Written By: Ryder, Sixth Grader

“Don’t wear your flippers in the tide pools,” my teacher shouted. “It kicks up all the sand so we can’t see any of the sea creatures.” Looking down into the sand with my mask I saw little nudibranchs crawling around in the water. My classmate, Ayla, jumped into the tide pools as well. I took off swimming down deeper where the water went cold, as larger fish started to appear. A shiny glimmer on a fish caught my eye. It was a Banded Butterflyfish. It was shaped like a triangle and had stripes like a zebra. A whole school of them darted right by me, so close I could almost touch them. Then I took a deep breath and dove down touching the rocky floor. I kicked my flippers shooting myself across the rocks. Suddenly, a black little tentacle slithered out from under a rock then went back under. I swam down and lifted the rock up, careful not to hurt whatever it was. I flipped it over and it was a little Brittle Star, it slowly slithered away across the rocks. I let it fall onto the palm of my hand, it felt spiky and slimy like jelly. It then launched off my hand, as if it was floating in space.

Banded Butterflyfish
Brittle Starfish

“Ryder, come look,” Ayla exclaimed. I quickly swam over there looking for things on the way. When I got there, I slowly saw something behind a rock she was pointing at. A little eye peeked out to see if we were gone. I then carefully swam closer with my camera rolling and looked over the rock. It appeared to be a spotted pufferfish. It was bright blue and had lots of white spots on it that looked like stars. I didn’t want to inflate it because they can only puff up a few times in their entire life, and then they won’t have any more defense.

Just before I dove back down I heard my teacher call, “We’re leaving now.” I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to keep filming marine life. I swam closer to the beach feeling the sand below me thinking that we have 95 percent of the the ocean left to explore, and I wonder what other amazing creatures are yet to discover deep deep down…

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