Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Birthday No. 23

Good Evening!!! Sunday was my birthday and I had a most fantastic day with a few good friends down at Brighton. The main plan was to go and visit the Sea Life Centre which is in an old Victorian building right on the beach. When you get into the main hall, you can still see all of the architecture- huge high ceilings and archways, beautifully lit with rainbow lighting.

I must apologise in advance for the blurry nature of some of these photos. The fish weren't very cooperative about having their photos taken, and the ones that were were in darker tanks so the camera went all fuzzy in the low light. This little chap was pretty friendly though and was almost kissing the glass with his curiosity!

Fish faces can have all kinds of expressions- lots of sad or stern ones, the occasional smiley ray or a spaced out bubble eyed goldfish. These ones reminded me of Hercule Poirot with the moustache-y bits.

Do you see the sea urchin on the wall of the tank? Imagine stepping on one of those!! It was huge and the spikes looked really lethal!

The sting rays (and these ones really were the stinging ones!) were chasing (flying) around in their tank, it was amazing watching them move through the water.

This little guy (above) looked fast asleep in his tank. I think he is a Pig Nosed Turtle.

I loved the Chinese Water Dragons. They had a great tank too, lots of leaves and branches coming out of a deep section of water (it looked prettier than it sounds). Opposite them was the Terrapin tank, which provided endless amusement. Especially these two who were stacked on top of each other- not sure why or how. Terrapins look quite snooty I think, with their noses stuck up in the air.

We attempted staring matches, but were defeated quite quickly. They are truly masters of the staring game.

Of course, one of the most exciting parts of the centre is the tunnel!! A huge tank with a glass bottomed boat floating around on the top, a glass tunnel through the middle and the biggest ray I have ever seen! He was probably the size of a Smart car- or maybe even two cars- and was a bit like that huge ray in Finding Nemo (have you seen that film?).
Accompanying him (or her) in the big tank were some reasonably sized sharks and two Loggerhead turtles, all very awe-inspiring but difficult to catch in a photo.

I think the chap above is a Peacock Mantis Shrimp....or a Rainbow something. He was very colouful to be sure. The fish below is possibly some kind of Lion fish, in a sort of bubblegum pink colour. Another contestant for the staring match.

The spotty jellyfish were very pretty, especially as their tank had lots of different colour changing lights. Who knew that jellyfish liked a disco!!

Once we had had our fill of what goes on under the sea, we went and sat on the beach for a bit (getting quickly frazzled and burnt to a crisp in the sunshine- I am liberally applying aftersun to myself every morning and evening!!)

Brighton was absolutely packed with sunbathers, holidaymakers and enormous teenage tourist groups with co-ordinating shirts, backpacks and lanyards. The seagulls were having a brilliant time scaring the unwary into giving up their chips and doughnuts.

We had a wander around the pier, I was treated to a lemon and sugar crepe, and lunch at the Harvester restaurant above the Sea Life Centre. It was a brilliant day out, topped off with a family buffet tea and some cake at home. A fantastic way to start a new birthday year!!

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