Day Six

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 13, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Sunday, September 9, 2007

Today was devoted to discovering marine life. From cruising the ocean in a 50-foot boat to touching sea cucumbers at the Newport Aquarium, it was a hands-on, sea-spray in your face sort of day. It was pretty tiring. So we actually fell asleep before we had a chance to post this entry. Man was it a wonderful, deep sleep even with the sea lions...
One of our goals on this trip was to try new things. On our two-hour ocean-tour, we had the opportunity to help catch crabs in the bay. While still in the harbor we put bait into the traps and threw the whole contraption overboard. To give our traps good luck, you have to kiss the bait. Guess who got to kiss the bait? Yep, I was the lucky guest who locked lips with a rock fish. On our way back into the harbor, I had the chance to help reach down and pick up the buoys and the traps. We pulled in dozens of Dungeness and red rock crabs. Dungeness crabs are local and quite yummy. Red rock crabs snuck over from Asia and the local population would like nothing more than for every last one of them to head back home.
The aquarium was awesome, and we would recommend it to anyone interested in getting up close with sea life. Highlights included the Passages of the Deep exhibit which allowed us to walk through tunnels in various ocean habitats. We were within inches of rays, sharks and salmon. You could actually see the shark's teeth. We also had the chance to touch sea life. We felt sea cucumbers, urchins and abalone. The entire experience was mouth watering, um, I mean very educational. By the time we left, we were starving for a seafood dinner.
The day ended with a delicious meal at the Whale's Tale restaurant. I experience true Yaquina Bay oysters direct from the bay outside our hotel. Oysters are something I haven't really tried much before. There are a bit of an acquired taste I think - very moist. The first couple oysters were a little odd; by the third oyster I was hooked. Bill had a selection of seafood-oysters, clams, rock fish, prawns and scallops. The finale of the meal was the restaurant's specialty - a handmade Belgium dark chocolate box filled with white chocolate mousse and covered in fresh Oregon berries.
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