Tag Archives: Canada

Friday Fun: The Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium

Hey, guys! I know, I said we’d do stuff this week, and I haven’t posted a whole lot. The good news is that things are going so well with actual writing (like, the book some of you are waiting for) that I’m worried the house will have a meltdown again. The bad news is that I’m not going to halt that momentum to write blog posts, so things might continue to be a bit sparse here next week.

Also, I’ve got kids at home full time. Writing time is limited, you know?

But speaking of those kids, I did take a week off for a family vacation. Stopping work cold turkey nearly drove me mad, but after a few days in my favourite city, a relaxing and fun weekend at a friend’s cabin, and lots of walking around beautiful landscapes, I started to relax.

One of our stops was the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium in… well, it’s in Petty Harbour. You probably guessed that. Smarty pants. It truly is mini. I mean, they didn’t take a ray-gun and shrink a fish tank down (dangit), but they do have a lot of amazing exhibits packed into a TINY space.

I thought, since most of you won’t make it out there this summer, that I’d share some pictures and information (all facts and figures courtesy of the aquarium). Many of their exhibits are temporary, as they show off creatures brought in by local fishermen which are then set free after they’ve done their time. Nice, right? We missed the wolf fish by a few days, but I hope he’s very happy… um… doing whatever wolf fish do.

I would probably know this if I’d seen the exhibit.

TO THE PHOTO TOUR!

I’m a bad, bad promoter. I didn’t get an exterior shot of the building. *ducks away from flung flotsam and jetsam*

But inside…

Good to know!

Good to know!

 

This is Lady Blue, a temporary visitor to the aquarium. Blue lobsters are fairly rare: one in 2,000,000 has this lovely colouring.

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Casper the white snow crab is another oddity, if somewhat less pretty. I wasn’t as impressed with his colouring as I was with his astonishing fashion sense. Check out that escargot chapeau!

 

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“Leave me alone.”

 

Flounders are… um… interesting.

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The sea ravens were my favourite. Our fish might not be tropical-pretty, but we have some lovely sea monster inspiration!

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Here’s Pharaoh. He’s a golden lobster (1 in 35,000,000 are this colour, and this summer the aquarium has two of them!)

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There’s so much more to see, but I don’t want to take up all of your time with my fish pics– cod, sculpin, something called a lumpfish… aww, heck, here’s a picture of the lumpfish, because it’s kind of hilarious:

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The Mini Aquarium may be tiny, but it’s a lot of educational fun. They have daily puppet shows and story time through the summer, too, if you’re hauling kids around and they’re into that. Oh, and the touch tanks are MIGHTY COOL.

Cue touch tank pics:

"Hey, how's it going?"

“Hey, how’s it going?”

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I didn’t have the heart to tell this guy it’s too late to audition for back-up dancer in The Little Mermaid

So there you go. If you’re ever in the St John’s area, head on down! It’s on the way to Cape Spear, too, which could make for a fine day of fun.

Now, kiss the Pout, and we’ll all be on our way.

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A Beautiful Day to Visit the Edge of the World

According to the Flat Earth Society*, the four corners of the world are located in Hydra (Greece), Paupa New Guinea, the Bermuda Triangle, and Fogo, Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada).

The ferry to Fogo island is less than an hour’s drive from our home, so obviously we had to make the trip. What’s life without a little adventure? And what’s the point of living this close to the edge of the world if you can’t be bothered to visit and pay your respects?

This post is going to be pic heavy, but I hope you enjoy the journey.

The road to Farewell (where the ferry docks) is about half-way between the highways to Twillingate and to Gander, branching up off of the cross-bar in that drunken H-shape. It’s a pretty drive, with typical Newfoundland scenery (rugged landscapes, ponds, trees) and the typical Newfoundland need to watch for moose. There’s not a lot to do while you wait for the ferry, unless you like tossing rocks in the water or looking at seaweed.

In other words, my family was sitting pretty.

Oooooh!

Oooooh!

The ferry itself is… well, it’s a working ferry, not a cruise ship. There’s a non-functional cafeteria, a few snack machines, the party closet I mentioned yesterday, lots of room to get inside if it’s raining, washroom facilities, and a 360 degree view of beautiful ocean and islands.

And crazy people.

Rawr.

Rawr.

Fogo island is beautiful. It’s not what you’d call lush, though at this time of year the trees are leafy and the wildflowers beside the road are in full bloom. The landscape in Newfoundland tends toward rugged rockiness, with geological features popping up everywhere you look. My favourites are “erratics”: boulders left strewn across the landscape by retreating glaciers. Also big, rocky hills that were once much taller mountains.

"The landscapes tend toward a certain landscapiness." -Why I'm not a tour guide

“The landscapes tend toward a certain landscapiness.” -Why I’m not a tour guide

So, Brimstone head. The CORNER OF THE WORLD for some reason I can’t quite figure out. But whatever! Here’s our first glimpse of it:

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See those stairs? Thank goodness for those! There are several places where you still have to scramble over rocks, but the stairs are helpful.

And plentiful.

And plentiful.

The view from the bottom:

Told you there were wildflowers!

Told you there were wildflowers!

…and from half-way up:

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ICEBERGS

It’s a long walk, and not an easy one if you’re not used to climbing all the stairs. But the view from the top is definitely worth the effort.

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The walk back down is easier…

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…though the stairs are still a wee bit intimidating if you’re clumsy and your legs are feeling a little wobbly from the climb.

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So that’s it. That’s Brimstone head. Okay, one more look from the top:

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I have more to share from our day on Fogo, but that can wait. Thanks for joining us! Every time I took a picture, I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys. 🙂

(Those who follow me on Twitter got the live show, complete with ancient safety instructions, Big D’s jumbo sausages, and more fun. It’s all still here, at least until it gets shoved down by my ramblings.)

 

*I really have no idea how seriously they take this. But it looks like the answer is “pretty darned,” at least for some.


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