Sunday, October 14, 2018

A TRIP TO BALTIMORE - BALTIMORE AQUARIUM - PART 1

Last Friday we decided to take a trip to Baltimore, Maryland.  Even though we have been into the city a few times, it has been at least 10 years since we visited Baltimore Aquarium, our primary destination.  The sun was directly in front of us and barely seen is the Coast Guard ship in the above photo, which is a permanent fixture.  I learned it was decommissioned in 1986, and has served as a museum ship in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland ever since.  She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988.
In addition to the Coast Guard ship there is a submarine.  It is the USS Torsk (SS-423) and, just like the previous ship, is part of the historic fleet on display in Baltimore.  It is one of two Tench-class submarines still located in the United States.  More can be learned here.  
This is the Lightship Chesapeake built in the 1930s.  She spent her time at various posts near Cape Cod, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, off of Delaware Bay and in Cape May.  It is owned by the National Park Service and is on a 25-year loan to Baltimore City, and operated by Historic Ships in Baltimore, Maryland.  Since 1820 several lightships have served at the Chesapeake lightship station, and all have been called Chesapeake.
With ongoing help from volunteers, Lightship Chesapeake has been wonderfully restored.  You can go on board and see the crew's mess and staterooms.  It was designed to accommodate 10 seamen, five officers and one cook, but was rarely at full capacity because crewmembers rotated for shore leave.  The ship was equipped with mounted electric lamps, a foghorn and a fog bell to assist sailors.  For stabilization during extreme storms, it was designed with two 5,000-pound (2,300-kilogram) mushroom anchors.  
There are wonderful buildings in the area.  This is looking at the back of it, and was on the other side from where the coastguard ship was docked. It is the old coal-burning power generation station, originally built in 1900-05, for the old United Railways and Electric Company. Now it houses several restaurants, office spaces and specialty shops.  The front entrance is on the other side and we had lunch after looking around the aquarium, choosing Phillips Seafood Restaurant.  More on that later.  And now for the aquarium.  What an impressive place!
These are called Painted Anemones, also known as the mottled anemone or Christmas anemone.  Its scientific name is Ticina crassicornis.  
Its habitat includes a large portion of the coastal areas in the northern hemisphere, mainly polar regions.  It lives a solitary life for up to 80 years.
Its stinging nettles paralyze crabs, muscles and fish that wander too close.  Then the tentacles guide its helpless prey into its open mouth.
An amazing creature, and talking about amazing creatures, this is our friend from yesterday's post.  It is a Moray Eel.
Moray eels (Muraenidae) are a family of eels whose members are found worldwide.  Approximately 200 species in 15 genera are almost exclusively marine, but several species are regularly seen in brackish water and a few are found in fresh water.  I found my info on Wikipedia.  Always fascinating to learn something new.   
This is the first time we have actually seen one in real life.  We noticed its head at first and thought it a regular sized fish, and as he slowly ascended out of the hole in its rock, we found it incredibly eerie, especially as our surroundings were so dark.  Fascinating but eerie and very cool.
There were other cool creatures, like this turtle.  Look at those claws?  I am trying to find out what kind he is.  We came across him at the beginning of our visit, before I thought about taking photos of their information at the side of each tank. My search online hasn't found anything exactly identical.  
The following fish is an Australian lungfish (Noeceratodus forsteri).  It grows up to 4.9 ft (1.5 m).  These primitive fish have a lung-like swim bladder that allows them to switch to air breathing.  This helps them to survive the low oxygen conditions of drying pools in drought conditions.
There were lessons to learn about our environment all over the aquarium, and how we need to protect it. This mural was floor to ceiling.  
Each note by a figure had things we should do when we go to the beach.
This collage of background lit photographs was in another darkened area coming out of one of the exhibits.  
And just for fun I took a video of Gregg as he descended in front of me.

Part 2 of our trip to Baltimore Aquarium will be on Tuesday.

34 comments:

  1. I like aquariums. I never miss one if I can help it.

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    1. I enjoy them too. It's been a while since I went to my last one.

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  2. I love the video, because it really gives me a feel of how large the place is! The pink Painted anemones are beautiful! They really don't even look natural, more like a beautifully painted piece of glass art. The eels are SO creepy! They are the stuff of nightmares. I am just glad they are only in water, and not slithering around on the ground! An eel was my guess from your last post. The Lightship Chesapeake is a beautiful boat!

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    1. Thanks Ginny, glad you enjoyed. The anemones were fascinating, hard to believe that they are living. They always remind me of a beautiful flower.

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  3. I love aquariums and you got some superb shots

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  4. Wow what a great aquarium. All those weird and wonderful creatures.

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    1. Weird and wonderful is a great way to describe what I saw :)

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  5. I love, love, love every single photo. Amazing and gorgeous pics of all the aquarium critters, the turtle is my favorite I think, hard to choose. I would love to ride down the escalator into all that beauty and I love old buildings. today you have something for everyone. I even love the roof in the first photo. wow post today..

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    1. Happy you enjoyed this post Sandra. Thank you :)

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  6. Replies
    1. Obrigado Francisco, muito feliz que tenha gostado das minhas fotos. Um abraço e uma boa semana para você, da sua amiga na Virgínia, Denise.

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  7. Denise, thanks for sharing your experience at the Baltimore Aquarium.

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    1. You are very welcome Doug, happy you liked it.

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  8. We have also been to the Baltimore Aquarium, Denise, and also had a great trip. Glad the weather cooperated for yours and thanks for all the great pics.

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    1. Thank you Beatrice, nice to know you were at the aquarium, and I am happy you enjoyed these pics.

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  9. Anemones look like small "monsters," but their colors are bright and beautiful.


    Have a great weekend

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  10. Fascinating sea creatures. Beautiful deadly anemone.

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    1. Thanks Christine, hard to imagine them being so.

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  11. Ah, so that explains your last post!

    The ships are particularly impressive, and so is that turtle!

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    1. Thanks William, I would have enjoyed studying the ships a little more closely to see how they are built.

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  12. Hi Denise,
    What a wonderful visit you had, the views of the boats and submarine in the Inner Harbour are super but then you got to the really interesting stuff.
    The Aquarium appears to be a delightful place to visit with some superb specimens,
    I always enjoy seeing Turtles, I once saw a Leather Back Turtle about 20 miles at sea in West Africa that the boat Captain said would weigh nearly two Tonnes.
    Super post,
    All the best, John

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    1. Hello John, it was a wonderful visit, so much to see. Your Leather Back Turtle story was very interesting. Thank you and all the best to you too :)

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  13. Just loved seeing all of your photographs.
    I always enjoy a visit to an aquarium, and your photographs are brilliant.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan, glad you enjoyed them. All the best to you too :)

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  14. Oh wow...such great pics. Loved looking at them. We have an aquarium in Chattanooga TN, about 2 hours away. Been years since I have been but before winter sets in I might have to make that trip. I need to start making myself get out more. Thanks for sharing such lovely pics.

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    1. Thank you Pam, I would enjoy your aquarium in Chattanooga I'm sure. I hope you get there and share your photos.

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  15. Hi Denise, it has been years since I visited the Aquarium in Downtown Baltimore. I think my son was young and it was a class trip. Your photos are wonderful, I love the turtle and the eel. Enjoy your day!

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    1. That's a lovely memory Eileen. Thank you and you have an enjoyable day also :)

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  16. it looks a wonderful visit -- your photos are so bright and clear -- I don't have very good luck at aquariums because of the dim lighting, reflectios, and crowds.

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    1. Thanks Sallie, we remarked on the clear water, and free of grime the glass was at the aquarium. I can't imagine how much time it must take to clean all that.

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  17. Cool creatures live in that aquarium. I have never ever seen that type of an eel before either. I commented on your previous post. I know one comment went through, but at am not sure about the second, where I said I found your tag for an eel.

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  18. What a great aquarium, so well kept and so much to see. Love your photos Denise :D)

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