We were the very first people in line (were you surprised?) waiting to get into the Vancouver Aquarium for After Hours, an adult-only evening, that promised to be full of fun, entertainment and even education, especially when you consider its motto ‘The Secret Sex Lives of Animals’.
So what did we do in the four hours?
We saw a penguin walk featuring Nelson and Sechelt; and this time both penguins were running along the beluga habitat really fast. That was amazing to watch!
Besides that, we also watched both beluga shows in which Qila and Aurora had probably as much fun as their audience.
We also went to see Hana and Helen from above their habitat as well as from the underwater viewing area where both of them checked a stuffed animal out.
In contrast to the active dolphins, the Steller sea lion and all three harbour seals seemed to be really sleepy and hardly looking at their visitors, except for raising their heads a bit from time to time.
Of course, we spent most of the time with Jack and Daisy – we had promised them to be back, after all, and we had so much fun with them.
Jack was happy to be part of the evening’s theme as he happily showed everything he had – if you know what I mean; and he made lots of people watch at him more closely…
Anyway, the four hours were over much too soon – and we cannot wait to be back for the next After Hours event!
Today we spent some hours at the Vancouver Aquarium where we saw Hana and Helen performing in their show before heading down to say hi to Jack and Daisy who both came to the underwater viewing windows.
After a while we saw Janel, who wanted to say hi to Jack and Daisy, too, and so we let her have some fun with both harbour porpoises while exploring the galleries in the main building. On our way there, we saw both Tanu and Elfin having a nap in their habitats.
We went to see Schoona but she didn’t seem to be in her habitat; maybe it was feeding time for her.
Anyway, we saw the tasselled wobbegong with its incredible pattern that can even be seen at the underside of its tail. The name carpet shark is so appropriate!
We also caught sight of a seahorse living next door before heading to see some axolotls which I absolutely adore – and we were lucky to see them in the open.
After that we originally wanted to see the penguin walk together with Janel, but somehow there wasn’t any. So Janel went down to Jack again, and we stayed to watch the final beluga show of the day which was great as usual.
Afterwards we, too, went down to Jack and Daisy. When Jack came to the underwater viewing window and saw all three of us standing there together, he was so excited and interacted with all of us! A short time later Daisy appeared, too, to check out cameras and Janel’s phone.
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!
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.
We were one of the first visitors to get into the Vancouver Aquarium – and that was what we intended as we wanted to visit the wet lab first. After having washed our hands, we had a look at all the different local species there, including various sea anemones, sea stars, sea cucumbers and sea urchins. Marcus and Tom even got the chance to have a sea urchin each on their hands which moved forward there. Great, eh? However, as time was limited to a ten minute slot only, we didn’t get the chance to see all the other animals. That means that we simply have to be back next Monday!
When we headed outside the main building, we saw Elfin enjoying his lunch. So we didn’t stop, but went to watch one of the belugas’ training sessions which we enjoyed a lot, especially when Aurora demonstrated how she could spit water out of her mouth. After that we saw another training session, and this time the most fascinating activity was watching Hana jumping out of the water to reach the end of a pole.
On we went to Jack and Daisy’s habitat where we could observe a training session with them as well. Especially Jack interacted a lot with his trainer Indy.
Our boys wanted to go back into the main building to watch Hana and Helen from underwater – and so we went. Both dolphins came down to say hi to us. Just look, aren’t they absolutely adorable? From there, we also watched one of their shows which was quite an unusual perspective, but great, too.
Before going back to Jack and Daisy, we tried to capture some more shots of various jellyfish to enter the jellyfish photo competition. And then we spent some time with Jack who came down to welcome us there.
But then it was time to watch one of the seal and Steller sea lion shows, and one of the sea lion girls was already poking her head out of the water, waiting for her show to start – which was really good.
As I absolutely love those axolotls, I persuaded the boys to come and see them as well as the frogs. Besides my favourite axolotls, I especially liked this grim-looking waxy monkey leaf frog. Cute, eh?
On our way to the B.C. Sugar Pool, we saw Elfin, holding a yellow ball in his paws, and that was so cute to watch.
Anyway, when we were at Jack and Daisy’s underwater viewing area, Jack came down once more and said hi to Ben and Tom who both had lots of fun with him.
Soon it was time to leave. So we waved goodbye to Katmai and Elfin, and went home.
Well, to continue the water theme, we changed from being in the water (at least for our boys) to being near water and watching various animals in and out of the water.
First we went to the beluga whales, and Qila came down really close to us. She looks pretty, doesn’t she? Then we had a look at the harbour seals and Steller sea lions who were already half asleep.
Unlike them, Hana & Helen were pretty active during their show, although they also seemed to be in a relaxed mood before their show started.
Of course, we didn’t forget to say hi to Jack who seemed to be in a good mood whenever he came down to the underwater viewing area.
On our way to the exit we said a quick goodbye to Elfin, but he seemed to enjoy his nap and didn’t pay any attention to us.
Anyway, as the Vancouver Aquarium has a jellyfish photo competition going, we tried our luck getting some good shots of some of their jellyfish species, but this was so tricky…
All in all, we had a fantastic day at two different places in two different cities (North Vancouver, Vancouver) – and we went to a third place (home) in the third city (Burnaby).
Our boys wanted to spend a whole day at the Vancouver Aquarium – and they didn’t even have to persuade us to do exactly that…
As there are so many animals to see, we started with the beautiful beluga whales. First we sat on one of the benches at the underwater viewing area and watched them swim by, before heading up to watch one of their training sessions – and later one of their shows, too.
We then had a look at all three sea otters: Katmai had fun playing with one of her toys, a red ball, whereas Elfin enjoyed a fishy snack.
Of course we went to see Jack and Daisy, and as soon as we were at the underwater viewing area of their habitat, Jack came down to say hi to us and enjoyed having our company – and so did we.
After a while we went to see the Steller sea lions and harbour seals in action which our boys found really interesting to watch.
And then it was time to go into the building to see even more of their amazing animals.
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.
As we are members of the Vancouver Aquarium, we can come and go as often as we like – without any additional costs, and therefore the decision to go there is an absolutely easy one. Well, having Jack and Daisy there helps a lot, too…
Anyway, today we did not only see our favourite (and only) harbour porpoises Jack and Daisy and our favourite sea otter Elfin but also one beluga training session where Aurora wore a waterproof training vest, and several dolphin shows starring Hana and Helen as well as additional training sessions for Hana and Helen and Jack and Daisy.
All in all, a really great day at an even greater place!