My Day Out at The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary
By Cameron Harris
February Half Term is always a great time to visit The Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary, my dad took me there last year and we even have passes so I can go whenever I want. I think when I’m older I’m going to get a job there…! I already know all the fishy facts!
Big mistake Dad! They open at 10am! But we got there early to be the first through the doors! Result! Missed the queue! Heather was great at the reception, she is from England but she could talk for Scotland! I didn’t need to get a guidebook after listening to Heather, but we got one anyway as it had free vouchers in it for the Shoreline Coffee Shop. I jump over all of the stepping stones taking you down to the aquarium, stopping for a minute to look at the Squirrel Conservation Zone. I’ve decided I like red squirrels far more than the grey ones!
First talk of the day and it’s at the otters. Isla and Lewis. Lewis is fat. Isla isn’t! The feeding and training session was awesome! It was only on for 20 minutes but I learnt sooo much from Innes. He also gave me some monkey nuts and I watched as I threw them as Isla and Lewis went jumping into their pool to get them. Make sure you get there early to get the best views. If not don’t worry, they have viewing windows all the way around or you can jump on your dad's shoulders! I prefer the second choice! My dad prefers the first!
Back round the Aquarium. By now I had only just finished in the Conservation Room and read all the success stories and the good work they do here at The Sanctuary. I entered through the darkness and arrived in shallow shores. We saw loads of cool stuff including jellyfish, sea cucumbers (!) and a bright blue lobster! It was the bluest thing I have ever seen!
As we went into the next zone, it felt like we were going deeper and deeper. It was awesome. They have a breeding programme on (I think that’s when the animals kiss) and they have baby rays and cuttlefish. I lost count of what creatures I’d seen by this stage, octopus, starfish, shrimps, wrasse…!
“Dad” I shouted! I wasn’t impressed. Dad had my quiz trail card and forgot to give it me. I hadn’t even started it but I NEEDED to do it as there was a prize at the end of it for completing it.
Taking a seat at the Seal Pools the 12 o’clock talk was about to start. Out came Barbora, she was really friendly and she spoke about each of the seals. They have 3 at the moment. Lora has been there ages and loves the place. She is a common seal. Pippa and Macey are still quite young, they were found abandoned and were rescued. I feel sorry for them as they are poorly and can’t be released back into the wild, however I am really happy as the team here are going to look after them forever and ever. The funniest thing was watching the seagulls try and steal the food from Barbora as she was trying to feed them. Even Selkie the Seal came to have a look. My dad told me it was a real seal but I think it was a man dressed up!
Lunch Time…! I was starving it had only been half a day but I needed to save some energy for the afternoon. We went to The Shoreline Coffee Shop… amazing views over Loch Creran! Beautiful! I had the tastiest hot dog ever with lots and lots of Ketchup. My dad went for the healthy option and went for their homemade soup and sandwich!
Back to finish around the aquarium. We saw Rays, Conger Eels and even African clawed frogs. They were really weird. There is so much stuff to see. I asked how many tanks there were and I was gobsmacked when I heard over 50 tanks and over 1000 creatures. Just time to go and see the Seal Resuce Hospital, Turtle Sanctuary (the snapping turtle was my favourite) and the Fish Farm Demonstration.
‘Eeeeuggghhh’ my dad screamed as he held a star fish. He is such a wuss. I was much braver and got really interactive at the touchpool holding crabs and everything! I learnt loads about what you find in Loch Creran!
“Time to Feed the Sharks”. Gareth came across and spoke for about 15 minutes about the different British Sharks and we could even feed them. It did cost £1 to feed the shark but I didn’t mind as it wasn’t my money, but it also went to charity. Did you know you are more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than a shark? I didn’t but I do now!
Back to the Coffee Shop. I was certainly getting treated today! It was time for badgemaking. This was free and I got to make my own Sanctuary badge to take home with me. I gave it to my mum! She loved it!
My dad had his camera with him and he loves to take photos so we had a walk down around the nature trail. This was pretty smart as I got to learn loads of new things about the wildlife in the area.
Saving the best ‘til last. Dad always lets me burn off steam in the Forest Adventure Play Park. It’s a perfect end to a perfect day… I want to do it all again tomorrow. Dad needs a rest.
Thanks, Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary. See you soon.