Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Aquarium, and Dinner with Retama Friends

Hi all, Dianne here.  As we explained in our last blog, both of our Canon cameras went on the fritz (our fault), so all of these photos were taken with my iPhone.  Not bad, huh?   No color enhancing; the starfish and anemones were really that colorful!  

This was "aquarium day" for us.  After our beach time with Bandido and Tequila, we hopped in the car for the short 1.7 mile trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.  As we drove up we said "Uh-oh...  a whole line of school buses."  We managed to time our visit during the end-of-school-year field trips!  
Oh well, we enjoy watching kids having fun and learning new things, like these kids who jammed into the hurricane simulator to experience what it would be like to stand out in a hurricane.  

We jockeyed for position with dozens of little kids around the various tanks to get photos of the exhibits.

 This eel made it easy by giving me the "evil eye" while staying perfectly still.  He was a favorite with most of the little boys in the school group.

The walk-through tube was suspended eight feet above the water floor, enabling us to look at fish swimming above, beside, and below us.

One of the most interesting things I learned from this visit is illustrated in this photo:  

It may not look very interesting until you learn that these halibut spend their lives swimming sideways to the point where the eye on the bottom side migrates to the other side of its head!  
 This placard explains the phenomenon better than I could.  The fish in the photo is showing his "blind side" toward the bottom, so the eye is gone and the color has turned white.  Next time I eat halibut, I'll remember these sideways-swimming fish with two eyes on the same side of their head! 

Another good photo taken with the iPhone, this one of the jellyfish tank. 

This sea lion was entertaining all the school kids by swimming up next to the tank to let them "pet" him:

We walked outside through the outdoor exhibits, including more sea lions  and a nature trail.  

I have trouble walking past brightly-colored flowers without a photo, so here are some poppies....

We were searching for the Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit.  Finally, in a small alcove, we joined a small group to view the octopus's antics.

We timed our visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium so that we could go directly from there to the nearby Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center for the 1:00 feeding of their Giant Pacific Octopus.

We arrived a little early for the feeding, so we walked around and viewed the exhibits.

Once again, the place was teeming with school kids, but we enjoyed watching them get hands-on experience using the Tsunami simulators.  

Soon it was feeding time, so we took our places and waited for the show.  While waiting, I snapped a shot of this sunburst starfish, who shared the tank with the octopus.

They explained to us that octopuses have the intelligence of a house cat, so to make feeding time more fun and challenging, they put its food into a toy for it to play with and eat from.  
Food is in the pink plastic toy

They also only live a few years, so each octopus on display is held in captivity for only a short time before being switched for another, to give that octopus a chance to mate and produce young in the wild. 
Despite the noise and commotion of busloads of school kids sharing the experience with us, we enjoyed our visits to the aquarium and the marine center.  Roger had spent so much of his working life participating in groups like this, either as a chaperone, teacher, or principal that he left with a renewed appreciation of retirement!

Each summer when we leave our winter home at Retama Village in Texas, we manage to cross paths with friends and neighbors from there. 

 This year is no exception, and after exchanging a few e-mails we met up with our friends Walt and Mary, who retired from the Newport area a few years ago and are back visiting their children.  We met at one of their favorite restaurants 
 (Arr Place) for a delightful meal.  We were joined by Amanda and Ted (Amanda is Walt & Mary's daughter).  What an impressive young woman!   I can see why Walt and Mary are so proud of her.

There might be a pause in our updates here, for Sunday we will move north to Nehalem Bay State Park.  We will be joined for the first week by our dear friends Jay and Nancy, who will fly out from Indiana to spend a week exploring the area with us.  We'll update when time permits! 

We want to welcome Greg and Diana Jones to the ranks of full-timers.  I've added a link to their new blog Keeping Track of the Jones' at the sidebar.  It's always fun to keep track of folks just starting out and follow their adventures.  Greg and Diana both graduated from the same high school that Roger did, Pendleton High School in Pendleton, Indiana.  We crossed paths with them at the RV Dreams Rally in Kerrville, Texas last spring.  It was one of those "small world" moments -- Roger had not seen them since high school.   Welcome to the ranks!

The pet photo of the day is one that we took when we were in the RV park at Winchester Bay.  I call it "basketing in the sun."

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

those underwater tunnels are always a big hit