The Ocean Institute , founded as the Orange County Marine Institute, is a community-based 501 (c) (3) organization that educates 350,000 visitors annually through over 40 marine science and maritime history programs. Located on 2.4 acres in the Dana Point Harbor, at the edge of the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to a Marine Life Refuge, the site is ideal for hands-on learning about the sea.
So, off we go on our adventure....Journey to sea with Ocean Institute scientists and they'll introduce you to the local marine wildlife; including an astounding variety of fish, microscopic plankton, and the animals that live in sediment retrieved from the ocean floor. Encounter a pod of playful dolphin or witness the majesty of a traveling whale. Discover the amazing, and sometimes bizarre life that lives just beneath the waves!
Let's Get Underway
It's only 40 miles from our home
Did you know? - Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County, California. The population was 35,110 at the 2000 census, making it Orange County's 26th most populous city out of 34. It has one of the few harbors along the Orange County coast, and with ready access via State Route 1, it is a popular local destination for surfing and was home to a legendary surf break called Killer Dana.
The city was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was in turn named for Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the area. Dana describes the locale, including neighboring San Juan Capistrano, as "the only romantic spot in California". Although Dana describes the anchorage as poor, it is the best available in the vicinity, and is now a developed harbor containing a museum replica of his ship, the Pilgrim. This area is designated California Historical Landmark #189.
Great Interactive Displays
Make your own earthquake
Bouys on display
Did you know? - CDIP has used a wide range of instrumentation over the years. Because data has been collected from such a diverse assortment of sites - from inside harbors and basins, from the pilings of piers and oil platforms, from isolated near shore and remote offshore locations - each sensor has to be carefully chosen and prepared for its specific environment. In addition to environmental factors, technological advances have also spurred changes in CDIP's instrumentation. Over the decades the program has been in operation, sensors have become much more refined and accurate.
When measuring waves far offshore or at remote locations, buoys are often a more practical solution than pressure sensors. Riding on the ocean surface, buoys do not need to be linked by a cable to shore; with an antenna on top of the buoy, data can be transmitted via a radio link. They are also easier to deploy, move, and recover, securely attached to a mooring that anchors them to the bottom.
The first buoys used by CDIP were non-directional, measuring wave energy only. Equipped with one accelerometer, these instruments measure wave height by recording the vertical acceleration of the buoy as it rises and falls with passing waves. Over the years from 1978 to 1998, two types of non-directional buoys were used - Wavecrest buoys and Waverider buoys. The Waverider, a .9-meter spherical buoy produced by Datawell b.v., was by far the most frequently used by CDIP.
Buoys follow the movement of the sea surface quite effectively. While a buoy rises and falls with the waves the force of the mooring line does in fact change, but this has only a small effect on the buoy's response. The Waverider, for instance, can effectively track waves with periods down to 1.6 seconds, recording vertical displacements with a maximum error of 3%. (Below 1.6 seconds, however, the Waverider's response quickly decreases.)
Time To Get On The Boat
Nice homes overlooking the harbor
We Depart And Head For The Open Sea
When we cleared the rocks, the swells began
Not Too Far Out We Spot Spouts
Thar she blows
Did you know? - The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), also called the finback whale, razorback, or common rorqual, is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. It is the second largest whale and the second largest living animal after the blue whale, growing to nearly 27 meters (88 ft) long.
Long and slender, the fin whale's body is brownish-grey with a paler underside. There are at least two distinct subspecies: the Northern fin whale of the North Atlantic, and the larger Antarctic fin whale of the Southern Ocean. It is found in all the world's major oceans, from polar to tropical waters. It is absent only from waters close to the ice pack at both the north and south poles and relatively small areas of water away from the open ocean. The highest population density occurs in temperate and cool waters. Its food consists of small schooling fish, squid, and crustaceans including mysids and krill.
There she blows
The Common Porpoise were Everywhere
Did you know? - The Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of six species of porpoise. It is one of the smallest marine mammals. As its name implies, it stays close to coastal areas or river estuaries and as such is the most familiar porpoise to whale watchers. This porpoise often ventures up rivers and has been seen hundreds of miles from the sea.
Phocoena phocoena may be polytypic with populations representing distinct races: P. p. phocoena in the North Atlantic and West Africa, P. p. relicta in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, an unnamed population in the North West Pacific and P. p. vomerina in the North East Pacific.
The species is sometimes known as the Common Porpoise in texts originating in the United Kingdom, though this usage appears to be dying out
The relative size
Time To Come In
Lazy little cloud
Pelicans Met Us On The Way In
Did you know? - A pelican is a large water bird with a distinctive pouch under the beak, belonging to the bird family Pelecanidae.
Along with the darters, cormorants, gannets, boobies, frigatebirds, and tropicbirds, pelicans make up the order Pelecaniformes. Modern pelicans, of which there are eight species, are found on all continents except Antarctica. They occur mostly in warm regions, though breeding ranges reach 45° south (Australian Pelican, P. conspicillatus) and 60° North (American White Pelicans, P. erythrorhynchos, in western Canada). Birds of inland and coastal waters, they are absent from polar regions, the deep ocean, oceanic islands, and inland South America.
Time to race to home, change clothes, and go dancing