After tromping through a rain forest to view dinosaurs, and then hiking up and down hills through the redwoods to explore the Trees of Mystery, you’d think we would have just continued on down the highway to a nice, comfy hotel, and let our worn out kids have something of a break.
As we approached Crescent City, California, we started seeing signs for Ocean World. Of course we had to stop.
First, we went surfing:
Then we went in to explore the aquarium, which is actually a boat. Apparently, way back when, someone decided they wanted to buy a glass-bottomed boat to take people on tours of the local coastline, however, the water was too murky. People couldn’t see a foot past the windows! Not exactly a successful venture. So, it was permanently docked, and an aquarium was built around the boat and its large glass windows! The nice thing about this place is that visitors are divided into groups, and sent around with a very knowledgeable guide. It made for a very interesting tour.
First stop was the tidal pool. Our guide identified the various animals in the pool, and explained how to safely touch or handle them.
Inside the boat, we were able to check out the aquariums. They had a number of very pretty sharks on display.
We also enjoyed the tank with rays. Again, the guide was very helpful about identifying the animals and answering all of our questions. Kids have a lot of questions.
The thing the kids were most excited about was the chance to pet a shark.
Not that one! Real ones.
This little tank held four sharks. Two larger ones, about 3 and 4 feet in length, and two very tiny babies. Brian was the bravest of our bunch.
Honor needed a little help from her Dad.
One of the babies was quite attracted to Honor. Maybe it saw her bright blue sweatshirt? It kept swimming to the edge of the pool next to her and poking its nose out of the water, like it was trying to reach her. I couldn’t get a clear photo. The light was very dim and my camera was having ‘flash or no flash’ confusion and other focus issues.
The babies were off-limits for petting as they were only a few days old and very fragile. I wasn’t able to get a clear photo of them either. They were moving all over the place and diving up and down. My camera wasn’t up to the chase.
Their tiny little fins were so small and thin - they were almost translucent. Very pretty!
And this one… very pretty, and very sweet. Definitely my favorite.
Now, to be honest, if you are expecting a GRAND aquarium experience like what you’d find in Baltimore or Monterey Bay.. this isn’t it. This is a much smaller site. They have the tidal pool, three large tanks in the boat, the shark pool, and the seal pool. But for it’s small size, they really do a good job. The guides definitely make the tour very special, and we got a lot out of our visit.
And after this stop, we finally called it a night!