We had a fantastic time at Porteau Cove Provincial Park

We actually wanted to go to Whytecliff Park in North Vancouver, but our navigation system somehow misled us and proposed a u-turn near Porteau Cove. So instead of following its instructions, we spontaneously decided to go ahead and stay at Porteau Cove.

Once there, we found one of the rare parking spots left, took our backpacks and started exploring the area a bit. Surprisingly enough, there were not many people walking along its rocky beach, so that we nearly had it for ourselves. Ben and Tom had a good time there, playing in and at the water, and they liked climbing that dead tree lying on the beach. I had to follow them, of course, to get some great pictures. I am still fascinated by the natural beauty there: the rocky coastline looking over Howe Sound to the mountains beyond. And look, some of those mountains still had some snow!

Anyway, we followed the coastline until we came to a little lagoon at the end of Porteau Cove’s campsite where our boys had some more fun playing in the water.

After having spent several hours there, we headed towards the pier again, got into the car, went along the Sea to Sky Highway (yay!) and headed towards Vancouver where we wanted to say hi to Jack.

(to be continued…)

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 spent a great day in Vancouver

Sunday showed its sunny side so that we couldn’t resist and head out into the sunlight to enjoy a great day in sunny Vancouver.

On our way to Stanley Park we observed one of the blue herons standing in the water near Devonian Harbour Park and trying to catch some food – and that it did! It just seemed as if its food didn’t want to be eaten and tried to seal the blue heron’s bill. After this exciting experience we continued our walk to the Vancouver Aquarium where we couldn’t wait to get inside once again. Well, it was only the second time this week…

We headed to the first sea otters’ habitat where we watched Tanu and Katmai at feeding time. And then we saw that Elfin, the male sea otter, was in his habitat again – happily playing with a red ball. They are all so cute, and I simply can’t get enough observing them.

Then we went on to have a look at Hana and Helen who were happily swimming in their smaller habitat, especially Helen swam around all the time – on her back!
Opposite them the sea lion jumped out of the water while two seals were looking out of the water.

But as huge Jack and Daisy fans we simply had to go down to their underwater viewing area. Surprisingly, Daisy came down this time posing in front of the cameras – just like a little diva, but so super cute! The funny thing was that Jack didn’t come down as long as Daisy was there, instead he hovered nearby observing the situation. It looked like as if he had been parked there.

Then we made our way to the 3:30 pm dolphin show but had to stand in a second row as it was really crowded. As always, you could see that Hana and Helen had great fun during their training session which was commented on very enthusiastically by Lauren, a passionate interpretive specialist for marine mammals at the Vancouver Aquarium. After the show and a little chat with Lauren we went to see Hana and Helen at their underwater viewing area and were amazed how close they swam by.

After having spent some time there, we headed to Aurora and Qila’s underwater viewing area, sat on one of the benches and just watched those beautiful belugas in action.

From there it’s just a little walk to Jack and Daisy’s habitat where we spent the rest of the afternoon playing with Jack (me) – and yes, he came down very often – or taking pictures of him (mostly Marcus, sometimes me as I was busy playing with him…). We were literally the last two persons to leave Jack. Strangely enough he somehow sensed that his fun was over and he stopped playing, and it seemed as if he was saying something like ‘You can’t go now. I’m so cute!’ That was heart breaking…

Anyway, we really had to leave the Vancouver Aquarium and strolled through Stanley Park where we saw two squirrels until we arrived at the Lost Lagoon. There we saw a blue heron, together with two ducks, on one of those logs placed in the Lost Lagoon. After a while a tree swallow landed on a bird house nearby. Of course, the usual Canada geese and seagulls were present, too. And then, just like some days ago, a male red-winged blackbird appeared, quickly followed by a female one.

At Devonian Harbour Park we couldn’t believe our eyes as we saw another pair of black-winged blackbirds there. The Canada geese family and their goslings from last time were swimming on the pond before heading onto land for their lunch or dinner.

As we had to get back to Burrard SkyTrain station, we walked along the seafront, passed the marina and saw two seagulls checking out their seafront property, i.e. this interesting piece of art. A bit further on we also had a great view of the Convention Centre, the sea plane terminal and Vancouver harbour. But we had to get some rest on those lovely benches at Jack Poole Plaza (who can’t resist sitting on those huge benches?) where we could once again enjoy the view of Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, North Vancouver and the mountain range with those funnily shaped mountains.

As you can see, we had a most fantastic day which simply has to be repeated soon!

It’s the Vancouver Aquarium again

Once again we took the SkyTrain to go to Burrard Station where a sea of cherry blossoms awaited us. From there we walked through Vancouver a bit and finally made it to Stanley Park’s seafront from where we had a great view of Coal Harbour, and later we even had a clear view of Canada Place’s sails and the Vancouver Convention Centre on whose ‘living roof’ native plants grow and bees have found a home. As a special bonus, we saw a blue heron nearby looking for food.

Inside the Aquarium we finally could get a glimpse at the new sea otter girl Katmai who was together with Tanu. Of course, we had to go down to say hi to both harbour porpoises Jack and Daisy – and after some waiting Jack came to the glass panel and played peek-a-boo with me. That was so cute! Then we continued to have a look at all the other animals indoors and outdoors, including the tasselled wobbegong.

After having spent some time at the Aquarium we headed back to Burrard SkyTrain Station via Devonian Harbour Park, Cardero Park and Harbour Green Park along the waterfront. At one point there was this interesting house, and from another point we could see the Harbour Centre with its Lookout Tower.

All in all, we had a most beautiful day together with our boys and will definitely be back soon.

Gastown, Lost Lagoon and Second Beach

Once again we used the SkyTrain to get to Vancouver, and this time we went to the terminus station Waterfront from where we headed towards Gastown, named after ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton who opened a saloon in that area from which Vancouver evolved. Of course, we had to have a look at its famous Steam Clock which, by the way, is also featured on the artwork to Nickelback’s album ‘Here and Now’.

On our way to the Lost Lagoon we stopped to see the Olympic flames which are impressive indeed.

When we arrived at the Lost Lagoon, we did not only see nature in its full bloom but also animals in abundance. There were Canada geese, blue herons, raccoons, spotted towhees, chickadees, turtles, ducks and swans – all living there in harmony. I just love this place and never tire of coming back to it again and again.

From there it’s just a little walk to Second Beach which we saw at low tide – for the first time. We enjoyed the sun and had our first ice cream there. Yummy!

After having spent an amazing day outdoors, we headed towards the SkyTrain station where an enormous amount of cherry blossoms greeted us. What a wonderful outing!

Lost Lagoon and Vancouver Aquarium

What a day to pick for a walk along the Lost Lagoon! It was raining, but not too heavily so that we actually enjoyed our little walk there. We also made a short detour and grabbed a great geocache.

Back at the Lagoon again, we saw two swans and a blue heron minding their own businesses.

And last, we had to say hello to Jack and Daisy at the Aquarium before going home and enjoying a nice hot cuppa.

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!

Beaver Lake, Vancouver Aquarium and Lost Lagoon

We decided to do some geocaching in Stanley Park and especially chose everything around Beaver Lake.

On our way to Beaver Lake, there were two squirrels having late breakfast or early lunch. And then, we were finally there and could enjoy the beautiful lake full of water lilies. There even were some ducks – and we saw a blue dragonfly!

We then decided to pay a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium – and we even saw a little squirrel on our way. Once there, we saw Jack, the harbour porpoise, playing with a leaf, Helen and Hana, the Pacific white-sided dolphins, performing in front of an audience and the sea lion swimming endlessly.

Of course, we had to return to the Lost Lagoon (where we saw a blue heron, ducks and a swan) to round up our wonderful day. It’s always so peaceful and quiet there, and we are enjoying each visit there so much.

By the way, we did find some geocaches!

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!

At the beach again

I still can’t believe that I can go to the beach whenever I want to – and we live in walking distance to it!

So we headed to the seafront again and could watch a blue heron among all the seagulls. It was low tide once more – and this time the little snails were even crawling along. There must have been thousands of them around!

A lovely sunset sent us back home again. We had indeed a wonderful evening at the sea.