A Nocturne with the Sea

I’ve become interested in field trips lately. We have dabbled in homeschooling here and there, and one thing I have come away with is the knowledge that anyone can gather a group of kids together and book a field trip.

For this outing we chose the Sealife Center in Seward. The Sealife Center is foremost an education and research facility dealing with our northern sea life, but it also serves as a rescue and rehabilitation veterinarian suite. Over the past few years we’ve made trips down as a family to see rescued otters, walruses and belugas.

With our required children numbered, we chose the overnight Nocturne program which incorporates time to explore, two classes of our choice, two meals and an attempt at sleep between the seabird and sea lion tanks.

We had to wait until the center closed to check in so spent a few hours down at Lowell Point, our favorite beach in Seward. There are kites to fly,

And rock stores at which a savvy entrepreneur may trade rocks for the price of rocks…

And then we checked in, lugged our cots and air mattresses upstairs, ate a rather unimpressive dinner (the food provided was definitely where this program has the greatest room for improvement), explored,

explored some more,

completed a scavenger hunt,

had a safety talk and then settled in for our first class on bioluminescence.

Alex, our guide, was brilliant at wrangling the span of ages, absurd questions and disseminating fascinating information about the midnight zone of the sea and uses of bioluminescence. The kids were able to crush tiny dried creatures and dip their fingers into the glow with the lights off!

Next we moved to another classroom and dissected squid. Alex led us step by step with an overhead projector and so maintained the kids’ attention phenomenally. Keep in mind it’s past eight now so some of the under fives began to fade. This class was so fascinating—who knew cephalopods were so wondrous!?

We had a bit more time to run around after setting up our beds before lights out,

and then we tucked in for the night.

I think as adults, we’re over-accustomed to our routines, making it hard to fall asleep anywhere, so the light, seabirds calling and various people shouting in their sleep attributed to more than just this mom’s baggy eyes in the morning!

But while some slept in,

A few of us got up in our jammies to interact with the animals who were already moving.

Seeing the birds swim underwater is by far my favorite exhibit here.

We packed out after a breakfast of cold bagels and cream cheese (with no knives! And please, can’t you plop down a toaster oven or two?). Some of the group headed to the beach.

Where another day of exploring was to be had.

Things to look under,

poke at,

jump in,

dig up,


climb on,

point out,

and wonder at.

Thank you Resurrection Bay!

3 thoughts on “A Nocturne with the Sea

Add yours

  1. HI Wendy, thank you for posting this delightful interlude to Seward. I’ll bet “the stars of home” looked very good after your trip there and back.


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