Monday, December 12, 2011


Hi Sea Fans!

I know you've all been waiting patiently to hear from me and yes, with internet I should be able to get to writing as soon as I've done things, but I've been so busy that I've hardly had 2 seconds.  Don't worry, you get to see all the fun stuff I've been up to, just read on.....

I've just left the Alaska Sea Life Centre in Seward and what fun we had!  I knew it was cold there, but wow, it can be FREEZING!   I don't know how those guys dive in that water every day.  Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, I need to start at the beginning. 

Casey was nice enough to invite me to come and visit them and she made sure that I got to help out in ALL their animal departments - marine mammals, avian (birds) and in the aquarium.

In the aquarium, I met Jared, the Aquarium Co-ordinator who invited me to help him feed the octopus.  Not just any octopus, mind you, I got to feed the Giant Pacific Octopus called Lulu.  

Lulu came right up for her food when she saw Jared.
Lulu is four years old and loves razor clams.  We had so much fun, I felt like staying with her all day. 
This is what Razor Clams look like.
Some interesting stuff:
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus (GPO) grows bigger and lives longer than any other octopus species. The size record is an animal that measured 9.1 m across and weighed more than 272 kg.  The averages are more like 5m and 50 kg though. 
  • GPO's have been known to attack and eat sharks as well as birds, using their sharp, beaklike mouths to puncture and tear flesh.
  • They are found throughout the temperate waters of the Pacific, from southern California to Alaska, west to the Aleutian Islands and Japan.

After visiting Lulu, I spent a little bit of time with the front of  house staff at the touch pool where they had some really pretty starfish/sea stars.

It's very important to read signs in an aquarium!

You can see how much fun I was having!

You can't work in an aquarium and not get wet, so after seeing the front of house, I got to dive in the deepest sea bird exhibit in North America!  My dive buddies introduced me to Big Mamma, a wolf eel, and then we got down to the serious work of scrubbing.  After all, everything's got to be clean and it's not going to get that way by itself! : )

My dive buddies Darin and Jared.
To defrost from the long dive, I went over to Assistant Curator, Cade, to see if I could meet the Pacific Harbor Seals. I was in for a treat: he was just about to start a training session with Snapper, their 27 year old Harbor Seal.
Snapper is so well trained, he even followed my command when I gave the training a try.
After seeing Snapper, I got to meet Tongass, Snapper's son.  They're such beautiful animals and amazingly elegant when they swim in the water.  Like all good trainers, after the fun and games, I went and got my hands dirty.

Cleaning fish buckets.
I ended my time at the Alaska SeaLife Center in the seabird aviary, home to 10 different types of Alaskan seabirds. Along with Educator Callie and AmeriCorps Member Sara Ann, I got to hand feed a range of different birds.
Me, Callie and the birds.
I got to meet a real life Puffin and a Kittiwake.  A Kitti - what - e, you ask?  A KITTI-WA-KE, it's a type of gull and it's very pretty: it looks a bit like it's had it's wings dipped in ink.

The Horned Puffin we fed.

The Kittiwake.
All in all, I had a great time at the Alaska SeaLife Center and I loved meeting all the staff who work there and get to spend every day of their lives around amazing marine animals.  If you'd like to find out more about the Alaska Sea Life Centre, go to or better yet, if you're in Alaska for Christmas, why not pop over to the centre and see it all for yourself!

Thanks ASLC staff, I had a great time and thanks so much for my standard issue Grunden wear, the overalls (as we call them) are great!

Have a great week Sea Fans!
Chat soon
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