A Trip to the Tide Pools

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…

Cave Adventuring

Written By: Ayla, Grade 6

In the early morning I lathered thick sunscreen onto my skin. Then I filled up a big blue water bottle with freezing cold ice water because it was a hot and sunny morning. I packed a snack and drove to school with my dad.

When we got to school everyone piled into my car. As we drove away, my stomach began to fill up with butterflies as I realized this was actually happening! I was excited about what the caves would look like because we had been learning about them in class.

Once we arrived to the check in area everyone jumped out of the cold car with joy and we ran to check ourselves in. The employees told us it was about three hours to walk to the cave or we could drive. Luckily my teacher (Ms. Paige) made the right choice so we crammed back in the car with the guide.

After a very hectic drive, we made it to a desolate parking lot. I saw the beginning of a trail and felt even more eager. We hopped out of the car, grabbed our backpacks and began to walk the trail. During our hike we learned about the different types of plants and animals and what plants we could and could not eat. Also, the path had very sharp pieces of limestone popping out of the moist dirt and some pieces had plants splitting through them, which I identified as an example of physical weathering (I had learned in class). We all took notes and listened.

After walking for a good amount of time, we got to where there was a sign that said, “Do Not Enter!” So we walked right past it. Suddenly, the guide asked, “Where are you going? It’s this way,” as he pointed to the sign. I stepped over the small yellow sign and followed the guide assuming it was ok because he was with us. We hiked up a steep path and the guide showed us a flower that smelled like chicken soup. We then came across a cave that was underground and it had a steel rusty chamber gate covering it. It looked as if somebody or something was trapped in there. I was frightened. A few minutes later our guide said we were going to go in, but he was very sarcastic as he said it so everyone laughed but nobody was sure if he was kidding or not. After that, everyone kept asking my teacher if we were going in and she said, “For the millionth time we’re not going in!” But then we turned our heads and the guide was climbing into the small hole! He then asked us who was next. Leila, the youngest and bravest student in my class, went in first. Then I did. I thought I was going to get stuck in between the rocks but then I kept telling myself, “If the guide, who is twice my size can do it, I can do it.” I made it through.

Once I was inside, the air was cold, it was dark, there were pieces of stalactites hanging from the top of the scary cave. I also saw stalagmites growing from the muddy ground. I could hear little bats chirping. The ground was so moist and slippery that it felt like I was going  down a slide. We explored the cave for a while. Everyone had learned a lot about how the cave had formed. I learned that it took over millions of year for for the small cave to form and that it was formed by erosion. In the cave I was feeling a little claustrophobic so I got out and was very relieved.

After that we continued on the other trail and walked to the mirador. Once we got to the yellow sign I stepped over it and almost fell on my face. When we got there the wind was blowing hard, I felt like I was going to fly off the mountain. I could see the valley, eagles flying, cattle walking on the small streets and even the Golfo de Nicoya. We sat there and ate our snacks as we enjoyed the beautiful view. We then walked back to the car and drove to the check in area, ate some delicious lunch and drove home. In the car I thought about how fun this field trip was and how I learned so much while having such a great time.