The Year 10 Outdoor Education class spent the night on the Mornington Peninsula to learn about and experience marine environments. The students spent the first day learning new snorkelling skills and improving old ones in the pool. This included learning how to clear the snorkel, how to equalise their ears and most importantly, how to duck dive to see the amazing creatures at the bottom of the ocean. We also spent the morning rock pool rambling near Flinders, looking out for crabs and sea stars, and even swimming in some of the larger rock pools we found.

Then students went out to try and catch some waves, surfing at Shoreham and Gunnamatta beaches. This was a great opportunity to reinforce with students the importance of beach safety, including how to spot rips and how to keep yourself safe at the beach.

In the evening after the students had set up their tents and cooked their own dinner, we went for a night-time walk along the Point Leo foreshore. We took time to be silent and mindful while we looked at the stars and thought about how the Indigenous Australians used and looked after the land. The final day came and the students had the chance to put their snorkelling skills to the test, with a snorkel underneath the Rye Pier. Some students were lucky enough to see a large smooth stingray, 11 armed sea stars, calamari squid, red crabs, leather jackets, wrasse and globe fish, just to name a few. We also had a marine conservation talk from the Dolphin Research Institute where we did a beach clean, sorted out the rubbish we found, and spoke about the importance of people ‘seeing a need and doing something about it’. Overall the students (and staff!) had an amazing experience and we have all walked away with a greater appreciation and understanding of the importance of marine environments.

By Tess Oldham 7 Cameron 2