Another great day at the Vancouver Aquarium

Today we spent quite a lot of time at the Vancouver Aquarium – so much actually that we watched the dolphin show three times! But it never gets boring to watch Hana and Helen interact with their trainers. Besides, every time there is always something different to see, so that each show is definitely unique.
Marcus also had a nice chat with Leonora, a marine mammal trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium, – and we also had another quick chat with Lauren, an interpretive specialist at the Vancouver Aquarium. It is great to meet the passionate people who work with those amazing animals here at the Aquarium.

In the habitat opposite Hana and Helen’s one, all four female Steller sea lions were present and relaxing (or trying to sleep?) in groups of two, whereas the harbour seals were swimming non-stop.
The fur seals were probably inspired by the sea lions and decided to have a nap, too.

We also paid a visit to the African penguins, and all seven of them were standing close together – as usual.
From there it is just a step or two to see Aurora and Qila, the mother-daughter beluga duo swimming in their habitat. First Aurora was relaxing in rather shallow water while Qila swam by, but later we could watch both of them in action – from the underwater viewing area.

On we went to have a look at Elfin who seemed to be enjoying some rays of sunshine. Isn’t he cute?
Then we decided to go to see Schoona. I love sea turtles, and it is always very relaxing to watch her swim through her habitat.
On our way to the seahorses we also saw this beautiful tasselled wobbegong, a species of carpet shark. Its pattern looks amazing, eh?
And we really spotted some seahorses which usually takes some time. Can you see them, too?
A bit further on, we also saw those garden eels that always retreat into their holes when a fish swims above them. They are fun to watch, too.

However, as huge Jack and Daisy fans, the most interesting part for us was to watch these two harbour porpoises interact with their trainers, and later on seeing them checking out themselves in a window that was covered with a blind and acted as a mirror. It really looked like as if they were checking out their outward appearances, their flippers and flukes. That was so funny to watch.

After we said our goodbyes to them, on our way home, we got the most amazing view of Lions Gate Bridge which I had never seen before at night. So we had a quick stop to take some pictures of it. Stunning, eh?

What a wonderful afternoon in Vancouver

After having not seen them for quite a while, we got to spend some time together with our friends Leanne and Susannah – and what better place to do so than at the Vancouver Aquarium. We are all members and love to come there as often as we can – and although we have probably seen everything more than once already, we are always fascinated by all the animals there, and believe it or not, we feel that there is still so much more to see and experience!

First of all we went to see Jack and Daisy who, unfortunately, were not in their habitat, the B.C. Sugar Pool, but once again in the smaller dolphin habitat. There we could observe a training session with them, and it was really interesting to see how they reacted and interacted with their trainers.

Our second stop was at Elfin’s habitat where he was sleeping. Even that is so cute to watch. His female colleagues Tanu and Katmai were much more active in their habitat. Especially Katmai was so curious that she always looked into our direction even when she was grooming herself. And that was so cute, too!

Next it was Helen and Hana’s turn to shine in their show, and they were especially excited and enjoying themselves a lot today. They showed a lot of jumps this time, and that was really impressive.

Then it was time for the beluga show starring Aurora and her daughter Qila. Our favourite interpretive specialist Lauren once again passionately led the audience through a highly interesting show. It is always amazing to see those huge animals interact with their trainers. A seagull, well, probably the seagull as there is always one on site, sneaked into the programme but flew by and waited at the edge of the habitat.

We then went to Penguin Point where all seven penguins were standing outside. Later they headed over to the other side of their habitat, jumped into the water, swam over, and after a very short swim got out of the water again. Meanwhile a bald eagle flew above the Vancouver Aquarium.

As time was nearly over, we set out for Schoona’s habitat, but when we passed the sea otters’ habitats, we saw that it was feeding time for Elfin who enjoyed his food very much. The funny thing was that Katmai was standing at the glass door of her habitat trying to get some attention – and most likely more food.

I absolutely love those ancient looking creatures, like lizards, tortoises and also sea turtles – and Schoona is really a beautiful specimen. Despite her huge size, she swims so gracefully and seems to ignore all the fish, stingrays and sharks swimming around her.

Well, after we had said our goodbyes to Leanne and Susannah, we headed home, too. On our way along Stanley Park’s seafront we saw a harbour seal looking out of the water – and then it was gone. This was so amazing – coming from the Vancouver Aquarium and having seen the seals there, we suddenly saw one living in the wild just surface out of the blue…

On our way back to Waterfront SkyTrain station we saw such beautiful flowers and simply had to stop to take a picture of them. Don’t those bright red poppies and those red and yellow torch lilies look stunning?
Further on we also observed a blue heron walking along the jetty until it found ‘its’ yacht where it stopped and started to look for its dinner.

This was such an amazing day that simply has to be repeated soon!

We just love the Vancouver Aquarium

Although it was already around noon, we decided to head towards Vancouver and spend some time at the Vancouver Aquarium. It is always quite a long walk from the SkyTrain station to Stanley Park, but we don’t mind it at all. Besides, we had our first little stop at Jack Poole Plaza where Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron and the huge Harbour Spirit Digital Orca by Douglas Coupland (installed in 2010) can be admired. The view of the mountains and North Vancouver there is also spectacular.

On our way to the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park we saw a raccoon on top of a bin – perhaps looking for its lunch?

Once inside the Vancouver Aquarium, we had a short stop at those epaulette sharks which are somehow cute to watch.
On we went to have a look at the sea otters Tanu and Katmai who were in their front habitat again, either relaxing or grooming. Aren’t they just cute?
And then finally, we made our way to Jack and Daisy’s underwater viewing area but, unfortunately, neither of them came down although we were waiting and waiting…
Well, if those harbour porpoises are too busy, what can we do?!
So we just went a little further to the next underwater viewing area and observed Aurora and Qila swimming by.

And then it was time for the dolphin show starring Hana and Helen who were very excited today, jumping out of the water or swimming very fast already – even before they could show their various behaviours during their show. Once again Lauren, a very friendly and enthusiastic interpretive specialist for marine mammals at the Vancouver Aquarium, guided the audience through each and every step of the training session.

On our way back to Jack and Daisy again we passed the sea lion and seal habitat where a sea lion sat on her deck and tried to catch some sun – or so it seemed – and two seals were swimming by very quickly.
Another stop at Penguin Point let us see all seven penguins standing together on one spot, as usual, on their rockwork.

And then, finally, it was Jack and Daisy time! And can you believe it, Jack was in playing mood and came down to the viewing area so often that I was even a little bit exhausted after having played with him for an hour. I really can’t get enough of him, especially as he seems to copy some of my movements. Anyway, he is so cute – and he probably knows it!

Of course, we would have stayed longer but the Vancouver Aquarium closes at 5 pm, and we were literally among the last ones to leave! Just look at those empty spaces there…
However, we had a very quick stop at the epaulette sharks shortly before finally heading out.
But we will be back very soon!

As usual we went to the Lost Lagoon to enjoy the peace and quiet at one of our favourite places. Even our favourite bench was unoccupied so that we could enjoy the swans, ducks, seagulls and Canada geese. Surprisingly, even a male red-winged blackbird came by. I had never seen one at that location before, only at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary so far.

As an additional bonus we even saw a Canada geese family with their goslings swimming at the pond at Devonian Harbour Park.

Well, after such an exciting but also a little bit exhausting day, we just needed some relaxation time at those huge benches at Jack Poole Plaza with breathtaking views of either downtown Vancouver, Lord Stanley Park or North Vancouver, the sea plane terminal in the foreground and the mountains in the background. What a beautiful place to live in!

And to top it off, this wonderful day full of sunshine ended with a great sunset back home in Burnaby.

A day in Vancouver

Today we went to Vancouver by SkyTrain and decided to walk along the seafront from Burrard SkyTrain station to the Vancouver Aquarium. We could have taken the bus but where is the joy in that?! Besides, we could try and search for a geocache on our way which we finally did find after having come up empty last summer.

As you can see in the pictures, the sky was quite overcast when we started our day’s outing from home but became gradually better and better so that we had lots of sunshine already once we were near the Vancouver Aquarium. On our way there we saw lots of flowers and trees either starting to bloom or in full bloom – simply beautiful!

Once inside the Aquarium, we were greeted by one of the sharks lying on its favourite spot. We then went to see our all-time favourites Daisy and Jack, the harbour porpoises. As it was really busy we had to wait for a while until Jack came down to the observation window to say hi. He even played peek-a-boo with me! A bit later Daisy came by just to say hi shortly and swam back into her favourite corner.

We also went to see the penguins where we love to spot Hope and observe her. Two of her friends even went into the water and had a nice swim. On we went to see Aurora and Qila, the beluga whales, who always glide so gracefully through the water. Katmai and Tanu, the sea otters, were playing, and it was really great to see that Katmai got along so well with her new surrogate mum Tanu.

On our way to the Lost Lagoon we saw a seagull trying to eat a peanut which originally two squirrels were interested in. And you can always see some Canada geese in Stanley Park. This time we spotted some near the seagull and some others near Stanley Park Causeway, probably watching – and counting? – the cars going to Lions Gate Bridge.

Whenever we are in Vancouver, we have to go to the Lost Lagoon, even if it is only for a short time as this is one of our most favourite places. It is like an oasis where we can simply sit and relax and enjoy nature and its wildlife whenever we are there.

Although it is a much longer route, we chose the seafront for our way back to the SkyTrain station where we saw lots of boats and yachts at Coal Harbour – and shortly before getting to the station at Downtown we got a glimpse of Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron with North Vancouver in the background.

By the way, all in all our little tour turned out to be a 10 kilometre walk – but we had so much fun being outside! And as a special treat we got to see a most beautiful sunset which we could enjoy from our couch back home again.

Visit to the Vancouver Aquarium and the Lost Lagoon

Having escaped the never-ending construction work at our building, we ended up at the Vancouver Aquarium where we – once again – visited Jack (who wasn’t much in a playing mode, unfortunately) and Daisy. The bunch of penguins were quite entertaining, too, with Hope trying to stand closest to the door (feeding time perhaps?). After going to see Schoona, Hana and Helen, Qila and Aurora, and of course Tanu and Elfin we had a walk along English Bay and then headed to the Lost Lagoon, one of our most favourite places in Vancouver – and it was partly frozen so that loads of ducks and two swans were gathering around or were even in the water hole.

Anyway, it was a lovely day – and when we were home we enjoyed a nice cuppa in a very quiet building as the construction workers had left for the day.

Visit to the Vancouver Aquarium and Prospect Point

Going to the Vancouver Aquarium is always fun – and we love to watch all the various animals there.

This time, all seven penguins stood close together, well six of them did and number seven had climbed up a bit further. What was the little one looking for? Anyway, Daisy was in a really good mood playing with her hoop and with a disc later on. I could stand there watching Jack and Daisy for hours… Well, I sometimes even do so.
I also love those little spotted and splendid garden eels.

After the Aquarium we stopped at Prospect Point to enjoy the view of Lions Gate Bridge up close, my favourite bridge, and its surroundings.

Vancouver Aquarium and VanDusen Botanical Garden

Our all-time favourites – the Vancouver Aquarium and the VanDusen Botanical Garden – just needed to get a visit from us.

We first headed to the Vancouver Aquarium to have a look at how all the animals were doing there. Jack wasn’t in a playful mood but Helen and Hana were very much so. The penguins all stood close together, Tanu had lunch and Schoona was tired and had a little nap.

After that we explored the VanDusen Botanical Garden in the sunshine! Unfortunately, we were a bit late to really enjoy the beauty of the Indian summer, but there still were some coloured leaves here and there. And those beautyberries, aren’t they – just as the name says – simply beautiful?

 

Vancouver Aquarium, Lost Lagoon and sunset in Burnaby

What a day! We had an amazing morning at the Vancouver Aquarium where we had a look at all the animals living there. There was feeding time for the harbour porpoises Jack and Daisy, the belugas Aurora and Qila were happily swimming, the Pacific white-sided dolphins Helen and Hana were playing, the penguins were enjoying themselves, and so did the sea otters Elfin and Tanu, and Schoona was swimming gracefully. And then there were so many others to be watched, like colourful butterflies and those funny garden eels. We never tire of visiting the animals and could spend hours there! Well, we usually do…

After that we went through Stanley Park where we saw a squirrel eating and Canada geese marching along and finally came to the Lost Lagoon where we spent a lovely afternoon. This is one of our most favourite places in Vancouver – and a special one for us, too. It is always totally relaxing to sit on one of the benches and to watch the wildlife there. We usually spot ducks, Canada geese, swans, blue herons, squirrels, raccoons, seagulls, turtles, fish and various birds. And I always take pictures – I must have a hundred if not even a thousand of that location.

By the way, Have you spotted the blue heron in one of the pictures here?

Back home with a nice cuppa in hand we had the most amazing sunset ever – just have a look at the pictures!

Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park, Lost Lagoon and Blue Moon

Today we headed to the Vancouver Aquarium to spend a wonderful and relaxing day there. It also was a relaxing day for the animals so it seemed – the seals were enjoying the sun and the penguins took a nap.

On our way back to the SkyTrain station we had a look at the Rose Garden in Stanley Park – and even the Canada geese were using the official place to cross the street to get there, okay, almost, but that was a pretty sight!

Of course we walked along the Lost Lagoon to enjoy a last look of it before heading home.

And then, as it was already quite late, we saw the Blue Moon which was huge! Very impressive indeed.

Our wedding anniversary day at Lost Lagoon

Luckily for us, we had gorgeous weather to go to the Lost Lagoon where we got married five years ago – and we celebrated our wedding anniversary with lots of wildlife there. A bumblebee, a blue heron, Canada geese, ducks, a swan and a raccoon all said hi – and those Canada geese even swam in formation. We had such a great time there!

As we were nearby, we simply had to go to the Aquarium as well. Jack said hi, too, and the penguins were enjoying a swim.

It was such an amazing day for our wedding anniversary, especially as we could finally spend it here in Vancouver!