Christine’s cousin was down at the weekend with her family and, having noted the rain on the forecast, we decided to head over to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth on Saturday. What we’d failed to realise, until we heard a traffic announcement as we left home, was that the rain was to be accompanied by gale force winds! The M27 was an interesting drive as the car was buffetted about but the seafront at Southsea was quite something else. We arrived just before lunchtime and sat in the aquarium cafe (whose speciality seemed to be that well known Italian dish, panini and chips) watching the waves break over the sea wall. They then proceeded to close the section of road we had just driven along!
The aquarium itself was smaller than I’d expected. The picture on the front of their website is somewhat misleading: the wide-angle shot of the “underwater tunnel” shows that tank in its entirety. Still, Emma enjoyed the experience, running from tank to tank with her little step so that she could get a good look in each. The rays were particularly exciting as they seemed to enjoy launching themselves up the sides of their low open tank, splashing any onlookers in the process. My favourite part had to be feeding time for the three otters – perhaps they would consider coming to remove some rats from our garden?!
The aquarium occupied us for a couple of hours by which time the rain at least had stopped. The wind was still pretty strong though and Emma, Duncan and Christine retreated to a rocking car whilst I had a quick stroll along the front. Having been duly coated in a layer of sea salt I got in the car too and we headed home via an alternative route.