Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seaside Aquarium

Seaside is a very small town with a big heart for summer tourists. They have a LOT to offer in the way of family activities, shopping and fabulous scenery, and an aquarium one of the things on the to-do list. Seaside Aquarium is one of the oldest aquariums in the west, started in 1937. It's also very small. When you walk in, it's a little dismaying to see how little space the seals have. They are in a narrow rectangular pool and the public stands right in front of a metal fence that hangs over them to feed them.  You basically throw the food through the fence holes. There is another pool for them that you can't see and that they use, but I couldn't help feeling how confined they were in such a small space for their play area. According to the aquarium, the seals choose to be in front of the public instead of being off in a different pool.

Admission is 7.00 for adults. According to the brochure, the seals have developed their own tricks and vocals to get you to feed them, they are not trained. The day I visited, they must have been full from a lot of visitors feeding them, as they weren't doing much of anything. (They are also regularly fed by the staff.) There were two baby seals that were adorable! You can feed the seals if you don't mind picking up the fish. Ew-w-w-w! Not me! I'm a wuss when it comes to handling fish, I have no idea why!

Another room holds many tanks of interesting sea creatures but the room is dark and dreary. Seaside Aquarium is really showing its age and needs a facelift. Despite all that, I still enjoyed seeing the seals and the octopus in an open tank. The brochure for the aquarium makes some convincing arguments for the successful breeding program they have there. They were the first aquarium in the world to successfully breed harbor seals in captivity and some of their seals are fourth generation captive born animals. The aquarium is inspected twice annually and they have a trained vet who makes monthly checkups.

I guess seeing all the creatures in the wild has made me a little sad now to see ones in captivity in a less than modern setting...but it's still a great place for school kids and others who don't get the opportunity to see things in the wild, like this ugly guy. I forgot what he is!

Well, instead of this ugly guy above, let's leave you with a photo of something better....Aw-w-w-w, too cute!

One more thing...We would like to welcome our newest follower, Ellie Great from the Land Down Under, Australia! Ellie is a film director who works with children to develop their creativitiy through her organization, Pleiades. She also writes novels....Awesome! Hope you enjoy hearing about our travels, Ellie!  We'll see you on the road...We're gonna go looking for some beautiful scenery tomorrow or maybe just check out the Cannon Beach stores....

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