Tuesday, September 27, 2011

JCP crew goes to Vancouver Aquarium

We had three days of fun and useful information, half of the time for travel and the other half for inspiration at the Vancouver Aquarium. We started off our morning at Vanaqua with an orientation and behind the scenes look of the facility led by Danny Kent, Curator of B.C. Waters. We were all amazed by the complexities of the plumbing systems. None of us are plumbers by trade so looking at the plumbing of a large aquarium was a lot to take in.

We asked to meet with the carpentry department to see if they had any suggestions that may be useful in building and finishing our supports properly. Danny directed us down to the depths of the basement where the wood shop is located. . We were greeted by Ken Sulivan (Ken on the right) head of the carpentry department. He gave us some great suggestions on what type of leveling feet they have found work well on the bases of the tanks.

Ken showing us some hardware that they have used for leveling feet

The afternoon was spent walking around the galleries of the aquarium. The Vancouver Aquarium is a very amazing place. Here are some of the rad specimens we got to check out!

Bonus points to who can tell us the name of this tropical sea creature!

Daisy the Porpoise

Day two at Van Aqua was spent with Bryan Kent. He showed us on the computer the steps taken to go through to make fake rock that looks real. Basically Bryan started with a scaled down box and made the rock formation he was looking for out of plasticine. He then takes that plan to a company that specializes in artificial rock work to build it for him. Here are the before and after shots.
Before with Plastisine model

After in finished concrete display immediately after rock work was complete

Bryan also took us around for some more behind the scenes look at displays.

Bryan, Jeff and Jonnie checking out the display tank

We had the opportunity to meet with the painter of the Vancouver Aquarium to pick his brain on finishing products that work well in wet environments.

After spending time at the Vancouver Aquarium we are better equipped to create durable wooden structures, and really excited to contribute to the construction of another great aquarium!

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