MAGAZINE, September 2005.
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||The joys of rock-pooling
By Tracy Perkins Translated by Vivian Ko Morano
Rediscover the joys of rock-pooling this summer. You're especially
lucky if you know someone age 5 or under to take along with
you. Feel the years and your cares slip away as you discover
small universes in rock pools no bigger than your bathroom
sink. Tempting as it is, leave the nets and buckets behind.
It's unlikely that you or your child will ever actually catch
any of the quick little fish you'll see, but a single scrape
on their skins could leave them vulnerable to oceanic parasites.
Likewise, poking at sea anemones to watch them close may be
very amusing (I remember my mother teaching me to do this),
but it's no fun for the anemone, which will probably suffer
damage as a result. Some species are already on the brink
of extinction due to the stress we humans have placed on marine
ecosystems. So look, don't touch.
I have found some good pools on the rocks
at Bai Sha Wan, but check the phase of the moon and a tide
table before you go. The best time for rock-pooling is at
full or new moon on the ebbing tide. Plan to arrive at the
beach about 2 hours before low tide so that you and your little
one will have plenty of time to explore as the tide recedes
further and further, but still get back to shore safely before
Take some time to explore the high-tide mark
as well. The high water of full spring tides washes fascinating
objects ashore. Don't forget your hat, sunscreen and a pair
of lightweight canvas shoes to protect feet against cuts and
bumps. Finally, if you really want to show your love for the
ocean, take along a garbage bag and pick up any garbage you
find as you go.