How it feels to work at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park
I’ve always loved visiting Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park. Ever since I was young, the tropical fish and exotic animals were always fascinating to me. There was something mesmerising about the way the brightly coloured crabs snuck around their little rocks and how the eels floated in their ribbon like way. I always admired the people who worked there! I was jealous that they were allowed to get so close to the big sharks and spend every day with the most amazing creatures. So, after years of wondering, I finally I decided it was time to find out. What is it really like being an Aquarist at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park?
Helping the environment
Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park sports some of the best attractions in the Sea Life group. As part of the Weymouth Cluster, the Sea Life Adventure Park owns the Land Train which runs right the way from the park to the Jurassic Skyline. Located next to Weymouth sea front, there is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous beach after a visit. The park has lots of indoor and outdoor animals to learn about. There is also an outdoor Splash Zone for the younger sea life explorers to enjoy – especially as the weather gets warmer! The park was opened in 1983 and is the second oldest Sea Life site. From penguins to crabs and otters to seals, it now has over 1000 creatures to see. This makes it the perfect place to find out what working with these incredible animals is like.
Tom Cluett has worked at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park for 3 and a half years. He was certainly the best person to ask! After falling in love with animal documentaries when he was young, Tom wanted to work as an Aquarist to find out more about marine creatures. “I just wanted to work with fish, either in a captive environment like a zoo or aquarium, or by doing more conservation work.” he said. And Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park is certainly a fantastic place to work on conservation projects. With organised beach cleans and the Sea Life Trust, a registered charity that supports and protects marine habitats, the staff at the adventure park are certainly doing their bit to save our seas. The Caribbean Cove, a spectacular outdoor playground is designed to help children learn about the importance of marine conservation.
But the best part of the job, for Tom, is having the opportunity to get up and close with the animals. “If you just come here for a day and watch the seals you might just think it’s five seals swimming around, but through our role, we’re really able to interact with them.” he said. Like all of us, Tom certainly has his favourites when it comes to his fishy friends. One of their Humboldt penguins, Spruce, has made a real impression on him. After being taken away from his parents because they weren’t feeding him properly, Spruce was hand raised by the staff at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park. They started to hand feed him, and after a couple of weeks he started to gain weight. He made a real connection with the staff, “when we come in he’ll be there by your ankles giving you little penguin hugs!” Tom said.
Working hard in Weymouth
But it’s not all fun and games working at the Adventure Park. There’s a lot of work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes before guests are welcomed at 10.00am. Tom starts his day at 8.30am and spends the first hour and a half getting everything ready. The park is split into lots of different zones. Each section is maintained to a very high standard. The staff are required to check life support systems, clean out filter tanks, check the heaters and clean out the tanks. But, as you can imagine, no two days are the same at Sea Life! One of Tom’s favourite roles is feeding time. Tom added: “one of the more fun roles is feeding all the animals across the park. It’s really cool as all the animals react differently every single day”.
Even after 3 years of working for Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park, Tom is still excited to get up for work every morning. And no wonder! “I’ve only just gone full time,” he said. “So I’m quite excited to be getting more experience and learning more on the job. Our displays are always changing, so we’ll get new animals in and different fish and species. It’s cool to learn about them and see what they’re all about”. The park has over 1000 animals including sting rays, clown fish, penguins, octopuses, sharks and turtles. Plenty to keep both Tom (and the visitors of the park) busy for hours on end!
Come and see for yourself
Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park is a fantastic place to learn, play and have fun. And if you’re anything like me, adults can have a whale of a time too! Next time I visit I’ll certainly appreciate all the hard work that Tom, and others like him, put in (whilst also being slightly jealous). They keep these stunning and amazing creatures safe and happy. Thanks Tom and all at Weymouth Sea Life!
If you’d like to visit Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park, why not book a break in one of our Weymouth Cottages? They provide an ideal base for family breaks and Dorset’s best attractions.