Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Day 15 - Fin's dream date: The Monterey Bay Aquarium

There might not be a more perfect match out there for Fin than the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We pulled onto Cannery Row on an initially gray day that eventually opened up into a blue sky dream date between our sweet fish and the education and outreach-minded focus of the world's finest aquarium.

A heated game of Aquatic Twister at the Aquarium

The day started slowly but quickly picked up as the sun made its first appearance around 11 am. And once the pace quickened, it never died down.

I think its safe to say that Fin has never had so much attention in her twenty years of life. She was full of the sounds of laughing, happy children for seven straight hours as her two helper friends (that’s currently myself and Save Our Wild Salmon outreach director Joseph Bogaard) struggled to keep up with the insightful questions of the parents accompanying the squealing joyful children.

Some kids are really hooked on Fin!

We gathered hundreds of signatures for our petition, and even had to make a dash to Kinkos at one point to ensure that we had enough for everyone to sign. It is clear that our message of salmon habitat restoration through dam removal resonated particularly well in this city that combines a love for animals and a passion for helping protect them.

After a long but fruitful day we pointed our fish southward towards southern California and made some tracks. Wednesday will find us at the headquarters of Patagonia in Ventura, California. Thursday we will be in Santa Barbara for a number of outreach activities, culminating in a farmers market in nearby Carpinteria. Friday brings our first and only scheduled off-day of this five-week journey. (Although Bobby Hayden rejoins the team that day, and has promised Fin and Buster a stop at the Santa Monica Pier and a quick look at Venice Beach. So we'll see.)

Saturday we wrap up the California portion of our trip with a day at the Cabrillo Aquarium, in San Pedro, just south east of Las Angeles.

After California we will be crossing the border into Arizona for what promises to be a hot time. Stay tuned!

- Jeremy

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