The Monterey Aquarium is fabulous, and I say this as someone who will tout Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium at the drop of a hat. There was a lot to see there, but what I think I loved most was the kelp forest. In it, you could see what you might really see if you went diving in Monterey Bay. It’s not as easy to take pictures of animals as it is of flowers, but we tried!
The sheephead fish were probably my favorite kelp forest fish. An aquarium volunteer told us they’re all born female. At a certain point they look around and say, hey, we need a male sheephead fish. So one of them volunteers or draws the short straw or whatever and then takes a while, but eventually turns into a male fish. If he decides to go off for cigarettes and just doesn’t come back, then they find another female to morph into a male. If suddenly their original male comes back, she quits changing no matter where she is in the process and stays as she/he is. The other fish are fine with it. Cool, right?
The sea otters were awkward and lazy. Most of they time the just floated on their backs. They were also pretty adorable.
There were non-flying sea birds, too.
The Monterey Aquarium took over the last old sardine-canning factory on Cannery Row.
Yes, that Cannery Row, the one John Steinbeck made famous. That made John Steinbeck famous? One of the two, anyway.