Bournemouth Oceanarium

There are advantages to having a Brother at university in Bournemouth, we get to have the occasional visit to the sea-side. The weather is usually overcast and windy whenever we go but yesterday the weather was mild and there was no icy wind which made it really nice.

Half the group wanted to play the one arm bandits and 2p sliders but the rest of us decided to check out the Oceanarium.

There are lots of different types of fish including piranhas, catfish, clown fish, turtles and giant turtles, stingrays, iguana and otters.

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The otters have a big indoor tank with water and lots of places to run but they were asleep on the balcony at the back in the sun so we didn’t get to see them up close.

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There was one main tank that had 2 giant turtles, black fin sharks, white fin sharks, a giant eel, some bug-eyed fish and some black and white fish that looked like they had a long piece of string coming off their heads.

You see the tank from all angles and even get to walk through the middle of it. We loved standing at the top and watching them all swimming below us.

One of the giant turtles even stopped below us to drink fresh water from the outlet so we got a really good view of it.

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There is a skeleton of a giant turtle so you can see its bone structure and I was struck by how human like it seemed to me.

We laughed when we saw one of the last views of the tank, down in a corner the eel had hidden himself behind a post when the giant turtle swam past and hit him on the head with one of his flippers! We half expected him to give chase but he just stayed where he was with a shocked look on his face.

There was a tank with an octopus in it where he was pressed up against the wall and it reminded me of the aliens that you see in the movies.

There was an interactive ‘cage’ where you answer questions about sharks to test your knowledge. You get eaten by a blue whale and get to see the inside which was a really strange but interesting experience, especially when you get to see the baby. A baby blue whale is the size of a hippo when born and drinks 300 litres of milk a day!

If you eat in the cafe before you go in then you get discounted entrance to the Oceanarium!

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If you don’t know Bournemouth there is a lovely sandy beach and a pier with the classic amusement arcades. They have recently installed a zip wire from the end of the pier to the beach which saves another long walk back! On a clear day you can see the Isle of Wight.

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Just back from the beach is a botanical garden which houses a harnessed helium balloon offering an aerial view of Bournemouth.

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They were preparing for a fire festival in the gardens when we were there and I would have liked to have seen it all lit up as it would have been lovely.

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