On Wednesday we all jumped in the car at 6.45am to head up to Blackpool to attend the launch of Stingray Adventure at the Sea Life Centre. A new feature for 2015, Stingray Adventure allows you to get up close to these magnificent creatures that glide through the water with such grace and beauty. The Cownose rays were not shy, they swam around the glass front of the tank giving us all spectacular views and amazing photography opportunities. I can't help but smile when their undercarriage comes into view, they look like they have little smiling faces.
The launch was attended by press and special little stingray ambassadors. Officially opening the new feature was the general manager of the centre and the beautiful Sammy Winward. My mother in law whispered to us "isn't she beautiful" Big T responded with "Nanna you're right, she is beautiful". My eldest daughter reconised her and was a bit star struck.
I found a good spot to get a picture. As the scissors touched the blue ribbon, clicks of the cameras filled the air, with a final snip, Stingray Adventure was officially open.
We spent quite a bit of time around this feature. We sat by the glass mesmerised by the rays gliding past. We also spent quite a bit of time in the underwater bubbles, I think my children loved them the most. They would each take turns discovering what it feels like to be in the deep with all of the sea life. You are never too old to have a go either, my mother in law patiently waited her turn to have a go. Big T got a lot, sensory wise from the bubbles and loved sitting quietly taking in all of the wonderful sights that Stingray Adventure has to offer.
We strolled around the centre taking in all of the other displays. Big Daddy, one of the largest spider crabs sat right at the front of his tank. Usually being the center of attention he looked a bit put out that all of the cameras were not on him. In reality I am sure he did not care one bit and just wanted to check out what all of the commotion was. He is so big, it was quite amazing to see a crab so large, every minute detail of him could be seen.
We stopped by the rockpool to touch shrimp and starfish, the starfish did not feel as I imagined they would. An interesting fact about them is, they can grow new arms if one is broken off.
We also spotted the clown fish and regal tangs that my children know as Dory and Nemo, in the yellow submarine. We also found the seahorses. They are such strange, yet beautiful creatures. An interesting fact about these is, the male of the species delivers the young.
In the ocean tunnel we saw the sharks, lots of them. The Bowmouth guitar sharks swam around the whole of the tank, passing over head giving us all excellent views. The Blacktip reef shark, looked the meanest in the tank, with its razor sharp teeth. It gets its name from the black tips on its dorsal and caudal fins. Did you know, over 70 million sharks are killed each year for their fins! The shark fins are tasteless and are flavoured using chicken or pork! I honestly do not see why anyone would want to pluck these magnificent creatures out of the sea and onto the plate. They have been around 350 million years, way more than the dinosaurs!
I have not covered everything that was available to see, I could go on and on but won't. What I will say is, we had an amazing day and learnt a lot about the creatures of the deep. A family of four can visit for as little as £43 when booked online. I would recommend a visit to Blackpool's Sea Life Centre. We would happily return next time we are in Blackpool.