It is thought that the modern practice of vacationing by the sea probably originated in Victorian times as holiday specimen collecting trips to the coast, becoming a popular pastime as the Naturalist movement grew. 

However, the marine and coastal environments have long held our interest as an "unexplored" world. 

It was during the last half of the 19th Century that the foundations for modern Marine Science were laid, with the various voyages of scientific discovery in the world's oceans. One of the most famous would be the HMS Challenger Expedition in 1872, but there were many others, and they have continued on through the 20th Century, to this day.

Stone Coralline  (macrophotograph from 1" x 3" slide)

Sponge Spicules (imaged using DIC)

Image of young fish (Crossed Polar Filters with Selenite)

To the left, a selection of recent Foraminifera collected from Swanage Bay, and below, a deposition zone in Poole Bay. Both images are from Brian Darnton's wonderful site dedicated to "Recent British Foraminifera of the Channel, An Amateurs Account of the Foraminifera"   It is a "must visit" for anyone interested in these small inhabitants of the seas.
Deposition zone in Poole Bay. These larger shells are a good indicator of the smaller Foraminifera to be found.

 Marine Diatom (imaged using Darkfield lighting techniques)

Murex Shells (Murex pecten ~ Murex ternispina) 4"-5"

Trans Section of Echinus (Sea Urchin) Spine (imaged using Darkfield lighting)