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!

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).

Hello Elfin, Jack, Qila, Hana and Helen

Originally, we only intended to go grocery shopping, but our boys meant why not enjoy an hour at the Vancouver Aquarium. So we headed to Vancouver to do exactly that.

On our way to the underwater viewing areas of the harbour porpoises and beluga whales, we saw Elfin cuddling a tube-like toy. Cute, eh?

While Tom said hi to Jack, Ben and I went over to the belugas where we could see Qila coming down very close to her visitors. That was fascinating, too.

All of us watched the last dolphin show in which Hana and Helen were definitely having fun with their trainer Paula.

As a sweet reminder of his visit, Tom bought some cute candy from the gift shop which he enjoyed while sitting on a bench in Stanley Park.

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…)

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!

Another fabulous day at the Vancouver Aquarium

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!

Canada Day at the Vancouver Aquarium

Today is Canada Day – and we originally wanted to spend this special day on Canada Place, but as this day was predicted to be one of the hottest days, we changed plans and headed to a cooler place, the Vancouver Aquarium with its underwater viewing galleries.

Surprisingly enough, there were not too many visitors, mainly tourists as the locals celebrated at various other locations.

We went straight to Jack and Daisy’s habitat at the B.C. Sugar Pool where we did not have to wait long for Jack to come down to the underwater viewing area. We had lots of fun playing with Jack – and we even saw Daisy swimming forward a bit as she mostly prefers hanging around in her favourite corner.

After some time we went to Aurora and Qila’s habitat to watch the ‘Caring for Belugas’ show where Qila presented her belly to her trainer which represents an enormous amount of trust as she can neither see her trainer nor breathe during that time.

Then it was back to Jack and Daisy where we spent the majority of the remaining day at the Aquarium, playing with Jack. In between we even saw a training session where both Jack and Daisy interacted with their trainers Paula and Anna who had enrichment toys for the harbour porpoises. Shortly before we had to go home, even Daisy came down to the underwater viewing area, posing for some pictures while Jack was hovering behind her. Daisy is such a beautiful harbour porpoise whereas Jack is simply cute – and both are so adorable!

On our way to the exit of the Vancouver Aquarium, we saw Elfin holding a yellow ball in his paws and had to take some pictures. Isn’t he super cute?!

We then had a nice stroll through Stanley Park where we observed a raccoon with her four children trying to copy everything that their mum did. That was quite interesting to watch!

Anyway, we had a fantastic Canada 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…

Sunday at the Vancouver Aquarium

Although we came relatively early, the Vancouver Aquarium had already attracted quite a lot of visitors, all keen to get to know its various inhabitants.

Anyway, at first, as you would probably have guessed by now, we made our way to Jack and Daisy’s habitat to say hi to them. We did not have to wait long for Jack to make his appearance at the underwater viewing area where he swam by. When he saw me, he stopped and said his proper hello, probably being happy to have found someone he recognized he could play with. And that we did, of course! How can I deny such a cutie anything? Daisy, however, just stayed in her favourite corner.

On our way to watch one of the training sessions with Hana and Helen, we stopped to have a look at Tanu and Katmai who were outside the water grooming themselves. Unfortunately, Elfin’s habitat was empty, and he was nowhere to be seen.
However, I cannot remember when we saw the last ‘Caring for dolphins’ session, so it was really interesting to see Helen and Hana interact with their trainers Paula and Charlotte while getting to know lots of new information.

Shortly before the beluga show was about to start, Lauren, an interpretive specialist for marine mammals at the Vancouver Aquarium, asked me if I wanted to volunteer for the beluga show, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I said yes, but it basically made my day. Thanks, Lauren!
So what did I have to do? Well, I simply volunteered to get splashed by Qila – twice! For those of you who still possess partial sanity, this may sound a bit weird, but it is simply an amazing experience to see that beluga sneaking up on you, aiming and blowing a load of water straight at your face. Oh, by the way, this also served an educational purpose and was to demonstrate that belugas have flexible lips…

As my t-shirt was soaked and needed some sun to get dry again, we wandered around to observe Hana and Helen who were either leisurely swimming (Hana) or playing with fish (Helen) in their smaller dolphin habitat.
After that we watched some more shows – from the ‘Seal and sea lion show’ and the ‘Dolphin show’ to ‘Jelly Deli’ where some brave volunteers could try various jelly fish samples and tell Lauren what and how they tasted. So if you want to try them, too, just come to the Vancouver Aquarium!
Our last show we watched was ‘Caring for belugas’ which we had never seen before and which was so incredibly interesting, especially as we could witness how the trainers, in this case Indy, are getting urine samples from the belugas.

In between most of those shows we, naturally, went to see our favourite harbour porpoises again and again. Jack was definitely in a playful mood today, so that we had lots of fun together. Later, shortly before it was time to go home again and less visitors were at the underwater viewing area, even Daisy came down to check out the cameras and to pose in front of them. So Marcus had some fun playing with Daisy, but Jack still got some play time with me…

All in all, this was a fantastic day at the Vancouver Aquarium – one I will never forget!

Play time with Jack and Daisy

Well, we could not resist to head to the Vancouver Aquarium a second time this week – and it was so worth it!

Jack was in a very good mood and came down to the underwater viewing area to play. From time to time even Daisy came by to check out the cameras and to pose in front of the visitors. But for Jack, it was play time non-stop, and peek-a-boo seemed to be his favourite afternoon pastime. Jack also played with me – and that made my day!

Although I could watch these two cuties for hours, we went to see two other shows in between. First it was Aurora and Qila’s turn to shine – and that they did! I am glad we did not sit in the splash zone…
Then we headed over to the Tropic Zone for a show called Discover Reef Sharks. It was the first time that we actually watched this show, and so we got to know a lot about sharks. With the help of Russ, the designated diver, Lauren, an interpretive specialist at the Vancouver Aquarium, led us through this very interesting programme.

After some more play time with Jack and Daisy, it was time to go. We quickly said our good-byes to Hana and Helen who were swimming in the smaller dolphin habitat, and to Katmai and Elfin who were playing with a disc each.

This was another great afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium, and one that will be repeated soon. Guaranteed.