Sunday, July 4, 2010

Monterey Bay and it's Aquarium

 Once again, the trusty Science! chariot driven by Randall and co-piloted by Elizabeth brought us to Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay is a state preserve that contains many species of marine mammals such as sea otters, harbor seals and bottle nose dolphins. It's also on a migratory path of grey, humpback, blue and killer whales. Many species of sharks, squids, sea turtles and fish live in the protected bay.

The bay contains a kelp forest where the kelp can grow as tall as trees.

But before we saw the aquarium to see a sample of some of these marine creatures, we were hungry, hungry hippos. The best cheese and ham croissant ever!

With our black light stamps for readmittance to the aquarium we were ready to rock the underwater world. Well tour it anyways.

Warning! This blog is very image heavy, and these photos are only a fraction of the ones in our collection.

The jelly fish were my favourite. Presenting: The Jelly Fish Parade!

These jelly fish have thin filements like angel hair pasta. They are stuck together and to get apart we suspect that they just tear them off.

Moving on, we entered a larger aquarium that housed an interesting variety of fish.

Tuna!  That's right, it's not much of an illusion. The Tuna was that large. Tasty, tasty Tuna.

Hammer Head shark

Another shark the size of a hammer head I don't remember the name of.

We left that viewing to move into the Sea Horse area. What bizarre creatures.

There was a video of a male sea horse (who carry the babies to term) giving birth. It was quite amusing.  Think of violently thrusting your shoulders violently to your waist. Now imagine you have a sea horse body and little sea horses spill out like vomit through your gut. That's about what it looked like.

A Sea Dragon. It just looks a lot like a plant. There are 4 different ones in this photo.

This Sea Horse is sucking something up from the gravel.

The special exhibit was the flamingos. They were my least favourite, because really - they are birds, not crazy sea creatures that look like they shouldn't co-exist with us. But there was a very interesting one

Not sure what was wrong with this one but it was the only one like it in the enclosure.

Sea Turtle! A young one anyways. It shows you how small it is when you look at the drain in the background.

When we saw the penguins it was feeding time.

Watching them swim was awesome. They would swim for awhile and the bubbles kept coming off of their backs.

Emperor Penguin statue!

Taking a break from the exhibits to look out at the natural bay, and to escape the crowds. It was after all July 4th in the states. 

We found an excellent spot to take couple photos with the bay in the back ground.
First up Gord and Lex

Elizabeth (renamed 'Lizbit that day when we learned she hated Liz) and Randall the owner of the trusty Science! transport.

Me and Steve.  I'm rocking Lex's hat (to prevent sunstroke for my delicate Canadian head)

Lex and I rocking our sundresses. This is the "sexy pose"

Interesting fact: This is the aquarium where Star Trek Whales (also known as Star Trek IV  the Journey Home) was filmed. I can almost see a vulcan in white swimming to mind meld with a humpback whale named Gracie in this photo. Can't see it? Maybe if you spin ten times and squint.

The ocean officially has some crazy things in it. Just so you know, it wasn't official before - now it is because I declare it.

Sea reef plant creature. Looks kinda like a Sarlacc Pit from Star Wars

Cottony plant creatures.

Spiky crab. "Walk like crab, don't talk like people"

More crazy poof plants.

Viewing window. It actually is concave and you can immerse your head into it.

Leopord shark - it's not that big.

Steve falling into the concave window - this isn't a photo effect.

Sea Otters. We got there in time for feeding time. As far as I can tell they spend their days sleeping, scratching (oh boy do they scratch) and eating.

Here is a video of a good butt scratch. They do love to scratch.

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