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Explore the Sounds of Monterey Bay

We can name the sights of the sanctuary, but can you describe what's often heard?

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    Explore the Sounds of Monterey Bay
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    Spend an evening at the Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz and tune into the aural experience of the big water. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    WHEN NEAR THE WATER, the big water, as in the Pacific, we're often encouraged to keep our peepers peeled for interesting sights. That could be a boat out on the very edge of the horizon, or a seal popping his whiskery face above the waterline, or, even, fingers crossed, the distinctive water-puff that arises from a whale's blowhole. But having a deeply experiential moment at the ocean involves not just keeping a watch but keeping an ear out for various sounds. Those sounds can definitely dominate both ends of the gamut, from nature-made (the soft "pssssh" that comes from a whale's water-puff) to the humanmade (oars in the water, motors, and such). If you've always been an advocate for listening to the waves, and what beasties live below them, and what we landlubbers do atop them, then ponder an upcoming evening at the Sanctuary Exploration Center in Santa Cruz. The Friday, March 3 night, which is open to grown-ups and kids alike, is called...

    "SOUNDS IN THE SANCTUARY," a straightforward name that says exactly what the focus will be: The "art and science evening" shall put the spotlight on "sounds in the Sanctuary." Cool artworks on display, a chance to "listen in" to what's happening, ocean-wise, with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and activities fill out the audible, sensory-driven to-do. While you may have heard everything the ocean has to offer, from oars dipping into the water to a dolphin's amazing whistles and clicks, well... You surely haven't. No one has, truly, and that's a good thing. Has any human fully, 100% known that great, vast, and mystery-filled expanse? One step for becoming better acquainted with the ocean's residents, and how the sounds we humans create can impact their worlds, is to delve into an evening of aquatic sound. Admission to the night? It's free.