Nurse Shark in the Dark Week campers looked for sharks while canoeing in San Carlos Bay. 

Nurse Shark in the Dark Week campers looked for sharks while canoeing in San Carlos Bay. 

Sharks were in the spotlight at Sanibel Sea School during the last week of June. The nonprofit organization hosted Shark of a Whale Week at its flagship campus on Periwinkle Way, and Nurse Shark in the Dark Week at Canterbury School in Fort Myers.

Campers dissected a shark during Shark of a Whale Week.

Campers dissected a shark during Shark of a Whale Week.

Shark of a Whale Week campers learned about the largest fish in the sea, the whale shark, a gentle, filter-feeding behemoth that knows a thing or two about camouflage. Participants conducted a plankton tow to take a closer look at the whale shark’s favorite food, built a whale shark sand sculpture to put the creature’s massive size in perspective, and played a game of blob tag to understand the challenges of being so large. They also dissected a small shark to study shark anatomy, and tried to camouflage themselves while snorkeling in the bay.

A whale shark sand sculpture showed participants just how large these fish can be. 

A whale shark sand sculpture showed participants just how large these fish can be. 

Nurse Shark in the Dark Week was all about these bottom-dwelling sharks that like to hide out under ledges and are able to locate prey in dark, mucky waters. Campers canoed in search of sharks on the sea floor, attempted to locate objects underwater using senses other than sight, and slurped up various foods to learn what eating must be like for a small-jawed nurse shark. Participants were also treated to a night snorkel near the Sanibel Causeway, and had a great time swimming in the dark.  

As usual, there was also time each week for surfing, art projects, and making new friends. Sanibel Sea School is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time. To learn more, visit sanibelseaschool.org.

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