We spent most of today at the Maui Ocean Center, the massive aquarium by the ocean not far from here. Ed and/or I have been to quite a few aquariums in our day-- Hong Kong's "Ocean Park", Vancouver, etc., but this was pretty much a splendiferous one! The main structure takes one on a journey starting with the usual gorgeous little tropical fish leading to the bigger scarier ones (rays and sharks) and with a heavy eco-cultural Hawaiian component. Impressive to me were the stunning natural coral displays in all of the smaller tanks... coral that is alive and growing. I finally get what it must be like to scuba dive. We also saw the sea turtles fed and heard about the form of herpes that plagues that species in the waters of Hawaii (did people spread it?)and watched and interacted wtih a scuba diver in a huge tank with sharks and rays and other fish. We also went through the (probably famous)glass tunnel where you could look up and see the big fishes swimming above you. Of course we also ate in the restaurant there (overlooking the sea-- next time we will dine out more in these beach restaurants)and bought a couple of items in the gift store (I am proud of myself for putting back a number of items I am sure I can find for much less expensive tomorrow in shops about town). There were so many little children in the Maui Ocean Center that I couldn't help thinking a lot (a LOT) about my little granddaughters and how much they would enjoy this place.
Tomorrow we check out of this nice condo and go meet with a fellow over at the lab again, and then do some last shopping, sight-seeing, whatever, before taking the red-eye home through LA and Vancouver... Con is meeting us at the Airport, thankfully. It's a kind of sad time, but we have had a wonderful time and everything else is gravy, as they say. Ed just went for one last swim in the ocean and I just finished up a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts-- life doesn't get much better! lol
THIS JUST IN: Ed just got back from his swim... he was swimming in and heard a loud crash behind him and turned around. There was a giant gush of dark blue water spewing up from the ocean. As he was trying to figure out what had happened a huge humpback whale emerged from the water with the sun setting behind it, reflecting off the ocean, the most beautiful sight he had seen all week here. Right behind it appeared a smaller hump-back whale. They repeated the display of grandeur three or four times (no camera, drat!) and when they came up a final time they were quite far out in the ocean. He hurried back here to tell me.