Thursday, August 6, 2015

San Francisco: Aquarium of the Bay

You may not know this about me, but I have a major nerd-on for marine life. 
From cephalopods to aquatic vertebrates, crustaceans to coral, I think almost everything that swims, glides, wiggles and jiggles in the seas is pretty neat…
for the most part. 
I mean, in all seriousness, there are some intensely creepy little freaks roaming the oceans, like goblin sharks. 

Friggin' Xenomorphs of the sea, I tell you!!! Look at that retractible jaw!

But the San Francisco aquarium is devoid of goblin sharks in all their nocturnal deep sea horror, so fear not, friends!

I brought back a plethora of photographs to share the joy of aquatic lifeforms with you!
Yes, YOU!
(You special and unique little snowflake!)

So read on, amigos!

But first, let's admire these two dapper folks on their unicycles before we proceed further. 
They rode the ferry with us and I was ever so grateful that they happened to stop a short distance from us as we struck up conversation with a lovely Irish lass who was greeting people in front of the aquarium. I snapped this photo as discreetly as I could during our chat, preserving the moment for posterity's sake!

Inside the aquarium you're greeted with a tank of small fish swimming in a school.
This reminds me of the aquarium in Inokashira park, except they had a tank full of tuna doing the rounds. :) Schools of fish are always beautiful with their coordinated dances practiced through centuries of their species' survival. 

And iridescent scales, to boot!

Then there's this fella. He's a bit shy...

An itty bitty teeny-tiny starfish!

View of the waterfront from inside the aquarium in a small waiting area where you catch the elevator to the specialized floors and exhibits.


The light in this tank changed colors, causing the translucent jellies inside to glow in a wide array of stunning shades.

Like this jolly little jelly.

Personally, jellyfish fall into the category of creepy things I'd never want to swim with in a million years, but I definitely enjoy admiring their beauty from a safe distance.
Safe distance. Key word.
Maybe it has to do with that scene from The Abyss…perhaps…
Look at the pretty jellyfish in the tanks!

Safe. Inside a tank. Behind inches of glass.

This is an egg yolk jellyfish. Wonder how it got the name?
The employees/attendants in the elevator proudly boasted of the latest addition to their facility's family. 

They are rather photogenic, aren't they?

These tunnels provided panoramic views of oceanic life swimming all around you, which was simultaneously stunning and vertigo inducing. 

This guy, though.

A staggering stack of starfish!

Why so crabby fella?

Pucker up!

Manta ray faces are one of my favorite things.

Dun dun…dun dun...

Well ain't he just one happy little feller? 

A giant pacific octopus…
I was SO excited to see her!
Her name is Octavia or Beatrice, depending who you ask at the aquarium.
She was napping when we stopped by, much to my chagrin.
I have an octopus sleeve, after all. 
My fixation with celaphods is serious.  

There was an observation dome to poke your head into Octavia's den, so here's Antho peeking in!

And you're truly, looking vaguely like an alien and making kissy faces at the fishies.

Froggy pile! 

Hey fella. Nice pecs.

My parseltongue is rusty, I'm afraid.

A tower of turtles.

Antho petting a little ray. Yay!

Close up of a starfish.

REALLY close up!

The starfish under scrutiny. 

A shrivelled litle skate.

Close up view of that face...

So that's what that looks like.

This little cutie was showing off for all the visitors, doing tricks and popping out of the water. I like to think he was having a wonderful time.

Making laps...

Shy turtle...

Hi turtle!

Cute little tree frog attending to important tree frog business.

Starfish doing starfish stuff.

We looped back around to check back with Octavia and see if she had stirred from her slumber…
alas, she had changed her pattern a bit and moved from the corner some, but she was still fast asleep.

I snagged a couple of glamour shots to content myself with and we left as the aquarium was rapidly approaching closing time.

The view of the city from atop the Aquarium's stairs is lovely.

This shark mural greets you outside the building...

Walking back to the Embarcadero station as nightfall rapidly approached. 
We sung aloud or played music during the walk, to spur ourselves onward.
Riding the BART and the busses, we noticed a lot of Bay area residents blasting tunes for everyone to enjoy…this is extremely frowned upon in Japan, so much so that I rarely ever encountered it in the two and a half years I lived there…
I guess that's not so much the case here, huh?
Despite the signs warning against loud music people share their jams with everyone…
あらららら。。。ちょっとうれせないね? 笑
It's rather frowned upon in Vegas, too, though it's unlikely that anyone will actually confront people doing it because of the likelihood of a fight. u_u

"Another photo? Hurry up!"
Antho really wanted to get back to our lodging before nightfall as we weren't sure how safe West Oakland would be at night. After our night in the Tenderloin, the apprehension was certainly understandable and I appreciate his concern in keeping me safe. What a sweetie, right?  

We took this shortcut through the city and made it back to the house in Oakland around 9:30-10pm.
After our first night in Oaktown, I didn't feel like there was much of anything to fear so long as we minded our own business. We definitely didn't witness any homeless women getting punched in the head, so that's definitely a plus.

No comments:

Post a Comment