This weekend has been very good so far. I called Shaadi around lunch time, he asked me if I was interested in "ghoomne chalne", I was. He came and picked me from hotel, we had two cars and all 6 of us had met each other ealier. I didn't know where we were going for a long time. I was happy to be going out, exact place didn't really matter. The drive was very nice, really beautiful trees on both side of road, mountains on both sides road (below the trees) added to the beauty. We drove for around 50+ miles and decided
that we will go to Monterey Bay Aquarium
. A very small hitch, since we didn't plan to go there in the first place and got interested in the place because there was a good poster at a Vista Point
where we halted to take photographs. US being a well documented
country, we didn't have any problem finding the right exit and making it to the aquarium without any hitch.
Monterey Bay Aquarium claims to be No. 1 aquarium and No. 3 top-rated family attraction in USA. I would agree with them, I have never seen an aqurium of this scale and I did see a lot of families, I would have loved to go there as a kid, if I had known such a place existed within driving distance.
We went the section called Ocean's Edge
, Ocean's edge had many fishes inclucing tiger shark
, california sheep head
. It had large windows through which all these fishes were visible, they had all sorts of plants and rocks to give it a natural feeling. There were other smaller aquariums with convex lenses that were housing many crab varieties, octopus and some really amazing fishes. There were many types of ray fishes
and there camouflaging skills were really cool. We also got the see the beautiful mermaid's purses
. To demonstrate the camouflaging they had two shallow tanks, one of them had brown coloured pebble rock another had white pebbles. Same type of fishes were kept in both tanks and they had changed colours to match the bed colour.
There were so many type of fishes with unique characteristics that it is not possible to describe all of them in this blog. I highly recommend everyone who is around this area to give the a place a visit. Touch pool for bat ray fishes were a hit among children, they just wanted to touch the fish again and again inspite of ice cold water and the fishes didn't seem to mind.
Another attraction that ocean's edge had was a simulated high speed water current, we stood below a transparent roof an lot of water was rushed onto roof with very high speed (and loud noise). You know that there is roof and you know that it is just a game
but the loud noise and white water does managed to excite feeling of fright, if only for one second.
Another cool creature that aquarium has is sea otter
, there were 3 or 4 sea otters and they were fun to watch. Otters are very active, playful and naughty creatures. One of the otters was busy playing with a blue ball while another was hiding behind a rock and peeping once in a while. A third one was actively swimming throughout the pool, it seemed to be posing for the photographs. We could have spent the whole day there, but we wanted to see the sharks.
Rather than sharks we saw jellyfishes first. Flower hat jellyfish and Gooseberry jellyfishes were very attractive and beautiful. There were many types of jellyfishes in all colours and sizes. Aquarium had taken pains to make sure that tank bed were of contrasting colour to make it a more pleasant views. This was the first time I saw jellyfishes (except on TV). One of the tanks had a button which one could press to make the jellyfishes vanish, basically they were visible because of the light, in absence of bulb light it was really hard to spot them.
Finally we saw some sharks, not the big ones but small ones of various types. There were many species of sharks including Tiger sharks, many type of rays and hammerhead sharks
We ended our visit with Penguins. I am awaiting photographs and will try to post them when I get them.
After aquarium we went to Carmel Beach and had fun on beach. Water was ice cold and it felt very good to be back on warm send after going in water. I repeated the process a couple of times. When I was having difficulty keeping my feet in water for more than a couple of seconds lot of people were happily surfing in the same waters. Once again this was my first time watching someone surf, it looked very good on TV but live action was also good.