We saw sea otters, penguins, belugas and harbour porpoises

… at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Elfin popped his head out of the water and put it down on the ground while his body was still resting in the water. Funny, eh?

We then found a spot to watch the penguin walk, starring Sechelt and Nelson.
Well, Sechelt came out of her carrier first whereas Nelson still stayed inside his. The funny thing was that Sechelt got into Nelson’s carrier and stayed there all the time. Both took turns in looking out of the carrier before making themselves at home inside it.
Although there was no penguin walk this time, it was so funny to watch both penguins hiding inside the carrier.

We were at the right place already, at the beluga habitat; so we stayed at our spot and watched Aurora and Qila perform during their fantastic show.

Jack and Daisy were next, and we had so much fun with them – as usual.

Back home, I’m already missing them… Time to get back to the Aquarium soon!

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…)

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!

We’ve done it again…

Well, yes, we once again spent some hours at the Vancouver Aquarium…

On our way to Jack and Daisy (yes, that is were we always end up first) we said hi to Elfin who was busy grooming himself.
At Jack and Daisy’s habitat we saw Margo, one of the volunteers at the Aquarium, and had a nice chat with her. Okay, Marcus was the one having a longer conversation; it was just a quick chat for me as Jack had spotted me right away, and I couldn’t disappoint a little harbour porpoise, could I?

After a while it was time to see Hana and Helen in action, and we made our way to their habitat. Both dolphins were in a good mood today and performed some great jumps.
After their show, we watched a Steller sea lion enjoying her snack that was frozen inside some ice. She definitely had fun crunching on it!

We also had a look at my little favourites, the axolotls, but only the white one was in sight.
Anyway, after that we watched one of the penguin walks, this time starring Hope (our favourite penguin) and Salt Spring who came out of the carrier, looked around and walked along the beluga habitat. Their waddle is so cute.

Then it was Jack and Daisy time again. Jack was happy to see Marcus who he hadn’t seen before. And luckily for us, Daisy didn’t stay in her corner for too long and came down to the underwater viewing area to check out our cameras.

Hana and Helen’s last show was next, and we couldn’t miss that, could we?
After that there were some more minutes remaining for Jack and Daisy – and both were happy to see us again. So were we!

All in all, we enjoyed another fantastic and relaxing day at the Vancouver Aquarium before heading home again to get back to work.

Marcus’ pre-birthday visit at the Vancouver Aquarium

Saturdays and Sundays are usually really busy days for the Vancouver Aquarium. Therefore Marcus decided that he wanted to have some quieter time for his birthday, and so we went to the Vancouver Aquarium a day earlier.

Jack was already waiting, and Marcus both took some pictures of him and played with this cute harbour porpoise. After a while, Daisy came down, too, and posed for some pictures. That was a really special birthday treat!
Later there also was a training session in which Jack and Daisy got some enrichment toys to play with. Together they even collected one of the toys from the bottom of their habitat. And then Jack picked it up again to show it to us. His birthday present for Marcus?

On that day we also watched two dolphin shows in which those beautiful ladies Hana and Helen were really active and playful. Hana even picked up a ring and brought it back to her trainer Nicky.

Elfin had an enrichment toy, too, holding in his paws. Cute, eh?

We also watched a penguin walk starring Sechelt and Tofino. Don’t those African penguins look simply adorable while waddling along their path? Unfortunately, their walk is over much too soon.

At the end of the day, we made our way back to Jack and Daisy’s habitat. There we played with Jack, and shortly before we had to go, even Daisy said goodbye to us.
it is always great to see them both.

Once again, this was a fabulous day and probably Marcus’ best pre-birthday experience.

The Vancouver Aquarium – the destination of our last day trip with our boys

Unfortunately, Ben and Tom’s three week summer vacation has come to an end, and so they could decide what they wanted to do on their last full day before packing their bags and going back home again. Although we visited the Vancouver Aquarium several times during their stay here, they wanted to say goodbye to all the animals.

Once there, Marcus went to see Jack to take some pictures while Tom, Ben and I visited the wet lab one more time. There we had a closer look at the crabs which we didn’t have time for last Monday. A friendly volunteer explained the difference between real and fake crabs as well as male and female crabs to us and showed us some really nice specimen.

After that Ben and Tom joined Marcus at Jack and Daisy’s habitat whereas I tried to get some nice jellyfish pictures which is really hard to do.
After some (frustrating) time, I left the main building to go to the B.C. Sugar Pool, but I stopped at Elfin’s habitat where he was lying on a pile of ice cubes. Super cute, eh? I just had to watch him for a while…

When I finally reached Marcus and our boys, they decided to head to Hana and Helen’s underwater viewing area where they could watch Hana swim by a lot of times.

We met at the Wild Coast to watch a seal and sea lion show together, in which especially Willo, one of the Steller sea lions, performed really well.

Then we made our way back to Jack who was playing with a leaf, which actually isn’t good for him. Therefore we had to inform one of the trainers and spoil his fun…

Anyway, we also watched one of the penguin walks, this time starring Sechelt and Salt Spring. Those African penguins are just too cute to watch.

After that walk, we saw Elfin holding a blue ball in his paws, watched a dolphin show starring Hana and Helen, and said our final goodbyes to Jack.

Ben and Tom had such a great time that they cannot wait to come back and visited all the animals again.

Stanley Park and Vancouver Aquarium – a great mix

Today we went to Stanley Park, because Tom wanted to see the totem poles there, and we actually squeezed some geocaching in so that we all had more fun on the way there.

Once there, we were surprised that only a few people were strolling around the totem poles which gave us the rare opportunity (at least during summer time) to get some pictures without having tons of people in them.
From there we also had a great look at Lions Gate Bridge and Brockton Point.

After having had some lunch, our boys discovered a tree they could climb on, and on which they could put some of their new-found energy to use.

In order to avoid the sun when walking along the seawall, we choose a trail we had never walked before, that let us through the forest of Stanley Park. Really nice!
Well, we ended up near the Aquarium and decided to go into it to have some more fun.

We came on time for the penguin walk where one of the penguins seemed to have a look into the beluga habitat. Maybe one of the beluga whales there was watching her, too?

Anyway, we spent some time with Jack, watched a show with Hana and Helen, and returned to the B.C. Sugar Pool, where even Daisy came to the underwater viewing area posing for pictures. Those two harbour porpoises are super cute!

After that we saw a sleepy Elfin having a nap, and headed into the main building to get some more pictures for the jellyfish photo competition.

We all felt that the day was over in next to no time, but nevertheless, it was a really great day.

English Bay and Stanley Park

Today we went to Vancouver to spend a whole day there, especially at English Bay and Stanley Park.
First, we strolled along English Bay until English Bay beach where Tom was brave enough to go swimming in the cold Burrard Inlet. Unfortunately, it was low tide so that the water slide was closed.
On our way back we walked along the seawall and admired this rock balancing art by John Shaver who just balances all stones without the use of any glue.

From Second Beach we headed towards the Vancouver Aquarium where we saw our first penguin walk. It was such fun watching those two penguins waddle along. I definitely have to see that again!
On our way to the last show starring Hana and Helen, we had a stop over at the B.C. Sugar Pool to say hi to Jack and Daisy, but only Jack came to the underwater viewing area which was great, nonetheless.
Then it was time to watch Hana and Helen in action – and, unfortunately, their show was over much too soon, as I could watch them for hours and hours…
We then had a quick look at the harbour seals (happily swimming in the water) and Steller sea lions (already dozing – well, one of the girls was, the other one just came out of the water).
And finally, we tried to get some more jellyfish shots to enter the competition with.

Anyway, as it was a really sunny day, we went to Lumberman’s Arch and to the water park close-by where Ben and Tom had lots of fun. A seagull seemed to copy all that behaviour there and went for some fun in the water, too.

Ben and Tom enjoyed this day very much – and so did we!

We spent our day off at the Vancouver Aquarium

First of all, we headed towards Penguin Point where all seven African penguins were standing and waiting for their visitors to come by.

We then had a look at Aurora and Qila’s training session which is always interesting – no matter how often we have watched it before.

And then we finally made our way to Jack and Daisy’s habitat where, surprisingly enough, both inhabitants came by to say hello. Wasn’t that sweet of them?!
After having spent some time there, we went to see Jack and Daisy’s neighbours Hana and Helen who also had a training session, went over to say hi to Elfin, and watched a little training session with Jack and Daisy.

During the day we watched two more great dolphin shows and had a fantastic time with Jack in between. And believe it or not, at the end of the day, even Daisy came down again to say goodbye.

What an incredible day!

Yet another great day at the Vancouver Aquarium

Today we spent the whole day at the Vancouver Aquarium where we watched two beluga and all five dolphin shows. Crazy, eh? But we will never tire of seeing them as all shows are different, and there is always something new and exciting to see.
In between we had a look at Elfin and the girls Tanu and Katmai who all seemed to have a relaxing day – at least whenever we saw them.
And we had an absolutely great time playing with Jack. Even Daisy came down to the underwater viewing area which is always a special treat for us. Aren’t those two harbour porpoises just adorable?
Anyway, we can’t wait to see them again soon, very soon…