One summer evening Andy Gray from DSE shared his passion for marine creatures with 16 members, including five children.
As he said: ‘This is my most favourite place in the world, where the ocean meets the land.’
He started out by discussing dangers, in particular the Blue-ringed octopus. However he also explained what wonderful, and usually innocuous, creatures these are.
We firstly looked in the multiple crevices of the large rocks near the shore at the myriads of sea snails, limpets etc.
We then moved out onto the rock platform and carefully looked under rocks.
Andy explained the importance of putting creatures and rocks back as we found them, with the graphic analogy of us losing the roof of our house.
We saw a range of shells, sea stars, sea anemone crabs etc. One of the crabs had a soft back as he had just removed his shell and was in the process of hardening up a larger one, so we were especially careful in returning him to his habitat. A Decorator Crab was covered in seaweed and small objects from his rock pool, the camouflage being his only defence. Andy had an interesting story of an experiment done with a Decorator Crab put in an environment with scraps of blue tissue paper…and guess what happened!
A highlight was a close look at a large Elephant Snail, a really weird looking creature.
Later in the walk Elicia Ivory from Parks Victoria joined us. She is on a short term position as a Marine Ranger, with her focus being community education/engagement over the summer period at Point Danger (Torquay), Point Addis Marine Park and Eagle Rock.
As darkness approached we had to finish…the time had flown!