Swimming with the fishys

Swimming with the fishys.

Sunday, Febraury 23rd, 2014.

How is it that I always sleep when daddy drives us down the M25? A good thing considering our journey to Brighton is quite long. The traffic isn’t too bad as we head early in the morning and by the time we get to Brighton the sun is out but it is VERY windy. Mummy and Daddy are using their anoraks as wind parachutes as we duck in between the lanes towards the seafront. I screw my face up as the wind hits it, luckily we see the pier and the giant wheel and know that we are nearly there.

Brighton Sealife CentreBrighton SEA LIFE centre sits right next to Brighton Pier and is a busy spot for tourists. It used to be called Brighton Aquarium and was built in 1872 and is the oldest operating aquarium in the WORLD! Woweee this place is old! Like a museum for fishys!

It’s very scenic and close to everything in Brighton, if you have a buggy you can enter it via the beach level next to the Giant wheel. It looks small from the outside but don’t let looks deceived you! It was massive inside 🙂

Victoria ArcadeThe SEA LIFE Centre took ownership of it in 1990, and because of their stance on conservation, research and their breeding program they rehabilitated and relased two trapped dolphins called Missie and Silver who were performing there before SEA LIFE took over. It’s a very educational visit, even for someone as small as me.

I like looking at all the pretty colours in the Victorian Arcade where I saw a Thornback Ray and touched a StarFish at the Rockpool 🙂 Seeing all the fish float past us is truly a wonderful experience and I spend my time trying to catch them through the thick glass.

OctopusWe left our pushchair at the buggy park in the entrance. While mummy changed me daddy had a look in the educational room where he found out more about the SEA LIFE Conservation Trust.

We went to see the Octopus Garden which was a new feature introduced last year. These creatures looked very funny and I was fascinated by the large Giant Pacific Octopus making calls to home! It reminding my mummy of ET phoning home….

Eating at SealifeRight in the centre of the Victorian Arcade is the cafe where we stopped for a bite to eat. While I was eating so were the Rays behind us as it was there feeding time too. The SEA LIFE staff were very knowledgable and friendly explaining the orgins of all the marine wildlife.

Even though it was busy, watching the fishes was a very calming experience.

Ocean TunnelThe best part for me was the Ocean Tunnel underneath the Ocean Tank and Auditorium, we were very lucky as the crowds hadn’t yet gathered there so it was quiet and we spent a great deal of time in there watching sharks and sea turtles swim past.

The only thing we didn’t do was the Glass Bottom Boat as I was a bit young for that and mummy and daddy wanted to give me something to look forward to for our next visit to Brighton.

Pacific SeahorseMummys favourite room was the Kingdom of the Seahorse. She loves Seahorses and I can see why! there are nearly 50 species of Seahorse, from the smallest at 1cm to the largest called the Big Belly Seahorse at 30 times bigger!

Interesting fact – The Latin for Seahorse is Hippocampus which means Horse Monster!

We only saw a couple. Mummy was especially taken with the Pacific Seahorse who was sleeping and had attached himself to a bit of coral. He was very brightly coloured!

Pouchlings Mei TaiCarrying me started to become hard work and mummy and daddy’s arms were aching so mummy carried me in her Pouchlings Mei Tai for the remainder of the visit which was great as I could see better and was at adult height looking into all of the tanks.

Mummy gave daddy a mental high five for this as I was getting tired and it gave me a rest so they could continue enjoying all the sights of the Aquarium.

We spent 2 hours in there completing my Log Dive Book full of stamps of my discoveries. This log book is a lovely keepsake to help me remember the days adventure and inspired me and my parents to take a closer look at Marine wildlife and conservation.

FishysThe ‘Five things to do at home’ part of the Guidebook was very eye-opening and informative and we would recommend a visit to SEALIFE Brighton to anyone! There are so many activities for children to take part in and so many things to see… That’s why we will be going back for many years to come.

Bella xx

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