It has been a while since I last visited this facility.
On a recent visit to Cape Town.
I was part of a "behind-the-scenes" tour.
Our group had to be there before the Aquarium was opened to the public.
Although it was a cold and overcast morning,
neither of those factors could put a damper on my enthusiasm.
Inside it was much warmer, and the staff had laid on breakfast.
Both for the fish and for us.
This tank is about to get a major overhaul as it is more than 20 years old.
All the sharks have already been removed, tagged
and released out to sea.
Their tracking devices will feed back information for at least 10 years.
Personally, I will miss this exhibit as I have dived here on three occasions.
One of those being an "old school" copper helmet dive,
which is no longer on offer.
This is the top view of the new tank as it nears completion.
One of the walls of the tank will be shared with a conference venue
at the V&A Waterfront.
This will allow delegates the opportunity to "look in" during their breaks.
Some statistics on the new exhibit.
This particular fish reminds me of an old uncle of mine.
I was afforded the opportunity to dive in this kelp tank
several years ago.
An interesting experience as I was carrying food,
but I had not been adequately prepared for what voracious feeders
these animals ACTUALLY are.
Some of the inhabitants of the current large exhibition tank.
These turtles will be moved to the new tank shortly.
All the fish in the current large exhibition tank
will also be moved in a day-long operation
that will involve both staff and volunteers.
OK, so I misread this feeding instruction...
I will say no more.
Suffice to say that I was NOT the only one who took a picture.
There are two classrooms where both volunteers
and schools can be taught about marine life.
How it is affected by humans and
how it impacts on our lives.
There are living animals in these small tanks
that give the classes a hands-on element
For those of us who have had home aquariums...
And we thought that tubing was a problem.
Keeping track of what is flowing where is NOT for the faint hearted.
The series of pipes and filters is complex and it monitored electronically.
Should anything go wrong, alarms are sounded
and trained staff spring into action.
Having "special" lighting
makes these jellyfish look like something
out of a science fiction movie.
This species are able to change shape...
This fascinated me,as they apparently do not have a brain.
Well, perhaps not like ours...
Yet they are able to accomplish several functions similar to ours.
Motion, eating, reproduction being just some of them.
The tank displays are clean and bright.
Fish and invertebrates co-existing.
Not easily achieved.
An information board about what our West Coast has to offer.
And sharks on the right.
The biggest Moray Eel I have ever seen.
Look, I found Nemo and all his stunt doubles.
The tour duration was about an hour, but I could have gladly
spent the rest of the morning at the Aquarium.
If you are going to be in Cape Town, plan a visit...
but allow yourself enough time to enjoy what it has to offer.
To find out more about what this facility has to offer:
In my dealings with this company to date
I have only met with friendly and efficient staff
who have a passion for their customers.
Based on my experiences over the past few months
and in three different cities, I highly recommend them
Europcar, the official car rental supplier
to "Travel & Things"
All of the images on this posting were shot on
a Canon SX60HS.
Travel & Things is written on a