Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break Part 5...Clearwater Marine Aquarium

 At the Aquarium, we took a behind the scenes look at their hospital. The little turtle looks real, but is just a pretend turtle with one of the kinds of injury that they work on. This one was wrapped up in fishing line, and she had swallowed the hook.
 Measurements of the turtle
 What Winter's tale actually looked like.
 a HUGE bottle used to feed a whale...
 and this was a flipper sleeve used to cover a flipper of a ginormous turtle they had at the hospital and the flipper was being damaged by the edges of the tank because it was so large.
 A chart they keep in the back.
 Weighing a bucket of fish (not real, but pretend) in the amount they feed a dolphin every day.
BayLea taking the hook out of the turtle. 
An autographed photo of Morgan Freeman. This was hanging in someone's office as we walked by. He was AMAZING in Dolphin Tale. 
Checking out the X-ray.

 And then, someone gave us tickets to feed the stingrays. They were leaving and wouldn't be using them. So that was fun for the kids.

 BayLea got splashed when she first gave the stingray a fish. It was hilarious!

 One of Winter's old tails.
 This silicone stuff is super stretchy. Amazing. This is called the sock and goes on to protect her skin before the tail is put on.

 This is a type of fishing net that will allow turtles to escape if caught, but will keep the fish in. Not sure how it works.
 This boat was the home of one of the characters on the movie. No one really lives there; it's just a prop.

Now we are at the Dolphin Tale set museum.
Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr.'s seats! Had to touch them!  :)

 There was a hurricane on the movie and the museum had this simulator...we walked through the movie set as the hurricane roared. It was fun and a bit scary!

 The last event of the day was the Sealife Safari Boat ride. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a working hospital and research center. So they go out several times a day (with or without tourists) and collect a sample of the Bay. They put out a net for three minutes, pull out the net, and count the fish they bring up.

 Then they had a show and tell of the fish found.
 If, on one, of these counting sessions, the numbers begin to drastically change, they know that the Bay is not doing well.
 They took us to Shell Island, which was a bit picked over. Not too many cool shells.

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