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January 9: Monterey Aquarium

Today, the group had a later start and got to the Monterey Aquarium at around 10 a.m. We conveniently arrived just in time to see the sea otters being fed, and then we all split into groups of 3-5 to explore the rest of the aquarium. Many exhibits emphasized the importance of conservation, and these exhibits included: “Into the Deep Sea,” “Splash Zone and Penguins," “Sandy Shore and Aviary,” “Rocky Shore,” “Kelp Forest,” and “Open Sea.” There were also touch pools around the aquarium where we were able to interact with creatures such as isopods and stingrays. 

After three hours at the aquarium, we decided to go to In-N’-Out Burger and try the famous burgers from the West Coast; everyone seemed to enjoy their meal, and we promptly went back to the hotel to hear a presentation from two whale watchers from Monterey Bay. We learned about the specifics of whale watching and understood how to recognize whales and dolphins and the importance of tracking them to monitor their species’ status.

Afterward, we took a short break to recharge before going out to explore Cannery Row and all of the small businesses lining the shore. We had around an hour of free time there to purchase souvenirs, food, and look at the beach. Then, we finished and ended the night with pizza, our group evening meeting, and "Finding Dory".

-Christiane, Tiana and Ava W.

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