Wednesday, January 1, 2014

31 December 2013: Goat Island Discovery Centre & snorkeling

An early start to New Year's Eve saw us drive about 1.5 hrs north from Auckland to the sleepy seaside town of Leigh.  Today's itinerary included a visit to the Goat Island Discovery Centre, an extension of Auckland University, and the nearby beach for some snorkeling.

On the way to the Discovery Centre, we visited with Kerry at the Goat Island Dive shop ( to be fitted for our snorkeling gear.  Kerry was instrumental to making our gear 'hire' a super-smooth operation and we extend our sincerest gratitude for her help!  We then drove a little ways down from the gear shop to the Discovery Centre, located immediately up the hillside from the beach we'd later snorkel from.  Peter Crabb was kind enough to introduce our students to marine science and the origins of the Discovery Centre in the 1970s.  Peter, a marine biologist and underwater cameraman and film producer, shared with us some of the factors that impact marine systems, including overharvesting of marine resources and acidification of the oceans.  A newly-minted PhD student, Leo, shared with us the types of graduate research being undertaken at the Discovery Centre and his own experiences as a graduate student.  Leo and Peter described to our students the excitement of conducting research and highlighted some of the potential career paths biology majors might follow after graduation (a good discussion for some of our junior biology majors!).  After a visit at the 'touch table', where students could touch & pick-up sea cucumbers, sea stars, scallops, sponges, and hermit crabs, we headed out to the beach for some snorkeling!
 David Hobbs (Business), Stephen Maccleod (Business), and Kristen Maddock (Natural Sciences) discuss details of one of the information panels in the Goat Island Discovery Centre in Leigh.

Leo (far left) and Peter Crabb, marine biologist at the Discover Centre (sitting in center, back) talk to our group about research taking place at Auckland University.

Chris Lorch (Nursing) handles one of the many sea cucumbers in the 'touch tank'.  Leo, our post0graduate host, conducted research on sea cucumbers and its cultivation as a food source.

The beach where we snorkeled from near the Goat Island Discovery Centre.  Not a bad place to be in the middle of our Northern Hemisphere winter!  The weather was outstanding: 75F, clear, with a slight breeze coming from the sea.  The water was a bit chilly (low 60s F), but long sleeve and pants wet suits minimized the effects of the cold!  We saw ~10 different species of fish during our snorkeling, and also saw a squid, some sea sponges, and a few hermit crabs.  More pictures of our snorkeling adventure will follow soon!

1 comment:


    Is it possible to seek God? Calvinists teach that none seek God. They believe God selects all who will be saved, making it an impossibility to seek HIM. Man-made doctrines are always contrary to Scripture. God's word is always, the last word.

    Acts 15:15-17 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 After theses things I will return, And I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which has fallen, And I will restore it, 17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,

    Prophets of God agree that all mankind may seek the Lord; a sharp contrast to Calvinistic teaching.

    Psalm 10:4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, "There is no God."

    The wicked can seek God, however, they choose not to. Pride destroys the desire to seek God.

    Acts 17:26-27 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

    Mankind is to seek God. He is there for whoever is willing to find Him.

    Psalm 53:1-2 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God.".....2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks God,

    If God selects men to be saved against their will, He would not have to look down to see who seeks Him.

    Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.

    God says diligently seek Him. Calvinists proclaim that no man can seek God. Who do you believe?

    2 Chronicles 19:3 But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God."

    Men need to prepare their hearts to seek God.

    Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

    The writer of the Psalms says God will not forsake those who seek God. Those who preach, the John Calvin view of predestination, strongly disagree.

    Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom......

    Jesus says seek God's kingdom. John Calvin says men cannot seek God.

    Hebrews 11:6 ....for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

    God rewards those who seek Him.


    (All Scripture quotes from:NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)