I grew up in an area that wasn’t too far away from the beach, maybe forty minutes or so if traffic was cooperative. We would visit every now and again in the summer and we’d walk the boardwalk as a family sometimes in the off season when it wasn’t so busy. I always loved to imagine all the things the water that touched the shore had seen, wondering if someone standing in another country had touched the same water and if we were somehow bonded over that. (I had/have an active imagination.)
When I was ten I went out on a boat for my birthday to try to see dolphins in the wild. They were my favorite animal and I remember feeling awe and surprise when we actually saw REAL. LIVE. DOLPHINS. so close to home. Despite being a recycle-a-holic, loving animals, and being so close to the water for such a long time before we moved, I never really thought much about the conservation of our oceans or helping the wildlife of the sea until my recent trip to the aquarium. My eyes were opened to the absolutely amazing life that hides under the waves.
There were so many beautiful and ginormous sea turtles at the aquarium. I remember learning as a kid that it’s important to cut up all of the plastic rings that keep sodas together because the turtles can get stuck in them. Keeping all plastic out of the water is really important because the animals, not just turtles, can get wrapped up and trapped or they try to eat it and it knots up their digestive tract.
It’s not only dolphins that look friendly! It seemed like all of the sting rays were smiling and there was more than one fish that wanted a photo shoot, swimming up to the glass and seeming to stop and pose before moving along.
The Belugas, on the other hand, were very shy and were hard to capture. There were about four whales that were playing together. This guy was the most curious of the bunch…maybe he wanted to see if there were any good Pokemon around on my phone app.
Then it was off to see the spiders of the sea…everyone is afraid of them but they have their role to play. We even had the opportunity to pet a few striped baby sharks that felt really slimy. I had pet nurse sharks when I was in elementary school and I remembered them feeling sort of sandy. Perhaps nurse sharks feel differently because the baby shark I touched definitely felt fishy.
All in all it was an amazing experience that inspired me to explore and learn more about the ocean and to see what I can do to play my part in preserving our fascinating oceans.
It even inspired me to paint a turtle!
SEA you later…well, at least until our next adventure!