Monday, January 17, 2011

biggest adrenaline rush in a while...

So, Sunday I was at the aquarium as usual and that day started out as normal: clean the glass, take the temperatures, back wash, change filter bags, prepare copious amounts of food, take scientific measurements on our baby turtles etc. However, I decided to feed Athena, our giant pacific octopus, in the morning.

playing with Athena

Thus, when the afternoon came around, by 2:30 I was done with everything I could think of! However, there is always more work to be done at the aquarium so all I had to do was ask Bill and he found a project. And what a project!
Actually there was nothing too thrilling about it because all marine scientists can do it but I never had done this before: pick up fully armed (no rubber bands) lobsters with my bare hands.
I had to set up a new holding system for them and then move the lobsters: two big ones and two smalls. This is all fine and dandy except lobsters are some of the meanest creatures I have ever encountered and they will happily chop off a finger. So, as the lobsters at all coming within cm of my fingers, I start to try to move them. I pick up the first and have no issue, it doesn't seem to care. I then try and pick up our biggest but fear was holding me back. So I let her get more and more angry at me as I tried again and again (each time getting more scared of the claws that could take off a finger). I moved the two smaller ones but, when I lifted one of the smallers, it used its tail tp try and escape, which caused me to have to step back to balance myelf and therefore almost fall off the ledge that I was standing on. Hear= pounding at this point.
But, I had moved the two smalls and the smaller of the large lobster. Now I just had one large and angry female to move. I try three more times and fail, so eventually I take a big breath, reach in...and grab her. I lift her out of the water and, almost as shocked at the capture as I was, she didn't move. I quickly rushed her into her new home and marveled at my work. Sure this is a skill that is elementary, but it was scary, and my heart was racing and the adrenaline was pumping in excess.
The whole adventure took the entire afternoon so I left shortly after it, but it was so exciting and fun!

I start my biology of fishes class tomorrow at the aquarium and am looking forward to it! Will keep you posted.
I am sorry, I had to


  1. Ty, you are too much. Great recount--deep those digits on your hands and no Athena hickeys either!

  2. that would be "keep" and not "deep". oops.