My nephew was interested in a visit to the aquarium at Monterey while they were staying so he and I decided to head down there for a day. I last went over ten years ago so did not remember a great deal about it. I also didn’t know whether a lot had changed in that time anyway so not remembering was not a major problem!
First things first. This place is great. We spent plenty of time there and could probably have spent more but we were thinking about some food before heading home. The collection is very interesting and really nicely laid out. Not only does it cover the wildlife of the Monterey Bay well, it also has some very nice terraces outside so you can go and see some of the real thing while you are there.
There are two huge tanks cover deep water and the kelp beds of the bay. These can be viewed from upper and lower levels and there is so much going on, it is easy to just stand and stare for long periods of time.
There is a great jellyfish exhibit. Nancy and I saw a similar exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium a while back as I reported here but this is a permanent feature and it is well worth a visit. There are other attractions that get a lot of visitors including the octopus exhibit. While we were there, this fella was very active. He (or she, I can’t tell which) would retreat into a dark corner for a while and then suddenly make a trip across the tank covering the glass with tentacles as he went. This was amazing to watch. Why he did it so often I don’t know. Maybe they do something to prod him into action every once in a while. (It was also quite fun to hear people berating those people using flash on their cameras which seemed to be happening every couple of minutes. Signs are hard to read I guess.)
We spent some time outside watching the wildlife. We had brought binoculars but there were some healthy telescopes available to use to. Sam quickly spotted the spray from a grey whale out in the bay and there were plenty of sea lions and sea otters to see although usually a bit far out. The bird life was teeming closer in.
I will be back before too long. I suspect any other visitors will want to check it out too but I can handle repeat visits I think.