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Monday, October 28, 2013

Cold, Cold Water and the Stars, A Retrospective Tale of Two Travellers Part 14

Sitka's Aquarium is small and housed in one room and basically has a large touch pool and a salmon tank and few wall based exhibits.  It is attached to the salmon hatchery and research centre, but for all it's smallness, it was unique and fun.

On the day we went Whale Watching, I was amazed to spy some brightly coloured stars (sea stars or star fish) in the shallow water surrounding the dock.  Given that the water is so cold and my lack of knowledge I had always assumed that sea stars were only found in warmer waters.  So it was so much fun to see a touch tank full of all sorts of stars (and anemones and sea cucumbers and sea urchins).

I also had always assumed that sea stars only had 5 legs and that they were hard and knobbly, as that is the kind I have always seen in Australian waters and aquariums, so imagine my amazement to see spongy multi legged stars in all sorts of colours.  Even better was I got to touch them as well.

The water is fed into the tank from the ocean directly outside (the Research Centre and Hatchery sit right on the water's edge) and it is freezing.  My hand was so cold by the end that it was actually aching and I didn't touch all the stars or even keep my hand in the water for that long.  Makes you acutely aware of how easy it would be to get hypothermia in the waters around Sitka.

Green sea anemone

Pink sea anemone

Sea urchin

Stars, stars and more stars

Cushion sea star

Look how many legs this one has, got to touch him as well

A convention of stars, or is that a galaxy?

Hanging on for dear life?

Now that has to be a galaxy, doesn't it?

Now this wont hurt you as much as it hurts me, brrr that water is freezing

Just hanging out together, the three amigos!!

How's this for colour?

The other really cool thing is the baby salmon tank, which if you are fit enough (and small enough) allows you to crawl underneath and emerge in a bubble right in the middle of the tank.  Guess who did that?  Need a clue?  Well it wasn't me, or my daughter or my daughter in law, so it really only leaves one person and here are his photos from inside looking out.

Now who's taking who's photo??

No don't walk away and leave me here, hello are you listening??

Another exhibit was the skeleton of a baby Orca, and the fibreglass model to show it's size.  The skeleton came from a dead baby found washed up on the shore and sent to the Science Centre.

I also loved the artwork on the windows and walls.

This will be the last in the "A Retrospective Tale of Two Travellers" posts that covers our trip to Seattle and Sitka in September 2013.

I have enjoyed reliving the memories, and there are heaps more photos I could share but they basically will just be more of the same.  I hope you have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed sharing and reliving what was a wonderful time in our lives.

Thanks for popping by xxxx


  1. I have LOVED sharing your trip and your memories (in a vicarious sort of way). Loved the aquarium - I am always full of awe and wonder at the beauty of creatures living within the sea - the colours and the shapes.
    Thank you so much.]
    I am really looking forward (already) to your next trip (though not as much as you will be).
    And you really couldn't post too many of these photos.

    1. Thanks EC, I have appreciated your comments on all my posts. I have loved going back through the photos and remembering all the places we went and all the experiences we had. I'm even going to keep working longer now so I can afford to go again. Of course that's if my arthritic hands let me. Thanks for popping by and sharing your thoughts on each and every post. xxxx

  2. What an absolutely scrumptious finale to your Restrospective Traveller's Tales. I loved that orange starfish and yes, I agreed they are a galaxy (all part of our universe thank goodness). How did you get 'himself' to squeeze himself into that bubble and loved the pics he took. You didn't really go of and leave him did you? I have so enjoyed sharing your fabulous holiday and, as said before, I hope you are going to have the photos printed so I can look at them individually. You are going to busy filling so many albums. xxx

    1. Thanks Mum, don't worry B decided all by himself to crawl into the tunnel, he is a boy after all!!! And yes we did walk away without thinking, but he got out easily enough LOL. Will organise and get the photos printed some time soon. Thanks for popping by xxxx

    2. Maybe when you are at home recovering from your hip surgery you may have time to sort through all those beautiful photographs and could even start organising albums. Just a thought. xx



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