Like many coastal communities around the world, the wharf in Nain is a place of gathering for many people. From families fishing for their evening meal of char to children playing games or locals receiving goods off a supply ship, there’s always some kind of action down at the dock. The weekend of July 12-13 brought a whole new buzz down to the wharf in the community of Nain with the arrival of Team Sedna and our educational outreach programs.
The shoreline around Nain is teaming with life! With the help of mobile mini aquariums and Sid Pain, of Nanuk Diving Inc., Team Sedna was able to bring many fish and invertebrates up to eye level for members of the community to experience and explore.
The smiles, laughter and looks of surprise spread like wild fire from one child to the next, the moment a sea star or snail was placed into their hands. Our team was bombarded with questions about the animals, how we collected them and what it looked like beneath the surface of the sea. Eventually even the adults couldn’t help but get wrapped up in the exitement of learning something new about the animals living just several feet from their shore.
Diving right around the wharf allowed for the many curious onlookers to follow our bubbles from one side to the next as we filled our bags with marine animals for our mini aquariums. Being 15 feet below the surface didn’t seem to deter the children from calling out our names in hopes we’d be able to answer their many questions from the water.
There was no shortage of helping hands as the divers surfaced to eager children awaiting to help transport our goody bags up to the wharf. Hours flew by in what seemed like minutes with kids dressing up in our team’s dive gear, learning about what they can do to keep the oceans free of garbage, teaching Team Sedna the Inuktitut names of the animals we collected and helping us to release them back to the sea at the end of our program.
The feedback we received about our mobile aquarium project was that people learned a great deal about the oceans and animals they didn’t know lived in their local waters, all while having fun! It’s not surprising we were able to show them unfamiliar animals as none of the Inuks we spoke with ever purposely ventured into the cold ocean.
I have to say each and every member of Team Sedna learned a great deal from the wonderful people of Nain and are grateful for the time and space we all shared together. I’m proud to say I have many new pen pals! I look forward to connecting with classrooms full of curious students in the fall as Team Sedna develops an interactive App to continue our ocean learning together with students from the North.
Where is Team Sedna?
Nain, Labrador (coordinates -+56° 30′ 5.328″,-61° 41′ 6.4314″)
July 14, 2014
Chief Scientific Diver
2014-2016 Sedna Epic Expedition