September 05, 2003

Return to the Aquarium

We decided, since tourist season is over, to return to the aquarium today. Johann had a blast as always looking at the different animals. As always he loved watching the Beluga whales both from above and below. The stellar sea lions and fur seals are always fun to watch as well. Unfortunately the Penguins were uncooperative today, we should have tried to catch them more toward feeding time. Of course we couldn’t leave without seeing the jellyfish, sharks and the rays. Especially since he recently received a toy jellyfish from his Aunt Niki (which is now a regular at bath time.) During the summer months the indoor area, where the sharks and rays (amongst many others) are, has always been a zoo– no pun intended. In the summer the aquarium is graced with thousands of visitors daily. Usually among those visitors are one or two large summer school and “camp” field trips. Unfortunately this means that there are a couple hundred kids running helter-skelter with too few, highly-frayed and frustrated adult supervisors. Outside it’s not a problem, but once you’re inside with all that, it can quickly become a royal pain. Now we are able to leisurely stroll through the indoor area without being jostled. Really nice.

For the first time we took in a large section of the Bob Ballard part of the aquarium. All I can say is it is awesome. There are live feeds of his current exploration mission in the Black Sea playing on big screens, a whole section that (for this year at least) is dedicated to the PT-109 and it’s history including of course the work to locate it. Then there is a section explaining the archeological work going on now. This including the initial Black Sea expeditions that tie the region into the probable origin of Noah’s flood and the formation of the Black Sea. Part of this area was an exhibit that shows in excellent detail the recent find of an iron age Phoenician ship in the Med, full of amphorae still stacked in the hold. Johann enjoyed this area too, but was anxious to get out to see the beluga. He did however really enjoy climbing down into a mock up of the deep submersible Turtle with me and being able to look through the tiny porthole windows. Cramped quarters for two, even when one of us was only 3’ tall. Although I am generally not one for closed in spaces anymore, I think I could bear going down in the Turtle simply because of the exploration aspect. The whole time I was in the exhibit I could see myself helping them in some little way with commo, video or animation… of course there is always the Dolphin Communication Project (link doesn’t seem to be working though) which is going on in Roatan, Honduras. Gee, I seem to remember something about that place– what was it– oh, yeah– a whole lot of diving, including with dolphins. It sure would be awesome to go back there..

Pictures to follow… eventually. Gotta get the Gallery section in place first.

Posted by Eric at September 5, 2003 10:21 PM | TrackBack
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