Goliath Grouper Week at Sanibel Sea School was all about honoring the life of our beloved aquarium-dwelling grouper, Morty. You see, we rescued him from a shrimp boat and watched him grow for four long years before he moved on to bluer seas, and we sure do miss him.
When goliath groupers reach their full potential, they can weigh 800 pounds. That’s large enough to swallow prey whole in one big gulp, so we learned how that must feel by slurping jello through straws. We also snorkeled among the mangroves (prime habitat for juvenile groupers), ran through a fishy obstacle course, and canoed around San Carlos Bay. Then, to celebrate our large-mouthed friend, we paddled out on surfboards to share Morty memories and sent flowers and palm fronds out to sea.
Since groupers tend to spawn according to the moon’s cycle, we also made moon phase shell art and ventured into the water under the light of the moon for a night snorkel. At the end of the week, the pink surf team prevailed in our weekly surf competition and placed their bracelets on the golden coconut. Campers were also given the opportunity to ride on our grouper-tastic 4th of July float. We think Morty would have been so proud.