Under the sea

Monterey is a great little town, full of attractions. This we visited one of them – the extremely well built Monterey Bay Aquarium – and had a great time with the kids.

The aquarium is located at the end of Cannery Row, a charming waterfront district in Monterey. Right upon arrival, we were twice surprised – first for the size of the Aquarium facilities as seen from outside, and second for the amount of visitors. We don’t know if it is due to the long weekend (Veterans Day on Tuesday) or because of the quality of the aquarium itself – but as large as it is, the place was nearly packed!

We spent the entire afternoon there, and it was part of Pesto School’s curriculum. Paulo and Raquel were in awe. The aquarium counts with top-notch facilities, and its attractions are created with a bias towards conservationism and sustainability, which we applaud. It’s well built, and caught the attention of the kids, who, when we ended our visit, asked us to always watch at the labels of seafood we buy to ensure the catch came from sustainable practices. Lesson learned.

The Aquarium is located at the end of charming Cannery Row
The Aquarium is located at the end of charming Cannery Row
Top-notch facilities. We were in awe ...
Top-notch facilities. We were in awe …
... no wonder why, right?
… no wonder why, right?
We saw a plethora of stingrays ...
We saw a plethora of stingrays …
... large fish, like this grouper, which caught Adriana's attention ...
… large fish, like this grouper, which caught Adriana’s attention …
... and sharks, which caught everyone's attention.
… and sharks, which caught everyone’s attention.
Here Paulo studies the data card of one of the many species of sharks in exhibition
Here Paulo studies the data card of one of the many species of sharks in exhibition
The large blue fin tuna were a special attraction of the large fish tank.
The large blue fin tuna were a special attraction of the large fish tank.
Of course there are fish of smaller variety as well. Here, Raquel is interested on these anchovies.
Of course there are fish of smaller variety as well. Here, Raquel is interested on these anchovies.
She also had fun and spent time playing with the well-thought mimetism simulator
She also had fun and spent time playing with the well-thought mimetism simulator
As for me, I liked everything, but my top rating goes to the Jellies Experience - a session dedicated to jellyfish, decorated late-70's style, using Jimmy Hendrix's excellent Experience album as the background theme (and music) - REALLY COOL
As for me, I liked everything, but my top rating goes to the Jellies Experience – a session dedicated to jellyfish, decorated late-70’s style, using Jimmy Hendrix’s excellent Experience album as the background theme (and music) – REALLY COOL
The jelly fish are displayed in beautiful compositions, carefully lit and decorated
The jelly fish are displayed in beautiful compositions, carefully lit and decorated

Pesto-10Nov14-075

Pesto-10Nov14-077

 

The pictures above don’t do justice to the place. In addition to the attractions mentioned, we also saw south-african penguins, sea otters, octopuses and squids of all kinds, and birds. A special moment for me was when they were transporting an Albatross on a cart across the hall, and I had the opportunity to be within a few feet of this majestic bird.

Size, quality of facilities, creativity on the set up of exhibits, and the well-woven sustainability message all add to a place which builds knowledge and fosters healthy mindsets toward nature. Considering the amount of visitors attending the place on a Monday, I believe they got the recipe right.

Hurray Monterey Bay Aquarium !

 

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