My wife, Aletha, and I have been fortunate to have been able to travel to destinations where we have had the opportunity to visit the places where many of the tropical coral reef fishes so common in aquariums occur in their natural habitats. Whether snorkeling or SCUBA diving, we have observed the behaviors, the health and the daily routines of many fish species that we have kept in our own personal aquariums or in our client aquariums (we have owned and operated an aquarium design, installation and maintenance company in Fresno since 1980).
When we founded the Institute in 2000, from the very start we felt it was integral to our mission that our supporters understand the natural aquatic world – how it looks, how it functions and what its inhabitants require in order to survive within this dynamic realm.
It is with this thought in mind that we have now led two cruises to places where our guests have had the experience (some for the very first time) of donning a dive mask and fins and witnessing the complexities of the tropical coral reef ecosystem right before their eyes. The first, in 2009, brought our group to tip of Baja California at Cabo San Lucas, and the second, in January/February of this year (2013), sailed to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel from the south to the north through the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System – the second longest barrier reef in the world.
The photos below may show elegance and relaxation aboard our wonderful ship, Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, but it was truly the connection with the reef that made this voyage so special for our Institute supporters. Enjoy the photos (click on one to see the slideshow) and be sure not to miss our next cruise where we will share even more of the aquatic world with you!
After you view the photos below, be sure to check out additional photos of our group’s pre-cruise VIP tour of the Aquarium at Moody Gardens by clicking here.