The Adventure KidsTM
aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta had a "fin-tastic" adventure at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Connecticut! Jellies,
and fish, and seals, and sharks, oh
my! The aquarium has so many wonderful exhibits that we happily spent 2.5-hours
there and could have stayed longer. As scuba divers, whenever we get to hang
out with fish, its always a great time, and our adventure at The Maritime
Aquarium at Norwalk was perfect.
On Friday, September 1, 2020, we
drove to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk located in the SoNo (South Norwalk)
section to spend a an interesting, educational, and fun afternoon learning
about their vast collection and "meeting" their charming residents. Interesting
to note is that 95 percent of the animals in the exhibits are animals that
reside in the Long Island Sound, although there are some non-native delightful
Meerkats that captivate visitors with their antics.
Welcome to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT
We always learn something new
whenever we visit aquariums. Did you ever wonder how deep is Long Island Sound?
It is 330-feet at its deepest, with over 150 documented shipwrecks dating back
to 1779. How can Atlantic Salmon find their way back to its birthplace to
spawn? The Atlantic Salmon has an incredible sense of smell, which is 100 times
greater than a dog.
Come meet Coquille the playful River Otter
There were many highlights of our
visit including meeting Coquille, a river otter, who is an enchanting and
adorable aquatic clown who loves to show off and engage her audience. We also
loved spending time watching the antics of the five harbor seals, Rasul, Ariel,
Leila, Polly, and Tillie, who range in age from 30 - 35 years. Interesting to
note is that in the wild, the average life expectancy for a harbor seal is
between 15-20 years, so they are clearly happy and doing well in their aquarium
home. Coming in April 2021, the harbor seals will have an even larger two-level
"home", so we are looking forward to returning for their "housewarming."
Harbor Seal resting
Visiting aquariums are always
interesting and educational for all ages, and on this visit, we learned about
the Giant Pacific Octopus enteroctopus dofleini, whose average weight is
90 pounds with a maximum weight of 150 pounds and an arm span reach of 20-feet
Lionfish pterois sp
Danger, danger, invasive species!
Lionfish pterois sp are visually stunning however their populations are
growing rapidly. One lionfish can lay 50,000 eggs every 3 days, take 1-year to
reach maturity, and can have a lifespan of 30-years. With few predators, they
are becoming invasive and reach depths of 1,000 feet.
Pacific Sea Nettle
The Aquarium has an extensive
collection of jellies and grow 16 species of jellies that they provide to other
aquariums. These fascinating creatures are beautiful to watch with their
hypnotic and balletic movement, are educationally interesting. Moon Jellies are
especially interesting as they have no true stomach, no intestines, lungs, or
heart. Visually, they resemble translucent large portabella mushroom caps. We
also loved watching the Pacific Sea Nettle Chrysaora fuscesens, a large
brown jelly with long dark brown tentacles and light brown frilly tentacles.
Another interesting jelly was the Upside-Down Jelly Cassiopeia sp impressive with their frills undulating above.
Hard to spot but so worthwhile to
watch were the Seahorses hippocampus, whose name means horse "sea
monster," who is related to the Northern Pipefish. There is something almost
magical about the tiny seahorses who swim upright, mate for life, and it is the
male who bears the unborn young!
Sharks! These impressive giants of
the deep were breathtakingly beautiful to watch. Sand Tiger Sharks and Lemon Sharks
make their home in the 110,000-gallon tank along with other large schooling
fish. The Sand Tiger Shark is easy to distinguish from the Lemon Shark by its
teeth. The Sand Tiger Shark has long teeth that grow at various angles.
As scuba divers, we have been on
many dives where we have seen sharks, however we have never been on a dive
inside a shark cage. The Aquarium has a shark cage that visitors can experience
(on dry land) while watching a movie of various sharks that swim by the cage
opening. Naturally, we had to experience what it would be like inside the shark
Debra C. Argen catching up with the Sea Turtle
We spent 2.5 very enjoyable hours
at the Aquarium and could easily have stayed longer except for the fact that it
was closing. Do allow a minimum of 2-hours to experience all that the Aquarium
offers. There are several restaurants and shops near the Aquarium, so you can
easily make a day out of your visit. Also coming in January 2021, the Aquarium
will have a new 4-D Theatre, which will give us another reason to return.
VIDEO CLIPS of our trip
to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT:
Edward F. Nesta from inside the
shark cage - https://youtu.be/2g0QCLgjza0
Debra C. Argen visiting the shark
tank - https://youtu.be/uEPofeNrI4E
Dance with the Pacific Sea-Nettles
Watch the beauty of the Seahorse
and Pipefish - https://youtu.be/nHOcAAW13Ws
Get close and personal with a
shark - https://youtu.be/lc_Ln__zyOo
Until our next adventure!
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk,
CT is open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Mondays from
10:00 am until 11:00 am are reserved for Aquarium members and their paid guests
Important: Tickets must be
reserved for a specific time and date. Arrival times are in 30-minute
increments, however there is no time limit for your visit.
Masks must be worn due to the Covid-19
Admission: Adults (Ages 13 - 64):
$26.95, Children (Ages 3-12): $19.95, Seniors (Age 65+): $24.95.
I cannot wait to see you at
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT
The aquarium is easily accessible
by car, train, bus, or boat. There are several conveniently located parking
garages. Visitors can travel on Metro-North. The trip by train via Grand
Central Station to the South Norwalk train station is approximately 1-hour.
Visit the Metro-North website for information on trains
and discount Metro-North Packages. Want to make the trip by your boat? Call
+1-203-854-7806 to request fees to tie up at the Norwalk Visitors Dock.
Do allow yourself a minimum of
2-hours (we spent 2.5-hours there) to fully experience and appreciate all that
the aquarium has to offer. The aquarium is conveniently located in SoNo near
many restaurants and shops so you can easily make it a day trip.
For additional information on The
Maritime Aquarium please visit their website: www.maritimeaquarium.org or call them at
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk,
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
Follow The Maritime Aquarium at
Norwalk on Facebook: www.facebook.com/maritime.aquarium
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