Late August liquid sunshine

Well, there is never any bad weather here in Burnaby; it’s just a way how you see it. And as far as I can see, it’s pure liquid sunshine…
But despite the haze, even Vancouver is still visible from our balcony!

Some relaxing time with Jack and Daisy

There is no better way to recharge our batteries than being around Jack and Daisy.
And today was our lucky day as both our favourite (and only) harbour porpoises came down to either play with us (Jack) or check our cameras out (Daisy).

Destination N°2 – the RCMP Musical Ride

After a great visit at the Vancouver Aquarium, we headed towards North Vancouver where we met Leanne and Susannah to watch the RCMP Musical Ride together. If Leanne hadn’t told us about it, we probably wouldn’t have come as we didn’t know what it was.

The RCMP Musical Ride is something probably every Canadian has watched some time or other in their lives, as it has been performing since 1887. All the members of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Musical Ride are full time policemen and policewomen who have volunteered for it. After some special training, they will be part of the RCMP Musical Ride for three years before returning to their regular work again.
After a certain training period, the horses (which are always black) will join the RCMP Musical Ride when they are at least six years old, and they will stay on to perform actively as long as possible.

Anyway, it was amazing to watch the scarlet coated riders carrying lances, together with their horses perform so many different formations, figures and cavalry drills, all choreographed to music, completely effortlessly. What a feast for the eyes!

Destination N°1 – the Vancouver Aquarium

At lunchtime we arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium and immediately saw a huge birthday cake (or better said, the rest of it) in Elfin’s habitat to celebrate Stanley Park’s 125th birthday. Elfin had already eaten the most delicious treats and was now having an after-lunch swim.

Meanwhile, Helen and Hana were playing with a ball, and shortly before their show started, Helen brought the ball to her trainer Paula.

We then watched Aurora and Qila swimming by at the underwater viewing windows before heading up the stairs for the penguin walk in which Hope and Salt Spring were the stars.

Back at Elfin’s habitat we saw Margo, one of the volunteers, and had a nice chat in which she also explained a lot about sea otters. And as to prove his existence, Elfin was crushing parts of his ice cake against a wall in order to get to the good stuff inside which he was munching away happily. He also gave us a glance from time to time.

Of course, we could not forget Jack, and so we went to see him next. He was really happy to see us, and we had a great time together.

Some time later we went to see Hana and Helen again who were in a really good mood, and then we went to the beluga habitat once more to watch another penguin walk. Luckily for us, Hope, our favourite penguin, was in it again. It is always so much fun watching her waddle along, while she is looking around and taking in her new surroundings. She seems to be really curious and never runs straight into her carrier.

After that we spend some more time with Jack (Daisy, unfortunately, stayed in her corner) who was enjoying the attention a lot. But then it was time to say goodbye as we wanted to attend another event.

On our way to the parking lot in Stanley Park we saw a raccoon family sitting on a garbage bin, probably looking for some leftovers.

(to be continued…)

Please support the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre

This is something close to our hearts. We aren’t exactly very subtle about our admiration for the people who work at the Vancouver Aquarium, or the animals in their care. But there is one organization belonging to the Aquarium that does amazing things: the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Over the years they have rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of seal pups, an orca whale, two harbour porpoises and other marine mammals that couldn’t have made it without them (with several seal pups and a harbour porpoise in their care right now). Their goal is to rehabilitate and release, and they are a non-profit organization that survives off donations and with the help of volunteers who contribute thousands of hours to make all that happen.

Today members of the Aquarium received an email asking for something that only takes a few seconds — a vote for the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre on a Facebook page. The campaign sponsor is giving away a share of $100,000 to a selection of charitable organizations, in proportion to the amount of votes that each organization receives. So if you are from Canada, and if you have a moment, please consider voting for them on Facebook. They need every dollar they can get!

Thank you 🙂
Marcus & Christine

P.S.: This is the message we got…

Donate a few seconds of your time to help us care for rescued marine mammals!

The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre is one of five Canadian organizations vying for a share of $100,000 and we need your help.

We’re asking you to cast your vote in favour of our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre during Jamieson Laboratories’ “Call for the Wild!” annual campaign.

Voting is now underway at and runs through September 15, 2013. We need you to take action today by casting your vote!

With the help of hundreds of passionate volunteers, the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 150 animals each year. Your vote will help us provide rescue resources, medical care and food for the many patients we treat annually. You’ll also be helping us to raise public awareness about the proper response to an injured or stranded marine mammal.

Visit through September 15 to cast your vote daily in support of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Every vote registered will translate into a proportional donation from Jamieson Laboratories.

Every vote counts. Don’t forget to forward this to your friends, family and co-workers.

Lindsaye Akhurst
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre


Just saying hi to Hana, Helen and Jack

Unfortunately, we only got an hour to spend at the Vancouver Aquarium – just in time to say hi to Hana and Helen and to watch their last show of the day.

After that we headed down to say a quick hi to Jack who was especially happy to see Marcus. Time went by so fast that some minutes later, we had to say goodbye to Jack.
But we had a final look at him from the surface – and I couldn’t believe my eyes as Jack was looking up to us, too! That definitely made my day!

Another short visit at the Vancouver Aquarium

If we can only spend an hour or two at the Vancouver Aquarium, this classifies as a short visit, and that we had today.

First of all we saw Elfin holding tight to his enrichment toy that was tied to the door, probably imitating kelp.
We then watched Hana and Helen in action before heading over to the beluga habitat to watch one of the penguins walks. This time it was Hope and Sechelt’s turn to waddle along. As Hope is our favourite African penguin, this was especially interesting to watch.

Then – finally – it was time to say hi to Jack and Daisy who both came to the underwater viewing area and were happy to see us. These two are such amazing animals!

Before heading home we observed Hana and Helen for a while, and said goodbye to Elfin who still held the same toy in his paws. Such a cutie!

… and at the Lost Lagoon

After having spent a fantastic day at the Vancouver Aquarium, our destination was, of course, the Lost Lagoon, where we got married six years ago.

We enjoyed some quiet moments there, watching a blue heron, some ducks and a swan swimming on the lagoon. What a great place to end this special day!

Our wedding anniversary with special guests Jack and Daisy

As last year, the weather was great, and we spent our wedding anniversary at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Naturally, our first steps led us to Jack and Daisy; and Jack was happy to see us – and so were we. Anyway, we had a fantastic time with him.

On we went to see Hana and Helen who were in the smaller pool of their habitat, swimming very leisurely and enjoying the sunshine. But when it was show time, they became very active and did a great job!

Back at Jack and Daisy’s habitat, Jack came to the underwater viewing area and showed me a leaf (a present?) several times. That was so cute although we had to spoil his fun (he doesn’t know) as we had to alert the trainers to remove the leaf out of the habitat.

We also went to see the harbour seals and Steller sea lions who were on land, having a nap, except for one of the girls who was looking around and scratching her face with one of her flippers. Cute, eh?

Then it was nearly time to leave the Aquarium, and so went made our way back to the B.C. Sugar Pool to say goodbye to Jack who, once again, brought us a leaf. Isn’t he adorable?
Even Daisy left her corner to say hi to us, but unfortunately, as the Aquarium was about to be closing, we had to say bye to Daisy and her younger fellow inhabitant.
Time flew by so quickly…

After leaving the Vancouver Aquarium, we didn’t head home but went to another place important to us on this special day…

(to be continued…)

Just saying hi to Jack and Daisy

Well, we really intended to go home after a great day at O.W.L.’s Open House, but somehow we ended up making a little detour to the Vancouver Aquarium…

We didn’t have much time left, so there was no question – we just had to spend it with Jack and Daisy, our favourite (and only) harbour porpoises, who both came down to the underwater viewing area to say hi. What a fantastic way to end our amazing day!