Monday, November 26, 2012

Swimming With Whale Sharks - Georgia Aquarium

The main attraction we went to while in Atlanta for Scott's birthday weekend was the Georgia Aquarium. When I used to live in Atlanta, Scott and I had annual passes to the aquarium and would visit it about every other month. We were very excited to share this experience with Rocco for the first time.

One of our favorite parts of the Georgia Aquarium is the beluga whale tank. We love it so much, that it was actually the inspiration for Roccoc's  beluga whale themed nursery. Rocco was entranced and we stood there for easily 20 minutes just watching the whales swim around and play with their toys in the water.

Even more impressive is the Ocean Voyager, the largest tank in the Georgia Aquarium. This exhibit was specially designed to house it's four whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world. Massive manta rays, enormous goliath grouper, many schools of fish, and several types of sharks all ply the waters of this ocean habitat containing more than six million gallons of saltwater. With 4,574 square feet of viewing windows, a 100-foot-long underwater tunnel, 185 tons of acrylic windows and the second largest viewing window in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide and 2 feet thick, amazing doesn't even begin to describe this exhibit.

Sting Ray

Scott and Rocco with a Whale Shark swimming up above

Not the best photo, but you can see the scale of the Whale Sharks

Rocco loved to push against the tank, trying to get the attention of the fish

But even more amazing was the views from inside the tank, as Scott found out when he went scuba diving in it! It was an experience of a lifetime, and really made Scott's 30th birthday a very special occasion.

Scott scuba diving

Swimming over the tunnel

Scott and the other scuba divers with a Whale Shark and Manta Ray swimming above them

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