Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Maui Ocean Center
This is one of the signs that greet you as you enter the facility. It shows the layout of the exhibits.
We followed the normal travel route around the exhibit which starts with the reefs, first the shallow reefs. This tank starts outside the building but then has a viewing window inside the building where this photo was taken. You can see the water line and all above the surface is badly overexposed, but I was shooting for what was under water. Some of the various colorful fish in the tank show up here as does a part of the reef itself.
A closer view of one of the many types of fish. The Hawaiian Islands are far enough from other land masses that their own type of fish have evolved. These guys are too small to cross the open oceans so had to evolve here and they try very hard to keep invaders away. Some of these fish exist only here in these islands.
Another of the colorful fish. When I was here last ten years ago I rented snorkel gear and swam with some of these fish on the reef known as Kamaole Reef #3 but we didn't do that this trip. You can get right down among most of them without scaring them away and it is fun to take a disposable underwater 35mm camera to take photos with.
Here is one of Pat's photos taken inside at one of the deeper reef exhibits. I do not know if there is "black light" involved here to give these brilliant colors or not but they sure are colorful.
A moray eel is coming out of his hidey hole.
I don't remember the name of this guy but he is a master at blending into whatever surrounding he is in. You can see that his color has changed to match that of the nearby coral almost perfectly. I don't know if he is good to eat or not but he doesn't look very appetizing to me!
I had to take a photo of the sea horse. He is small, probably smaller than he will show up on your screen in this photo. There was not much else other than sea horses in this fairly small tank so they may be at risk of being eaten by something bigger and almost everything is bigger than they are. I wish the photo were sharper but I think you can get a pretty good idea of what he looks like anyway.
Pat is a fan of turtles and they have a very nice exhibit of sea turtles that are in their own display. This shot is taking advantage of my 200mm lens to reach across to the other side and catch one of them at the edge of the water. They didn't climb out on the shore but this one did come up to the surface so we could see him. These in the display are young, only about two years old but they are already over two feet long.
This view is of one of them swimming in the tank taken through the viewing window. Of course they are very good swimmers and can stay under water for quite awhile but they do have to surface to breathe.
The biggest "tank" is very large holding 750,000 gallons of water, and has almost 2000 fish in it. There are different varieties of shark including some Tiger Sharks that are 8 or 9 feet long. Also lots of manta rays. One of the most interesting parts of this exhibit is the 54 foot long acrylic tunnel that runs through it and you can walk through, with water and fish all around you.
Here is Pat at the beginning of that tunnel. The boys a bit farther down it are standing at the windows in the floor that give a good view of the bottom area of this tank.
This is another view of the tunnel taken looking back from the other end. There is a slight bend in it, probably to strengthen it. The fish here are brought in from the open ocean, spend some time here, then are returned to the ocean and are replaced by others.
Here is a shark, I think it is a reef shark, that looks to be about 6 feet long.
And a manta ray swims by the tube where these photos were taken from.
Near the gift shop is a fairly shallow display with some very colorful fish. I do not know what this one is but it has an almost transparent look to it.
I now want to go visit the aquarium in Seattle and also the one at Monterey, California. I understand they are both outstanding exhibits. If you visit Maui, be sure to plan a stop at the Maui Ocean Center. It is well worth your time.
Happy, healthy, prosperous and blessed New Year to you and Pat! ;o)
Love and hugs,
Hope you and Pat have a great new year. I got to wondering when I read your blog the other day about how Huggy was doing. Did she and Pat's cats make a good adjustment to each other? We have 2 males and a female and our daughter told us about this product that makes them get along better. I am still in the 'evaluating' it stage here but it worked great for her cats-- for anyone looking to get cats to get along. It puts out phrenomes or however you spell that-- encouraging their seratonin is the goal
My favorites were all the sharks swimming around in the large open ocean exhibit. We can't wait to go back.
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