1. Strolls on the Beach
Regardless of the time of day have you ever gone on a late night/early morning stroll on the beach with your classmates? No, well this is a must in Bamfield. Our class went exploring to see what neat invertebrates lived on the rocky and sandy shores of Bamfield. Some of the invertebrates we observed were various species of Kelp, sea stars, isopods, crustaceans, and limpits. We ventured further to what seemed like a small island away from the main shore line when the water started coming in and we were starting to get trapped. Good thing we were ready for anything, with our rain-pants and waterproof shoes we jumped into the Pacific Ocean and made it to the other side. Thank god! We also conducted a scavenger hunt to make finding these small invertebrates a little competitive (because a little competition is always healthy). Lastly, we found washed up bull kelp on the shore and made some cool looking puppets with fantastic luscious looking hair.
2. Dredge and Sea lion watching
I have never had the opportunity to go out far out in the Pacific Ocean on a research vessel before. It was truly an amazing experience with the waves crashing and the boat rocking up and down on the large waves. I felt like I was in a movie. As we all boarded the vessel “Alta” for our dredging trip, the captain surprised up by sailing out further to see a colony of sea lions huddled together on one island and among many rocks. It’s one thing when you see 1 or two out in the ocean but a completely other thing when you see them all herded together. It was exceptional. After we all awed at the site of the cute sea lions we headed back towards Bamfield where along the way we dredged up a small portion of the bottom of the ocean (subtidal bethos). These species were definitely different from what we had been seeing the entire weekend. We obtained some sea cucumbers, sea urchins, larger sea stars, moon snails and many other species. This was one of the last field observations we made for marine invertebrates before we headed back home to Vancouver.
3. Don’t be late for Meals
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is this: Do not be late for meals! When in Bamfield never be late for meals. With such large classes there for field-trips and all the students who are studying there for the fall semester; food runs out fast. If you’re late for any meal, you might go hungry for the rest of the day. Besides you wouldn’t want to miss a delicious meal, would you? I don’t think so, it was great. That or I was just extremely hungry; it was probably a little of both. 😉 Regardless of the reason the moral of the story is when in Bamfield, don’t be late for meals!
Even though this was a school trip, you can’t help but party with your classmates on an overnight camping trip. Bamfield really helped us get to know one another really well and allowed us to play some crazy games at night. From card games to charades we rocked them all. I have to warn you though, Charades with a bunch of Science folks gets really interesting really fast. From Disney characters, to invertebrate phylum, to the “Haldane effect” we managed to act out every single word with ease. Some of us could possibly even switch our careers to acting if we wanted. One this is for sure, I’ll never forget this game of charades I shared with these folks, it’s definitely one for the books.
5. Rainforest Walk
The The rainforest walk at Bamfield was quite overgrown and muddy; however it was still relaxing. You could hear your own thoughts in the forest, hear the birds chirp and smell the fresh air around you. As we went through the forest, our guide pointed out some neat trees and how to tell them apart. My favorite was the hemlock tree story: Hemlock was super excited about getting acorns for his branches from Mother Nature; however, hemlock came late for the ceremony and ended up with the smallest acorns. He forever, held his head in shame. You can see this as the tallest branch of hemlocks droops downwards. I know it’s just a story but I couldn’t help feel a bit sorry for Hemlocks. One the way back through the woods we made small groups and learned different facts about organisms in the forest and taught each other. Slowly, we made a large super group, made it to the last station and walked back to our rooms to pack for home.
All in all it was a trip to remember. I highly recommend other science classes to go and experience the beauty within Bamfield.
If you want to know more about Bamfield and studying there for a semester, click on the link below: