Portsmouth & Bluereef Aquarium


My Mahayatra – Iceland to Himachal Pradesh

Yesterday after a tiring trip of Southampton and Stonehenge, we were fresh the next morning and this time our destination was Portsmouth a beautiful city between London and Southampton. We started around 10 and within one hour we reached Portsmouth.


On way to Portsmouth


Portsmouth is a small port city famous for many famous naval ships for example HMS Warrior and HMS victory. It is old dry port and is situated on an Island.


Church of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth is very famous for its specialised courses in marine technology and other disciplines.


University of Portsmouth

Our first stop was a Spinakkar Tower, a recent edition to the city of Portsmouth. After loitering in the Malls of Portsmouth, we finally reached the Spinakkar Tower.

In the Mall of Portsmouth

Some facts about Spinnaker Tower


The Tower has been a huge success and has received over 2 million visitors since opening.
The high speed internal lift travels at 4 metres per second, taking you to the View Decks in just 30 seconds.
The concrete used to build the Tower would fill five-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The Tower is founded on 84 piles, the longest of which runs 50m into the ground – the equivalent of Nelson’s Column.
The total weight of the Tower exceeds 30,000 tonnes.
The 27m spire weighs 14 tonnes and was carefully lifted into place by crane.
1200 tonnes of structural steel used to form the Tower’s distinctive bows is the equivalent weight of 12 blue whales.
115 metres up and in high winds, the Tower can flex approximately 150mm.
There are 570 steps from the base up to View Deck 3, The Crow’s Nest.

(tks to spinakkertower.co.uk)



The deck near Spinnaker Tower is used to ferry visitor to Wight’s Island, a beautiful tourist island nearby.


Dock at Portsmouth


Ferry going to Isle of Wight

Just opposite Spinnaker Tower there is a beautiful tall glass building which is a part of University of Portsmouth and houses the Institute of cosmology and gravitation


University tower

We were having great time in Portsmouth. There was a mini replica of the port of Portsmouth with miniature Light house and port.


Replica of dock


a view of dock

Although Christmas was a month away, the sale for christmas had started and there were special sales by farmers selling honey, biscuits and cookies, near the port.

X-mas sale

After having a heartful wanderings around the city center we started towards the aquarium, another famous spot of Portsmouth. It was outside the city and on the seashore, touching the waters of the English Channel.
This place was also very attractive and neat-n-clean.

Near Aquarium

Finally we reached our destination the Bluereef Aquarium. It is man made aquarium built underground and has dozens of species of fishes which are not normally seen by humans. The entry ticket was pounds 9.75 per person and this amount was nothing before the excitement, the information and the knowledge we would gain from the aquarium.



Bluereef Aquarium

colorful fishes

The second pond was of sting-ray firsh. As you can see it has a long sting in the end. The sting is very rough and is filled with poisonous stings. Stingray never uses its tail for attack but only for defense. One in a million, is the count of humans killed by stingrays attack. But our dear Steve Irwin, man Australian TV celebrity, also known as Crocodile hunter was killed by sting ray.


Deadly Sting-ray

We had glimpses of many fishes like bluespotted angelfish, French angelfish, vermillon sea bass, Piranahs  and other varieties, which we had not even heard of. It seems seeing the fishes in aquarium was better than eating them.






Undersea tunnel


Then we came to the Jellyfishes, some mysterious colorful creatures of the seaworld. Jellyfishes are found all over the sea, from shallow sea-shores to the deepest oceans. They have been developing since 500 million years. They have stings around their tentacles and even touching the Jellyfish can cause the venom to flow into the body.



Stings of Jellyfish cause pain, extreme pain and sometimes death too. There are many cases where jellyfish cause injury or death all over the world.


Surprisingly, the toll is equal on both sides. There are some tasty dishes too made from Jellyfishes which are tastefully eaten by human beings In Japan and China they are treated as delicacy…(in China anything crawling, moving or flying are delicacies.LOL)


Then we were near the loggerhead sea turtle. Although use of flash was forbidden in the aquarium, someone used the flash on this turtle and when we reached his pond, it was floating stunned as if dead. I thought it has died due to sudden flash of light. I knocked on the glass near its mouth and it suddenly opened eyes and started to swim again. It was so lovely a sight to see it again coming to life.

turtle stunned from flashlight


There were many other creatures like colored jhingas which looked like earth insects and the sea horses. Sea horses always fascinated me. they swim upside down, they take care of the babies, because their females lay eggs, handover to the male and vanish in the sea and these poor fathers take care of the babies till they are strong enough to face the brutal oceans.





It was great experience to see this aquarium and it removed our fatigue and we were ready for our journey to India,  where I would be taking the grand Himachal circle and would visit some great Himalayan temples and lakes.



Near Aquarium

In next part we will start Himalayan cruise and would show you some magnificent temples, ancient monuments, tea gardens and beautiful lakes.


calm English Channel


  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Wow! SS Ji, another wonderful post.
    Seem like this aquarium is focused upon the reefs.
    Nice colorful Jellyfish pictures.

  • KAnu says:


  • Just Coming back from Rajasthan and saw your post SS jee on Ghumakkar

    Beautiful pictures . Which camera are you using ?
    The colors are really bright. The detailing captured from the lenses is mindblowing . You are looking great and fresh .

    Waiting for next one .

    • SilentSoul says:

      Thanks vishalji,

      For Ghumakkar, I had to purchase a new camera and I looked into many options from Lumix gf3, Nikon 1J1, Sony HX9/10/20/V and many other cameras and finally got confused… then my daughter gifted me this wonderful LumixGF3 and I got these beautiful results. I am very happy that her gift is worth the appreciation

      Next comes INDIA !!!!

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Nice inforation and lovely photos. Will wait for Himalayas.


    • SilentSoul says:

      thnx sharma ji, hum to Alaska ka programme banate reh gaye or Pravin Wadhwa ho bhi aaye…

      • Surinder Sharma says:

        But we can not visit in his style. in 600$ five star cruise journey is good for us. In summer lot of mosquito who live on grass. Human being new for them. Here some spray available for mosquito which are costly and work for an hour.

  • Vipin says:

    Thanks you SS Ji for sharing this post with us. Lovely description & photos are too amazing, really liked the Aquarium tour…Himachal is my most favourite wandering place & am eagerly waiting for your posts on himachali lakes & other places…

    • SilentSoul says:

      Vipin Ji tks for yr comments… humari yatra apki tarah mushkil jagah ki nahin hoti… aap to real ghumakkar ho. humari yatra to vahin ki hain jahan tak gaadi jaati hai

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Thanks, SS, for taking us to Portsmouth. This port has a very strong link with India; most of the colonialists who were sent to India embarked from here and most of the wealth looted by them entered Britain from here, too. Spinakker sounds so much like Ghumakkar…going out for a spin is actually ghumakkari!!!

    The Blue Reef aquarium was amazing. We need similar aquariums in our own cities so that children are exposed to the amazing life forms present in the sea. To add to what you said about sea horses, I would like to add the trivia that sea horses are the only species in whom the male “delivers” the offspring – the fertilized egg from the female is lodged in an abdominal pouch in the male and it is incubated there. The hatchlings then emerge from the pouch. Nature is indeed amazing.

    I agree with Vishal; some of the pictures accompanying this blog are truly beautiful. Thanks for the visual treat.

    • SilentSoul says:

      DL !!!! that z why I always wait for your comments. You always complement posts with additional knowledge. Here you told about Portsmouth which I or my son didnt know…BIG tks

      So the title of this post should have been ” A Ghumakkar at Spinakker !”

      Yupp i know these facts about Sea horses… in fact I used to be a sort of sea horse in Paris, when my wife would leave kids with me and go out shopping , for hours and hours (another typo in log. Sea horses swim with head up (not upside down as written inlog..sorry)

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    SS Ji,
    Really wonderful post. Today I have seen portsmouth through your eyes and found this city very beautiful. The bluereef aquarium show was amazing. It seems that photography was not prohibited there unlike our India. Last year when we visited Taraporwala aquarium in Mumbai, photography was strictly not allowed there.

    ?? ???? ???? ????? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????? ?? ??? 18 ?? ????? ?? ?? ???? (???????) ???? ?? ??? ??, ?? ??? ?? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ??? ???? ??????? ???? ????? ?? ?? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???


    • SilentSoul says:

      Tks Mukesh ji for your kind comments. Yes this is true, the names are to be taken from a list of names and many Scandinavian countries do it. Even in France one has to chose name from prepared list…hence one of my sikh friend after getting nationality, kept his name Christian Singh.

      Apko, Kavitaji aur bachchon ko nav varsh ki shubh-kamnayen

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Hello S.S. Ji.
    Excellent post with beautiful pictures. Thank for information about described every places which are new for me.
    Spinnaker Tower & bluereef aquarium was amazing. It is pleasant experience to see various species of fish in aquarium. Thanks for aquarium Pictures & Details about it.
    Waiting for next…..

  • A very warm Good Evening to SS in Iceland from SS in Saharanpur in this almost zero degree climate which is something unimaginable for the people of these Indo-Gangetic plains.

    Among all the species of fish including whales and sharks, I am afraid of jellyfish the most. Reason is a very personal one. Some 20 years or so before, I was wandering at Juhu Beach in Mumbai with my younger brother. We had hardly entered sea till our knees when my brother started crying in pain. Coming out of water immediately, I found a rubbery thing (as if a blasted baloon) was tied around his ankle and it was causing him great pain. I tried to untie it from his ankle but couldn’t. There was a 5-star hotel nearby (perhaps Sun ‘n Sand). An aged uniformed guard seeing my brother crying came to us and looked at the rubbery substance and whispered, “Oh, jellyfish!” Don’t remember how he took it away and put something on his leg and soon my brother was laughing with some ear-drops still escaping from his eyes! Don’t know if that was really jellyfish but the memory of it still gives me goose bumps!

    Well, coming back to this post, it is lovely, even though there was not much to read but what we did see more than compensated for the missed text. Looking forward to next part of it.

    • SilentSoul says:

      ???????? ?? SS ?? ??????? ?? SS ?? ???????… ???? ?? ????? ? ??? ?????? ? ???????? ??? ?????? 1 ? 2 ?? ??????? ??? +9….??? ?????

      ??????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?? ????? ?? ????? ???, ?? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ???? ?? ? ??? ???????? ?? ???? ???????? ???? ??..?? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ??… ?? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ?? ? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??… ?? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ????, ???? (??????) ??? ??? ????? ? ???? ????? ?? ???? ??? ?????

  • Nandan Jha says:

    SS – Thank you for taking us to Bluereef Aquarium. Portmouth didn’t excite me but Bluereef is indeed a gem. The pics remind me of a movie called, ‘Finding Nemo’ which I would have seen numerous times. A recommended watch for kids as well as parents, if you like sea life.

    Looking fwd to your India logs.

    • SilentSoul says:

      tks Nandan… spinakker tower and bluereef aquarium was the main reason, I chose Portsmouth over Oxford.

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Hello SS ji,

    Thanks for this wonderful and beautiful post.

    Being a civil Engineer,information regarding Spinakkar tower excites me a lot.

    Aquarium is beautiful. Was waiting for an opportunity when I can take my son to these beautiful places.

    Photos were really good.

    As you mentioned for Ghumakkar, you wanted to purchase camera,same is happening at my life.My husband told me that he will gift me nice camera as a new year gift so that I can take photographs from a better camera rather than mobile for my future post.

    DL ji- Thanks for value addition you always provide us through your comments

  • SilentSoul says:

    Thanks Abhiruchi for your comments. Photography for me was limited to taking a few photographs of me and family..

    After I came to Ghumakkar, I came to know the real value of photography and result was my experiments with photographs. for 6 months I searched for a new camera and despite valuable advice from DL, I got confused as to which camera will suit me. Finally my daughter gifted new lumix GF3 and ended the confusion.

    Thanks to Ghumakkar !

  • Nirdesh says:

    Hi SS,

    Great going and congratualtions for arming yourself with the basic ghumakkar weapon – camera.

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