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The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Great Tide Pool.

The Great Tide PoolView All Sizes

A sandy shoreline habitat in the Monterey Bay Aquarium

A sandy shoreline habitatView All Sizes

JOURNAL : May 22, 2007

A Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey > California > United States

Series A Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The interior of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is reminiscent of movie sets from The Abyss.

The spacious interior of the Monterey Bay Aquarium with its concrete walls and ceilings full of pipes.

Entering the Splash Zone

Everywhere are vivid cobalt blue portholes filled with coral and fish eye-candy. Walls of concrete support ceilings laden with complex tubing and pipes like that well-known 3D screensaver.

The modern industrial design punctuated with innovative exhibits suggests a strange fusion of romantic interest captured by classical structure. One might have guessed that the Aquarium repurposed an old sardine processing plant (i.e. Hovden Cannery) but in fact the building was specially designed and constructed in the early 80s, down to the fake fiberglass smokestacks. The architects and structural engineers went to great lengths to preserve the character of old Cannery Row while developing a state-of-the-art facility.

Looking southeast along the coast towards Monterey Bay from the shops near Cannery Row.

The Coast Southeast towards Monterey BayView All Sizes

Aquarium, Tank

An old tank of mine

Many Anemones — uh, Amenities...

As an aquarium and terrarium builder this place fascinates me. It's an artistic pinnacle of the craft, isolating nature at a point in time. The care and consideration for the marine population is evident in the relative spaciousness of the habitats. Into each aquatic masterpiece is invested much objective detail: a story, a theme, and a cast of costumed characters.

An exhibit containing shrimp, anemones, fish and coral

Another Colorful Aquarium

Sand dollars stand on-edge in calm waters to allow foodstuffs to pass through their mouths.

Sand Dollars on EdgeView All Sizes

An aquarium containing anemones, clownfish and a red king crab with folded arms who looks quite pissed off to be in there.

Red king crab with folded armsView All Sizes

Every aquarium's a stage...

This one here is hosting a colorful party. The coral, crabs and crayfish are dressed in their most vivid attire.

In a bubble-shaped aquarium we came upon a rave party populated entirely by sand dollars.

This King Crab and this young stingray were not invited to either event.


Young Stingray

A 27-foot gray whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling in the Marine Mammal Gallery.

Gray Whale SkeletonView All Sizes

A huge model of a killer whale suspended above the gift store.

Suspended Killer WhaleView All Sizes

An exhibit containing many anemones in the sand.

A Strange Planet of Sea AnemonesView All Sizes

No Underwater Camera Needed!

Whenever I've taken underwater photos with a cheap disposable camera the photos come out horrible and I would never consider putting them up on Daily Venture. So at last I can use a decent camera to capture both the terrestrial location and marine subject matter of such a diverse experience as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Of course, this collection of photos cannot possibly capture the variety of exhibits or animals present so I'd encourage you to visit the aquarium yourself if you haven't already done so. It's a convenient way to see marine environs without getting your wallet wet.

Not as fun as really diving or snorkeling...

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Aquarium Website & Map

The Monterey Bay Aquarium website has a wealth of information about the contents of the building and the organization itself. Check out the map too. Between two floors, the numerous aquariums, hands-on exhibits and activites both inside and outside, the aquarium is a captivating spectacle.

Leopard Shark

Leopard Shark!

Fish swirl endlessly in a marvelous exhibit just inside the entrance to The Outer Bay.

Just inside the entrance to The Outer BayView All Sizes

A huge tank with a kelp forest and many beautiful fish.

Huge Kelp Forest TankView All Sizes

Sexy Jellyfish

On a visit years ago I came upon a floor-to-ceiling aquarium in a dark area. Inside were several dozen hot pink jellyfish rhythmically pulsating against a fluorescent blue background. They were all synchronized in their steady fight upwards against the downward flow of water, and the whole visual experience was quite sexual. My active imagination conjured up visions of curators having orgies amidst the erotic throbbing motion.

This time around the jellyfish succeeded in hypnotizing me. They're really quite exotic and beautiful.

Sea nettle jellies pulse rhythmically around in a vivid cobalt blue tank.

Sea Nettle JellyfishView All Sizes

A group of rocks just offshore from the coast near Ocean View Blvd and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A group of rocks just offshoreView All Sizes

Looking southeast along the coast towards Monterey Bay from the shops near Cannery Row.

Looking southeast towards Monterey BayView All Sizes

Cannery Row

My mom used to live in Monterey. When visiting we'd drop in to Cannery Row once in a great while to sightsee, check out shops or eat at seafood restaurants. Sometimes we'd take a leisurely stroll on the sandy walkways along the shore next to Ocean View Blvd and out to the park. The area always reminds me of La Jolla.

The sardines and the sardine canneries have been gone for 40 years now, and the crowd has shifted from Steinbeck's factory workers to visitors leisurely browsing the quaint, touristy area.

Southeast towards Monterey BayView All Sizes

Juneau and Gastineau Channel, from the Mount Roberts Tramway

Juneau, Alaska

Pavilion near Peak, Victoria Peak Garden


Hyde Park, London

Hyde Park

Gazebo on Findlay Path. Photo taken from the Sky Terrace 428.

Victoria Peak Gazebo

Hyde Park, London

Hyde Park

A flower in Waimea Falls Park, Oahu


Fire performer at SpinJam, Honolulu, Hawaii


Downtown, Isla Mujeres, from the Ferry to Cancun, Mexico

Isla Mujeres

White Pass Yukon Route Railroad

White Pass Yukon Route

Random Adventures!

Rainbow Bridge, Sunset Cruise from Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii

Rainbow Bridge

At the end of a day of motorcycling the curvy Gilman Road from Ellery Creek Campground over to Shasta Dam and back. The best part is that for many many miles I saw not even a single vehicle in either direction. I had the countryside to myself!

Ellery Creek Campground

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan

Beach on the South End of Castle Lake

Castle Lake

Ground crew packing hot air balloon envelope up.

Balloon Ride

Netting a caught Silver (Coho) Salmon.

Kenai River Fishing

Chugach Mountains from Seward Highway near Portage and Turnagain Arm.

Kenai Peninsula

A huge tank with a kelp forest and many beautiful fish.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Rear Lawn of the White House, Washington D.C.

The White House

Pulling in an Ono, Sunset Cruise from Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii

Catching an Ono

Mexican Kids on the Beach in Santa Cruz

Mexican Kids