I love staring at jellyfish at aquariums. So do a lot of other people. They are among the most beautiful and hypnotic of creatures. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, has a terrific collection, among them these splendid sea nettles. The aquarium may not compete with some of the nation’s more well-known and larger ones, but it’s a gem, has more touch tanks than any I’ve visited and was interesting enough to keep my grandchildren occupied for hours.
While cruising in Puget Sound waters on our friends’ boat, I couldn’t help but notice scores of jellyfish floating by. I’d never seen jellies in the wild, so it would be an understatement to say I was pretty excited. Even as we returned to the Quartermaster Yacht Club’s dock, there they were again around the Burton Park peninsula on Vashon Island. I started snapping photos of them as best as I could from a moving deck. It wasn’t until the boat approached the marina that I noticed even more of them. Better yet, there were tons of moon jellies drifting around the dock, waiting for their portraits to be taken. The image above is one such snapshot. They look like UFOs in the water, strangely suggestive of the famous Maury Island incident of 1947. Maury Island is attached to Vashon by a causeway.