Seal release in Porteau Cove

Together with Dalila, we went to Porteau Cove early this morning to witness the release of seven rehabilitated harbour seals. We all were very excited to see the seal release live as we had never been to an event like that one before.

All seven harbour seals, five of them equipped with satellite transmitters, were sitting in their carriers, looking out of them with big eyes, and waiting for their big moment to be back in the wild again.

Then it was time to say goodbye to these little harbour seals who immediately went into the water. Most of them looked back; and some of them swam together a little bit before going their separate ways.

We wish you all the best for the new chapters in your lives!

Harbour seals and harbour porpoises at Whytecliff Park

After several rainy days (and more to come) we had a day with near sunshine so that we headed towards Whytecliff Park to have a leisurely stroll there.
As it was nearly high tide, we could not reach Whyte Islet – which I had never climbed before. Maybe next time…
Anyway, a seagull seemed to be guarding the way – and it was looking towards us.

We also managed to find one geocache, a puzzle. Yay!

But the most exciting experience was that we saw harbour seals, and three harbour porpoises – two swimming together and a single one. That was so amazing as we had never seen a harbour porpoise in the wild before.

We definitely have to come back to see more wildlife there!

Such an amazing variety of animals

Today we watched the harbour seals and Pacific white-sided dolphins in action before exploring the galleries and having a closer look at some of the smaller animals at the Vancouver Aquarium.

There is always so much to see!

Play time for Jack and Daisy, nap time for Elfin and the harbour seals

While watching Jack and Daisy from the underwater viewing area, we noticed some divers getting into the habitat, too, who then were playing with the harbour porpoises. Both Jack and Daisy seemed to be very curious and continuously swam to the divers to interact with them.

Contrary to the active harbour porpoises, Elfin and the harbour seals were having a little nap. Although they were giving their visitors a short glance, they went back to their little siestas almost immediately. Cute, eh?

(to be continued…)

After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium

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!

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…)

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.

A short stop over at the Vancouver Aquarium

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).

We saw belugas, sea otters, harbour porpoises, sea lions, harbour seals…

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.

(to be continued…)

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…