San Francisco: The Aquarium of the Bay

I started out my second day in San Francisco taking the “historic” F line around Fisherman’s Wharf to the apparently famous Pier 39.  Here I made my way to the Aquarium of the Bay, which is a non-profit aquarium set up to educate people about the marine life of San Francisco Bay and the effects of pollution.  The main reason I wanted to make this stop is the fact they have these tunnels that you can walk through and see fish and sharks swimming around.  It’s supposed to simulate what it’s like to walk through the Bay…you know, if that was possible.  It was actually quite an interesting experience, as I got to see a wide array of marine life.  As I was walking through the shark tunnel, which looked like I was walking into the Shark Tank, I was talking with my guide about the set up of the tanks.  Somewhat hopefully, I asked “Do the sharks ever eat the other fish?”  Which really wasn’t a dumb question, given the fact that they have all these little fish just swimming next to the sharks.  “Oh no,” she said, “we feed all the animals twice a day so they don’t ever have to find their own food.  Yeah, it would be kind of awkward if we had them hunt each other…the tank would get rather bloody.”  A huge shark then swam above us and as I ducked my head away (obviously forgetting I was in a safe, protective environment), the guide continued “That’s our biggest shark…her name is Debbie.”  And as she said that, another shark swam past Debbie, opened his mouth, and swallowed another fish whole!  “Huh,” the guide said, “That usually doesn’t happen.”

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