Mediterranean Sea Sailing Long Distances Spain

Valencía – Oceanogràfic 

My very best female friend and crew member wished to celebrate her birthday in the heart of Valencia and suggested visiting the largest aquarium in Europe, the Oceanogràfic. 
It is one of the new buildings in the former riverbed, next to the science museum Príncipe Felipe, the Opera Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía, L’Àgora for concerts and sporting events – in short in the avantgarde architectural side.
According to the website, the Oceanogràfic is an authentic tribute to the seas and oceans of the planet and contains large aquariums that faithfully reproduce the most important marine ecosystems.
We spent an entire day unintentionally seeing the site; time just flew by. Mid-September and weekdays, numerous visitors gravitated to the location, families and younger folks mostly speaking Spanish, but visitors from abroad too, like those with a female chancellor for centuries.
One magnet is the Dolfinarium, performing two shows a day. I was pleased to see that the bottleneck dolphins mainly did what they do in the wild. They flew through the air, or jumped out of the water close to the surface, and dived again. Furthermore, swimming upside down was not new to us as well. The pod of dolphins in Scotland we observed, close to the isle of Skye, is still in good memory. The only differences to dolphins in nature were balancing on the tailfins and synchronized performances.
The audience loved the show, and so did the kids and so did we. Contrary to the wild colleagues, the dolphins had no marks or wounds on their skins that spoke of fights or accidents with ships. Yet, it was the vast ocean where we watched these mammals, where they have their homes.
When we left that stage after twenty minutes, a strange feeling filled my heart. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, I thought I had to see the dolphins again – just the animals, no humans around, no fish as a reward for doing well. I walked up to the aquarium and had a look at close range. The animals were still in a performance mood and did what they were supposed to do in front of spectators. I was pleased to see that it all had the air of life and fun.
We left and went to see larger mammals, Beluga whales. The basin was as large as it was deep. Sparsely illuminated, the hall provided sufficient light for the visitors and not too much for the whales – a simulated deep ocean. Three Belugas swam around, always anticlockwise, that I asked myself why do they do this? Are they part of a show too? I did not find an answer and watched the whales and the audience alike. A story in a paper popped into my mind, a story of children growing up apart from nature. The kids were asked to paint a cow and used purple for the color of the fur. It turned out, most of them had never seen a cow before in its natural habitat and assumed that the purple-painted cow on a chocolate bar was nature. 
The movie ‘Finding Nemo’ led to the death of many fishes in home aquariums because the kids thought their fish should go on an adventure as the hero in the movie; a noble idea that went completely wrong.
Still, I could not find a satisfying answer to the question of whether it is good or not for animals in captivity when a poster on a wall with quotations of famous divers caught my interest. The first one was Jacques Cousteau, who said, quote: ‘The reason I have made films about the underwater world lies simply in my belief that people protect what they love.’
I pondered these two contradictions of animals in prison and almost touchable to those in nature and eventually found peace in my soul. Yes, the zoo’s whales, dolphins, and other animals suffer burdens, no matter how big the site or aquarium is. They represent their kinds and make lives in the oceans visible to those who know as much of a fish as it is something in a freezer. The delight in most visitors’ eyes, the pics, and the selfies they take are memories of a day in front of wild animals. 
My hopes may be far-fetched. If just a few people watch the underwater ambassadors, love them a little, and connect them with the oceans as the source of our lives, the animal captives will have done an excellent job for their species. Maybe for all of us.
And that is what humans do too. Some of us take a burden for the best of all of us. So were scientists of the past, who had no idea of the toxic material they held in their hands. Look at those who flew ridiculously looking air crafts and broke their necks or men aiming to the moon on top of a giant rocket. They all did it voluntarily, creatures not. Cousteau thought about this too and said, animals in a zoo only try to make people understand the sea, not love it.