In the Company of Fish


Vacation Day 4: After getting some excellent French pastries for breakfast at the Paris Bakery and Cafe downtown Monterey, we headed over to the aquarium. This was my fourth or fifth time visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Andy's third time. This place is by far the best aquarium I have been to. Upon entering the aquarium, you are immediately greeted by this huge kelp forest tank. I was on the second floor when I took this photo.

Technical Details
Aperture Value: f/4
Focal Length: 18 mm
Metering Mode: Multi-Segment
Exposure Program: Program
ISO: 200
Shutter Speed Value: 1/60 sec
Exposure Bias: -2EV

The place had changed quite a bit since out last visit (2004). At any rate, it was still a wonderful place to explore. Even more so because of all the new stuff!

The jellyfish exhibit hadn't changed much. It was still as beautiful as I remembered. There are a series of tanks with brilliant blue backgrounds and colorful jellies floating and swimming. It was hard to pick only one of the photos to show here. They also had a whole extra jelly exhibit that was all artsy. Hooray! More jellies!! :-)

It was a bit difficult taking photos because of the low light and reflections on the tank glass. It is a good thing the jellies move so slowly. In retrospect, I probably should have switched off of program mode to manual mode on my camera. Oh well, that just means I have an excuse to go visit again.

Technical Details
Aperture Value: f/4.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
Metering Mode: Multi-Segment
Exposure Program: Program
ISO: 800
Shutter Speed Value: 1/80 sec
Exposure Bias: -2EV


This exhibit is called Outer Bay. It is pretty much just this humongonormous tank containing sun fish, tuna, a sea turtle, sharks, and other miscellaneous fish. Andy spent a lot of time here trying to get a good shot. I found a good combo (f/3.5 @ 1/30sec), but after I got home and looked at the photos, I realized that I could have increased the shutter speed as the photo turned out a bit too bright. Oh well, another excuse to return.

Technical Details
Aperture Value: f/3.5
Focal Length: 28 mm
Metering Mode: Multi-Segment
Exposure Program: Manual
ISO: 800
Shutter Speed Value: 1/30 sec
Exposure Bias: 0EV

There is also a nice little open exhibit that they have for shore birds. This area has a large window over looking the bay, so there was plenty of light for photos. Isn't he a cute little snowy plover?

Technical Details
Aperture Value: f/5.6
Focal Length: 200mm
Metering Mode: Multi-Segment
Exposure Program: Manual
ISO: 200
Shutter Speed Value: 1/124 sec
Exposure Bias: 0EV


My husband took this photo, but I had to show it. Admission going towards aquarium maintenance, preservation of the oceans, research projects? Nope, it's to give the otters a big plasma screen TV. Go Otters Go! Actually, I'm sure it was probably donated, but still funny to see.

After the aquarium we decided to go dive at the breakwater. It was a nice dive site that we had dove at our previous visit. Plus, we decided since we hauled our dive gear with us, we had to do at least one dive.

It was an okay dive. I was expecting the kelp to be larger and more abundant than it was. The visibility was okay too. At around 15 feet, that was about the same as a normal day in Puget Sound. We did get a brief visit from a sea lion underwater, but Andy missed it. I think he was looking at an interesting piece of sea weed or something. There were a few big lingcod, lots of pile and spotted perch, and the usual assortment of invertebrates. No giant octopus spotted though. :-(

At the point where we turned around, I found what appeared to be a dead sea lion. It was laying on the bottom and there were a good dozen starfish covering it. I resisted the urge to peak under the sunflower star that was covering the face. Probably a good call. :-S