Penguins, sea lions, porpoises

After having seen harbour porpoises in the wild, we went to the Vancouver Aquarium to see Jack and Daisy, the two harbour porpoises there, up close – and they came really close to the underwater viewing windows!

We also visited the African penguins who were all on one side of the habitat – and the Steller sea lions who were already getting ready for the night.

Vancouver Aquarium – here we come – again…

Being members at the Vancouver Aquarium is so worth it as we can spend as many times at the Vancouver Aquarium as we want during the year. Especially when we have an enormous amount of workload and hardly come out of the house, having some well-earned off-time at a place we love is simply wonderful.

So today we made our little round to first of all see the sea otters – and Katmai looked back at us!

Afterwards we watched Spotlight on Penguins where all African penguins stood well-lined up on one side of the habitat so that I could actually tell who was who. Steveston seemed to hang on interpretive specialist Vivan’s every word, always looking into her direction.
After that we could even watch marine mammal trainer Nicky feed those lovely penguins.

On we went to have a look at the beautiful belugas – and Aurora was looking at us several times. She even vocalized! That was so amazing.

We then followed the noise the Steller sea lions were making and found two of them sitting on their dock, being quite vocal, while one of the harbour seals swam by.

And finally we made our way to Jack and Daisy, our favourite harbour porpoises…

(to be continued…)

Great photo opportunities

When we went to Penguin Point, we saw Sechelt and Nelson inspecting one of the autumn leaves. Later on all seven African penguins stood closely together for the perfect photo opportunity. A great bunch, eh?

Once inside the building, we saw the zebra shark lying on the ground for the first time. She is usually swimming around quite fast, so I took this chance to get a closer picture of her.

The garden eels were rather cooperative today, too, as they hardly ever stay still.

And we were lucky to see so many seahorses in action. Some of them came so close to the window that we managed to get some decent shots of them.

Even the dwarf cuttlefish were clearly visible today. Those masters of disguise are usually hard to detect, but it must have been our lucky day to spot those cute ones today.

(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!

Penguin walk and dolphin show

Marcus and I had interviews for autumn volunteer positions at the Vancouver Aquarium today, and after that we still had some time left to actually go into the Aquarium. As you would probably have guessed, once there anyway, we just couldn’t return home but had to have to say hi to some of the animals living there.

Today we went to Penguin Point where nearly all African penguins showed us their backs. Not very welcoming, eh? But after a while they all turned around and were looking at their visitors.
During one of the penguin walks later on, we saw Sechelt and Salt Spring even closer than before. While Sechelt was looking around, Salt Spring had a very brisk walk from one end of the beluga habitat to the other and sprinted directly into the carrier waiting at the end of her walk.

Later on we watched Hana and Helen perform during the very last dolphin show of the day. Both were in a very good mood, leaping out of the water even before their show started. And during their show, they did show some great jumps!

There was another species that we could not forget visiting, of course – the harbour porpoises…

(to be continued…)

A great late afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium

When we arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium, it was already time for Hana and Helen’s last show of the day; so we definitely had to find a nice spot to watch both of them in action – and it is always worth it!

The penguin walk was next, in which Hope and Sechelt were indeed walking along the beluga habitat. It is always to cute to watch them waddle along.

After that we only had one last hour left to spend with Jack and Daisy. However, only Jack came down to say hi to both of us. Just as we were about to leave (well, we had to – the Aquarium was closing), Daisy came down to the underwater viewing area, too, and said goodbye as well.

What a great afternoon!

 

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!

Another short visit at the Vancouver Aquarium

If we can only spend an hour or two at the Vancouver Aquarium, this classifies as a short visit, and that we had today.

First of all we saw Elfin holding tight to his enrichment toy that was tied to the door, probably imitating kelp.
We then watched Hana and Helen in action before heading over to the beluga habitat to watch one of the penguins walks. This time it was Hope and Sechelt’s turn to waddle along. As Hope is our favourite African penguin, this was especially interesting to watch.

Then – finally – it was time to say hi to Jack and Daisy who both came to the underwater viewing area and were happy to see us. These two are such amazing animals!

Before heading home we observed Hana and Helen for a while, and said goodbye to Elfin who still held the same toy in his paws. Such a cutie!

Marcus’ pre-birthday visit at the Vancouver Aquarium

Saturdays and Sundays are usually really busy days for the Vancouver Aquarium. Therefore Marcus decided that he wanted to have some quieter time for his birthday, and so we went to the Vancouver Aquarium a day earlier.

Jack was already waiting, and Marcus both took some pictures of him and played with this cute harbour porpoise. After a while, Daisy came down, too, and posed for some pictures. That was a really special birthday treat!
Later there also was a training session in which Jack and Daisy got some enrichment toys to play with. Together they even collected one of the toys from the bottom of their habitat. And then Jack picked it up again to show it to us. His birthday present for Marcus?

On that day we also watched two dolphin shows in which those beautiful ladies Hana and Helen were really active and playful. Hana even picked up a ring and brought it back to her trainer Nicky.

Elfin had an enrichment toy, too, holding in his paws. Cute, eh?

We also watched a penguin walk starring Sechelt and Tofino. Don’t those African penguins look simply adorable while waddling along their path? Unfortunately, their walk is over much too soon.

At the end of the day, we made our way back to Jack and Daisy’s habitat. There we played with Jack, and shortly before we had to go, even Daisy said goodbye to us.
it is always great to see them both.

Once again, this was a fabulous day and probably Marcus’ best pre-birthday experience.

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.