I love being in contact with water. It could be because of the islander blood that resides in me, but being in water truly is within my comfort zone. Nevertheless, when I saw the schedule that we would be visiting Hokkaido University Akkeshi Marine Station, I was ecstatic.
Upon arrival, we immediately changed into suitable waterproof overalls. There, we first observed coastal plants and other organisms through some sort of water binoculars. Unfortunately, it was too muddy to see anything clearly, besides the odd sea grass here and there. Things changed however, when we hopped onto the boat. The boat was trawling a large net, and it was pretty much scooping everything up from the lake, from different kinds of vegetation to aquatic life. We brought our haul back to the lab, and that was where the fun begins.
Firstly, we sorted them out into different categories, from crustaceans, shrimps and fishes. Then, the professor dissected one type of crustacean and examined the remains of its stomach under the microscope. We then saw what the crustacean was eating. It is simply amazing how the food chain worked, and that every living thing truly has a part to play in the local ecosystem.
After a short lecture by the professor, we then embarked on a mini hike to a cape that was overlooking Akkeshi Bay.
Man was it a sight to behold.