The New Ideas Zone at Weymouth SEALIFE

New Ideas Zone at Weymouth SeaLife centre

Dear mummy, we love visiting aquariums and seeing the underwater world. We were lucky enough to visit Weymouth SEALIFE the other week and catch the last of their summer Finding Dory event. It gave us the opportunity to walk round, fill in … Continue reading

Our underwater adventure at Weymouth SEA LIFE

Weymouth SEALIFE Review

Dear mummy, I’m fascinated with the underwater world and some of my favourite books revolve around the sea and are The Little Mermaid, Snail on a Whale and The Singing Mermaid. I’d like to be a mermaid one day, much to … Continue reading

Sunday by the Soggy Seaside

Sunday by the Soggy Seaside.

Sunday, April 6, 2014.

BournemouthDear mummy, the weather is awful! So what possessed you and daddy to take me to the South Coast today is beyond me! We could have picked a better day surely!?! I better pack an umbrella…..

It’s soggy and damp and the rain is a horizontal mist. We load the car up ready for my nap and I sleep on the 50 mile journey. It’s not until later that I realise why we are going to the beach on this miserable day in Bournemouth.

Fish and ChipsMummy has booked tickets online (much cheaper than on the door) to take us to The Bournemouth Oceanarium, Bournemouth’s answer to Brighton’s SeaLife Centre.

The tickets are £7.50 online and £9.50 on the door for adults and free for children under 3. We arrive after the doors open at 10:30am and park across the road at the pay and display car park which costs us £4.50 for 4 hours. A short walk through the underpass and we are on the beach.

It’s very cold and windy! We are blown into Harry Ramsdens fish & chip shop where we are warmed up with a nice cup of tea (well for mummy) and a huge portion of cod and chips for the whole family. Yummy. It’s my second attempt at eating fish and I’m not doing too bad at it. I love vinegar and suck it off all the soggy chips. I peel the batter off the cod to eat and then discard the fish on the floor to mummy’s dismay! I do manage to get some of it into my mouth though!

OceanaruimWe meet up with other family members (by coincidence) and after lunch head into the Oceanarium.

It’s hot and sticky and very busy, much smaller than Brighton Sealife centre. The buggy park is right at the front door and pushchairs are rammed to the brim. We must have picked feeding time at the aquarium as queues of people shuffle up into the entrance and onto the first attraction which is The Amazon.

Freshwater Sting RayThe Amazon circle tank (Backwater Steam) house some pretty looking Ocellated River Sting Rays and shiny Hatchet Fish. It is one of the highlights of the whole tour around the aquarium. It is overlooked by the visitors and you can see why, as it’s at the base of the stairs leading upto the main attractions and people ignore it to get upstairs. It’s brilliant for a small baby like me.

I can stand and lean against the huge tank and watch in awe at all the freshwater fishys.

PiranhaWe head upstairs and continue on our Amazon Adventure, past the Iguana and into the Piranhas lair. Ooooo mummy, this place gives me the creeps. It’s dark and these fishys are just floating around aimlessly waiting to attack a small creature like me. Mummy informs me that they can’t eat me as they are behind very thick glass.

The guidebooks says that ‘Piranha’s teeth are so sharp they can leave a mark in steel but are not a serious threat to humans…” Yeah right.

Tunnel We walk past the busy area of the River Otters and struggle to get a good look as loads of people are congregating in this area. Large adults stand in children’s way, which mummy gets annoyed about so we quickly exit into Turtle Bay which is nice and bright and open. We lean over the side to see the giant green turtles swim past. Underneath the reef a large tunnel can be seen were visitors can walk through and see the sharks glide above them.

When we get downstairs and it’s our time to walk throughout the underwater tunnel, I grab hold of daddy tightly as I gasp at fish and the sharks swim over my head. I reach out to touch them and crank my head back. Daddy’s worried my head might fall off!

Next we are plunged into darkness as we enter The Abyss. However I get scared and walk alongside Daddy gripping his hand tightly, it’s very busy in here as people push and shove. It’s far too hectic for a small person like me so we make a swift exit. It’s ok daddy…I didn’t want to see the creepy spider crabs anyway. Even mummy felt claustrophobic.

We visit the Dragon eels on the way out where it is a bit quieter and see some more Stingrays. I enjoying walking on the decking around the tanks, at last, space to move around. It’s such a shame we didn’t see more fishys but the aquarium was too packed, maybe next time we will come during the week when it’s a bit calmer and we can see and reach the tanks.

Bella x

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