Saturday, July 21, 2012

Marine Research Center - Touch Tank

Marine Research Center
With a Touch Tank Full of Local Marine Wildlife!

When we got in to Kodiak I knew right away that I wanted to go to the Marine Life Research Center because I had seen online that they had a touch-tank full of sea anemonie's, star fish, rockfish, and crabs.

At one point in my life, I wanted to be an Oceanologist. After taking Oceanography at Kansas State University and Biology at Central Oregon Community College, I realized I was not as cut out for it as I thought I might be (my grades were horrible!). So, off to find myself in other ways I went...only to land on being an art therapist (another passion of mine).

In the meantime, I kept my love for marine life in tact. So, as soon as I could I grabbed Tom and away we went.

The main lobby was filled with a map of Kodiak (the purple circle is where Kodiak City and the Coast Guard are located - just a very small part of a much bigger island)...

And, there were pictures of all the local wildlife on the walls. Connected to the lobby was a conference room that sported amazing views of the islands that were just beyond Near Island (where the Marine Research Center was located - a bridge connects Kodiak City to the small island).

There was also a rather large stair case that was at the center of the lobby. It took us down to the HUGE aquarium and the touch tank downstairs.

The aquarium was filled with VERY large crabs, star fish, and other marine life.

This picture gives you a really good idea of how big these crab get. If you have seen on the Discovery Channel, "Deadliest Catch", then you know that these crabs are big and caught in very cold waters.

The Touch Tank was just beyond the Aquarium, and Tom was the first to stick his hands in while I watched and learned...

The water was very, very cold that our hands would numb within minutes, making it painful to keep them in the water. It was so cool, though. I got to touch everything you see in the pictures above.

While I loved the hands-on experience, Tom really enjoyed looking at all the different salmon on the Salmon wall downstairs. There was a great deal of information on where each spawn and when.

Turns out there are several different types of salmon that spawn in the Kodiak waters.

It was such a great day! Tom and I really enjoyed ourselves. I cannot wait to take friends and family there when they come to visit! (hint, hint)

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