Joyce and I are in Atlanta for the Dogwood Art Festival. I snuck away on Friday with our friends Ed and Henry and visited the Georgia Aquarium. I’ve been wanting to see this place since it opened and I finally got my chance.
First let me say that this is a FANTASTIC aquarium. Many of you know that I have been a volunteer scuba diver at the Newport Aquarium for many years. I love our aquarium, the people there and the fun I get to have. Anyone that gets a chance should visit both of these great places.
Dr. Tim of the GA met us and took us topside of the enormous 6.3 million gallon tank that is home to 4 whale sharks, and many, many more marine animals. We were present and got to observe members of the staff doing their morning feeding of the whale sharks. Each whale shark is fed by a different staff member using a color coded basket at the end of a long pole. Two of the whale sharks are fed by husbandry staff standing on a moveable gantry extends across the entire width of the tank. The other two whale sharks are fed from two rubber rafts using similar baskets on the end of poles. Each of two staff members pulls their raft down the long side of the tank with one hand on a fixed rope while they dispense krill from their pole basket with the other hand. Pretty cool.
After having this great chance to observe the whale shark feeding – we left Dr. Tim and ventured on our own through 3 of the 5 regular ‘environments’ – the Ocean Voyager, Coldwater Quest and Tropical Diver. We left the River Scout and Georgia Explorer for a future visit.
We watched in amazement for quite a while at the ENOURMOUS observation window into the big tank. Here we again saw the whale sharks along with many other of the large tank inhabitants. The size of this windows is just amazing. In the Coldwater Quest – we watched for quite a while the 3 gorgeous Beluga Whales. They are so greaceful and beautiful and seem to be aware of their visitors.
If you’ve got a minute – check out some of my pictures at http://bit.ly/13yiKO
I think the next time I come to Atlanta I will try to get in on the program where you can actually get in the large tank and swim with the Whale Sharks.
Thanks to Dr. Tim for the nice treat. And, by the way, Dr. Tim sends regards to all of his friends at the Newport Aquarium. I won’t name them here for fear that I may forget someone.