Monday, August 19, 2013

Winter in August - a Visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Winter Zone sign

On Saturday I spent the morning at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin. The movie Dolphin Tale is based on Winter’s real life story – a baby dolphin entangled in crab trap rope loses her tail and inspires a team of experts to design the very first prosthetic dolphin tail. My last visit to the aquarium was in 2011 before the movie premiered, so I was interested in what had changed since then.

As it turned out, there were quite a lot of new things to see. Just a few months ago, the aquarium opened the R.O. Jacobson Center, which houses a new surgical suite, additional pools for injured sea turtles and even an area for the scuba divers who clean the tanks to store their gear. I got to see a lot of these updates first-hand during a Behind the Scenes tour. The new food preparation area is a huge improvement over the tiny room where Sawyer and Hazel made “fish milkshakes” in the film. I also got to see the new state-of-the-art water filtration system (which looked like our pool filtration system times 1000).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy National Lighthouse Day!

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Lighthouse"

Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse
Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse, Pompano Beach Florida