine Island Sound. A trawling net is used to gather living creatures for examination and learning of what lies beneath our Back Bay waters.

Captiva Cruises’ new Science at Sea cruise is a hands-on adventure.

For an hour-and-a-half on a 45-foot Corinthian, a powered catamaran named Playtime, kids and adults can be marine biologists using a trawling net to observe and identify some of the unique inhabitants within our Back Bay waters.

“We go to study sites in Pine Island Sound, which is an estuary,” explained Richard Finkel, the environmental educator with Captiva Cruises.

Information is collected during each Science at Sea cruise for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s ongoing water quality research. During the cruise, Finkel discusses various topics like tides as a vehicle for small critters, such as plankton, and what lies beneath the shallow waters of Pine Island Sound that is home to important marine life.

“The sea grass and mangroves provide excellent hiding and living places for marine life,” Finkel told the kids on the cruise.

Zachary Gorlach, second from left, Mike Komara, Jessica Gorlac and Joseph Yanta enjoy Captiva Cruises’ new Science at Sea adventure with Captain Brian and environmental educator Richard Finkel. The group cruised through the waters of Pine Island Sound as temporary marine biologists to discover what lies beneath it.

He also told the four kids – Zachary Gorlach, 9, Jessica Gorlach, 5, Joseph Yanta, 6 and Mike Komara, 11 – about the importance of the food chain and marine habitat.

The Science at Sea is the newest addition to Captiva Cruises’ Summer of Family Fun, which also includes the Shoreline Discovery cruise, where you will explore a secluded beach; beach and shelling excursions to Cayo Costa State Park; lunch on Cabbage Key and Useppa Island; dolphin wildlife and adventure; and the night sky astronomy cruise.

Kids can take part in Captiva Cruises’ Junior Naturalist program, where upon completion of two of the designated junior naturalist programs (a $5 off coupon will be given for kids for a second junior naturalist cruise) kids receive a Captiva Cruises’ junior naturalist certificate.

Additional information and reservations for any of the Captiva Cruises’ tours and programs can be obtained by calling 472-5300.

Nine-year-old Zachary Gorlach helps pull up the trawling net during the Science at Sea adventure. Zachary and three other kids learned about the importance of marine life and its habitat from environmental educator Richard Finkel.

Five-year-old Jessica Gorlach holds sea grass while environmental educator Richard Finkel discusses its importance to marine life. Jessica took part in Captiva Cruises’ new Science at Sea excursion. The information collected during the one-and-a-half hour cruise is provided to Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation for its ongoing water quality research.