Monterey…Down by the Sea

When we visit family in the San Francisco area, Monterey is a frequent destination.  Our new son-in-law, Chris had never been there, so we planned a day trip as part of our California adventure.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must see.  It is a nonprofit facility that opened in 1984.  On any given day, there will be numerous volunteers to help visitors.

The facility is housed in the old Hovden Cannery.

There is a large section devoted to the history of the cannery building which processed Sardines.  They were canned and cooked during two steps.  The sardines were placed in open cans and precooked.

The cans were drained, seasonings added, then sealed. They were then pressure cooked in large boilers called retorts.

There were examples of the the label machine as well as the finished product.

Due to a variety of factors…mainly over-fishing but also environmental factors that made sardines scarce in the bay area, the cannery industry disappeared from Monterey.

Jim was pretty intrigued with the cannery whistle that signaled lunch and breaks. When you pull on the rope, it blows a soft whistle, we guess you can’t scare the entire aquarium with a full whistle blow.

The aquarium is divided into 4 sections…we stopped at the information table and were told to go to the Open Sea area first as the fish feeding would start soon.  This only occurs once a day, so we went and found seats on the second floor.  Before you get to the tank, there are numerous exhibits on sardines

Other exhibits included the Purple-striped jellyfish.

The Moon Jelly

And the Sea Nettle

The Open Sea tank holds 1.2 million gallons of water, is 2 stories tall and has 13 inch thick glass.

With the larger predatory fish, the schools of sardines were pretty cool to watch as they gathered in a tight ball for protection.

After the fish were fed, we walked through and got up close and personal with the Pelagic red crab.

We then walked to the Ocean’s Edge section.  The Kelp Forest had a diver in the tank that was feeding the fish.  When this aquarium opened in 1984, it was the first to have an exhibit of a living kelp forest.  The diver was able to talk to the audience and describe his experience in the tank.

Earlier in the day, one of the volunteers told us that a must see was the movie, “Project White Shark”.  We figured she knew what she was talking about and added it to the agenda…it was an awesome movie!!

There are outdoor viewing areas of the tidal pools and bay.  There is a man-made tidal area with viewing above, under, and around, to show you the force of waves

There are areas where you touch a variety of plants and sea life.

Coral Reef Kingdom gave an up-close look at fish living in and around a reef.

We were wishing we had little kids with us, because there was an awesome area to play and explore.

We walked through and looked at sea birds in the Aviary

And at the Bat Ray Pool, they were being a bit shy…

Some of the penguins were playing but most were asleep.

There were tanks full of fish, birds, and otters.

And sea life hanging from the ceiling.

We had thoroughly enjoyed our time at the aquarium.  It is awesome that they saved a historic building which revitalized Cannery Row. Their research on jellyfish and kelp forests are ground breaking, as well as their conservation efforts with sea otters, tunas, and various species of birds.

Uncle Mike had packed a picnic lunch that we ate while enjoying the views of Monterey Bay.

We enjoyed the views and taking pictures…

The coast line south of Monterey is rugged but beautiful.  There is a road known as 17 mile drive.  This is a fee roadway, but it takes you along the coast, and through several golf courses, one being Pebble Beach.  It is well worth the $10.50 fee.

We stopped at Bird Rock.  Until 1930 this rock was covered in pelican and cormorant “poop”. 4-5 feet of “poop” was harvested for fertilizer.  The sea lions took advantage of the clean rock and have been enjoying it ever since.

The Lone Cypress is known as the midway point of 17-Mile Drive. For more than 250 years the cypress tree has grown on the rocky pedestal.  In 1919 it became the official logo of nearby Pebble Beach Golf Course.

The setting sun made for a great background

We were now on a race against time to get to the golf course before dark.  Chris is a big golf fan and with the course hosting the 2019 Men’s US Open, it was important we get there in the daylight.  We first headed to the 18th green.

Then we hurried to the 1st tee…

And were able to capture some pictures around the resort.  We would never be able to play here as the green fees are 600-1000 dollars per round!!!

So we settled for a picture in a golf cart.

It had been a fast and furious Thanksgiving trip, but full of lots of memories.  We headed back to Idaho and snow over the Sierras at Donner’s Pass.

Uncle Mike being the awesome person he is, sent us with turkey sandwiches…They were yummy in the middle of Nevada.

It was another great adventure…Building A Memory one trip at a time.