Category: School Field Trips


http://www.bluewaterventures.org

Blue Water Ventures offers naturalist-ledadventures world wide. We lead kayaking trips in Central California, The Sierras, Baja, Belize, British Virgin Islands and Tonga where we snorkel with humpback whales.

Working with all ages, we specialize in school field trips and private family groups. Our youngest audience are 5th gradersnd we take schools of all ages to the university level.

We also have a very demand for naturalist-led programming for our blue water women followers.

Join us!
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: (831) 459 8548
email: bluewaterventuressc@gmail.com
website: http://www.bluewaterventures.org
127 Mason St, Santa Cruz CA 95060

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Our school field trips to the protective water of Pillar Point harbor sometimes have some real surprises. During the fall of 2016, Humpback whales were consistently seen lunge feeding near shore where students could observe safety from the jetties. An amazing teaching opportunity!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Launching from Pillar Point Harbor, we’ll have a leisurely paddle through the protected and scenic harbor. Cormorants, pelicans, terns and harbor seals join us for our naturalist-led field trip. Across the harbor we can beachcomb, explore tidepools and have a shore lunch before paddling back.

A very popular activity with students is pulling a large seine net to examine our catch and continue our discussion of animal adaptations. Teachers, please feel free to call us to discuss curriculum ideas in greater detail.

The cost of your field trip is $48 per person with a complimentary trip for one teacher chaperone. $50 per person weekends.

Hope you can join us!
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: (831) 459 8548
email: bluewaterventuressc@gmail.com
website: http://www.bluewaterventures.org
127 Mason St, Santa Cruz CA 95060

http://www.bluewaterventures.org

Blue Water Ventures offers customized naturalist-led field trips in California, Central America and the Caribbean. As environmental educators, we believe in hands on learning experiences using the outdoors as our classroom.

When teachers call to inquire about field trips, I speak with them personally to discuss curriculum and the particular themes they would like covered during a program.

Many Bay Area area schools choose the calm protected water of Elkhorn Slough for a day of sea kayaking. Harbor seals, sea otters, cormorants and pelicans are easily observed from the quiet perspective of a kayak. For fifth graders and above, no previous kayaking experience is necessary.

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Our Elkhorn Slough curriculum includes: wetlands ecology, endangered species, natural history of sea otters, harbor seals, sea birds. Etc and cultural history. Leadership and teamwork are key components of your field trip. After lunch, students are introduced to several sampling techniques including a large seine net to pull and plankton tow with field microscopes to use.

We offer a leisurely paced, full day in Elkhorn Slough (9:30-2:00) for only $38 per person with a complimentary trip for teachers. Closer to San Francisco and the is Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay where a similar curriculum can be offered for $48 per person.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As a professional educator with over 30 years in the field with students, I am committed to providing quality outdoor programs. I would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you regarding potential field trips for your students.
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: (831) 459 8548
email: bluewaterventuressc@gmail.com
website: http://www.bluewaterventures.org
127 Mason St, Santa Cruz CA 95060

follow us on Facebook! or our Nature News Blog Site

 

follow us on Facebook! or our Nature News Blog Site

http://www.bluewaterventures.org

Winter is truly an outstanding time to kayak among the seals and sea otters of Elkhorn Slough. Blue Water Ventures offers naturalist-led adventures through out the year. California schools join us regularly in for a highly educational field trip to Elkhorn Slough.

Elkhorn Slough it is simply the best spot for viewing wildlife. There are easily 20-30 otters in the harbor as we launch our stable sea kayaks. There is fabulous viewing very close to where we launch so great for 5th grade classes or older.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our Elkhorn Slough curriculum typically includes: wetlands ecology, endangered species, natural history of sea otters, harbor seals, sea birds. Etc and cultural history. Leadership and teamwork are key components of your field trip.

After lunch, we will pull a large seine net which students LOVE! We love their enthusiasm…doesn’t matter what we catch! They will want to keep trying!

We offer a leisurely paced, f ull day in Elkhorn Slough (9:30-2:00) for only $38 per person with a complimentary trip for one teacher.

if parents are driving, they often join us which can be helpful. Parent chaperones also pay the student rate of $38. We feel we offer something really unique as most other outfitters just spend time on the water.

Hope you will join us!

Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
phone & fax: 831-459-8548
http://www.bluewaterventures.org
email: bluewaterventuressc@gmail.com
127 Mason St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Follow us on Facebook or our Nature News Blog Site

 

http://www.bluewaterventures.org

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Our group of Mt Modonna Students were thrilled to learn about the California Sea Hare during our kayaking field trip to Elkhorn Slough. Sea hares, a large marine slug can emit a midly toxic purple dye as a defense. Slow moving grazers, they are simultaneous hermaphrodites and are sometimes found in large mating masses known as daisy chains or roman circles

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We also found the gelantious Ctenphore or comb jelly which empowers sicky cells rather than  stinging cells like the true sea jellies (cnidarians) employ. IMG_0692

Mt Modonna’s Pal program matches a senior as a role model with a 3rd grader during adventures throughout the school year. Super cool and highly effective concept.

Teachers, join us on a naturalist-led field trip with bluewaterventures.org. We love our outdoor classroom!

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What a stellar day we had viewing the Elephant Seals of Ano Nuevo and tidepooling at Davenport Landing! A great group of women from Betty’s List teamed up with Blue Water Ventures for an incredible day.

IMG_0656Mature female elephant seals and juvenilles are returning to the beaches of Ano Nuevo for a catastrophic molt, where patches of both skin and hair flake off their bodies. A shiny new gray coat is revealed.

 

 

 

Juvenille males are around testing their battling skills in the shallows and a few weaned pups or “weaners” remain on the beaches.

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April is truly an outstanding time to hike Ano Nuevo, teachers please join us with your students!

Our day ended with a juvenille gray whale breaching just past the surfers at Davenport Landing.

Check out our next naturalist-led adventure with http://www.bluewaterventures.org!

 

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Strange Otter Behavior

Over the last 20 years of kayaking in Elkhorn Slough, I’ve witnessed an amazing array of species and behaviors. The theme of our tours could be “weird otter behaviors”. They are a constant source of entertainment and intrigue. On Saturday, I observed a female sea otter holding a young harbor seal on her chest. Apparently, she had been “holding” or “holding captive” this young seal for several days.

Perhaps this female lost her otter pup and she chose to adopt another pup, just happened to be a pup of another species. No one will ever know but they are amazing animals to share the Slough with!

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Imagine a jellied filled sac, a simple life form that saw the Dinosaurs come and go, flourishing on earth for over 300 million years. You have no brain nor heart or even a proper anus. You have just consumed the soft juicy tissues of a California mussel, dislodged from the grasps of its stringy cementing agent by a powerful wave. The calcareous mussel shell pops out of your mouth that serves as both the beginning and end of your digestive tract.

Sea anemones, though a mere bundle of jelly, are formidable predators. They are armored with 1000’s of stinging cells known as nematocyst that capture their prey. The aggregating anemone pictured here can produce sexually through the dispersal of egg and sperm or asexually by cloning. Essentially, they pull themselves apart creating a genetic clone over and over again until they blanket their rocky condo. Specialized warrior polyps on the edges of the colony inflate with powerful nematocyst cells that will attack neighboring colonies. In some cases a neutral zone between colonies will be established where each colony is spared the lethal reach of the other.

 

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Here’s an unusual find, the internal shell structure of a sea butterfly, Corolla spectabilis. As the name implies this pelagic gelatinous snail can swim rapidly through the water as it escapes its predators. To feed, it oozes a muscus snare to capture its planktonic prey. We found this while exploring Greyhound Rock. Winter offers excellent tides that may reveal unusual sea creatures.
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To learn more about this interesting species found in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary check out: http://jellieszone.com/corolla.htm

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While surf fishing today, we were distracted by the tide pools. Leptaasterias hexactis, known also as the Six Rayed or Brooding Sea Star only reaches a size of slightly more than 3 inches. This particular star pictured has lost a leg to an intertidal predator. While many sea stars reproduce by broadcasting their egg and sperm into the water column, these little stars are attentive mothers. Females will stand guard over a mass of yellow eggs and then guard her young stars until they are foraging on their own.Tasty mollusks such as the Lined Chiton are considered a delicacy by these tiny echinoderms. The brooding process may take several months all while the female is fasting.

Learn more on our next extreme tidepooling adventure for families on October 19th, 2013  at http://www.bluewaterventures.org