PREPERATION ‘for the pools’
If you have followed this blog, you may be wondering what are the next steps?
How do I start? Where to go? How to keep safe? How to take a photo?
The reason we choose to make this blog all about Grattan is really because we know it so well. We would recommend you search for local tips on the best rockpools close to where you live.
Starting a hobby of rock pooling is really inexpensive, as you start with the basics and then start to invest more in your hobby.
Let’s look at rockpool safety tips
A common sense approach and personal responsibility by the rock pool will always serve you well, enjoy but always be SAFE by the Sea. Make sure you have food and water and are well enough to navigate uneven surfaces.
How to read a tide table.
In general, it takes around 6 hours for a tide to fully recede and hit the lowest point, then another 6 hours for it to come back into the highest point.
Things to keep in mind when you read a tide table
Tides change daily, so make sure that you’re using an up-to-date tide table. Tides can also differ greatly among sites that are very near one another, so ensure that your tide table is as area specific as possible.
Finally, tide predictions are just that… predictions! Aside from the moon, sun, and gravity, other factors affect tides, such as local weather and wind patterns. Be aware that the tides on the beach may not follow the tide table perfectly, and always exercise caution in or by the water.
I found this tiny crab amongst the Acorn barnacles. (hand held microscope)
In deciding what to bring along, lets just start with the basics.
If it is your first time in the rockpool, all we suggest is you just experience it! No need for any items, except for the wellies and phone for photography. On your first visit, there is always a change you will see something, but as it takes a little experience to find ‘see’ species do not give up hope.
When we talk about ‘see’ species, we mean it takes a while for our eyes to adjust to the rockpool experience. Don’t forget we spend a lot of time in urban cityscapes, so it is only natural for our eyes to adjust to nature.
As you get more experienced, we suggest you purchase some great field ID books.
Building Your Library
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO IRELAND'S SEASHORE
Helena Challinor, Sherkin Island Marine Station
Essential Guide to Rockpooling - Ebook
By Steve Trewhella, Julie Hatcher
Building Your Knowledge
There are some wonderful resources on the Rock pools here are some really good ones to watch for.
EXPLORE YOUR SHORE
One of the Golden Rules of Rock pooling is always committing to recording your species to the shore. Learn more on why this is so important!
The National Biodiversity Data Centre works to make biodiversity data and information more freely available in order to better understand and assist the protection of Ireland’s biodiversity.
Biodiversity data are a key requirement for understanding our natural surroundings, for tracking change in our environment and for gaining a greater insight on how we benefit from, and impact upon, the ecosystem goods and services provided by biological diversity; a national asset which contributes at least €2.6 billion to the Irish economy each year. The National Biodiversity Data Centre was established by the Heritage Council in 2007 and is funded by the Heritage Council and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Data Centre is operated under a service level agreement by Compass Informatics Limited, an information and location technologies company focused on applications in natural resources and planning.
RECORDING YOUR DISCOVERIES – Its really quick!
If you turn over a rock in the 'Rockpool' always return it to its original position (as best as you can).
KEEL WORMS CUT HANDS
When lifting rocks you need to be very wary of these, Keelworm tubes. They are common under stones and on hard surfaces on probably all our shores. Keelworms also encrust ship keels (thus their common name) and in fact, any hard surface that is immersed in the sea, including shells and bodies of hard animals. If you have ever cut your hand, you know these are very sharp.
Interesting story, Old sailors were punished with 'Keel hauling'. where they would be dragged under the hull of the ship, where they would experience terrible lacerations.
Take Lots of Photos - Less 'interaction' with hands.
The National Biodiversity Data Centre have put together some amazin resources to enable you to get the most from your experience, have a look at these excellent resources.
Dave Wall of the national Biodiversity data centre has put together these info videos, see;
Big Beach Biodiversity – record your shots
Big Beach Biodiversity
So, you have made it this far and should have enough information to conduct your own rock pool. If you would like to join a group, the Aquarium will be hosting public events starting from Easter until the end of August. We would love to have you join us!
In the next blog we will have a closer look at some of the Citizen Science events you can join in.
Check out Grattan Beach!
WHAT OTHER ROCKPOOLS CAN WE VISIT?
if you are looking for a site to go Rockpooling check out the The Heritage Council and Explore Your Shore map of rockpooling sites around the Irish coast!
Click on poster to download poster!