Katmai and her evening activity

On our way out of the Aquarium, we saw a sea otter actively playing with one of her toys – and it was Katmai who seemed to have lots of fun with her flying disc. She always had it with her, even while grooming or diving…

Otters, frogs and porpoises

After having seen the plants and birds at the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, we still had some time left to go to the Vancouver Aquarium. We just could not go home, when we still were in Vancouver anyway…

As time was limited, we had a look at the frogs – and the axolotl, of course, (which was really well hidden) – at first before going to see the sea otters and porpoises

Once again, we had a wonderful time!

A sunny winter afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium

On such a beautiful sunny winter day we just had to spend some time outside, and what better place to do so than at the Vancouver Aquarium.

We arrived on time to get a good spot for the 2 o’clock dolphin show which was fantastic! Both Hana and Helen showed behaviours we had not seen before.

After that we had a late lunch, strolled through the galleries, and very much enjoyed the seal and sea lion show, featuring Izzy and Willo, the Steller sea lions, and Hermes and DaVinci, the harbour seals.

As there was another dolphin show scheduled at 3, we simply had to stay in the area and watch that one, too. Although we had seen a show about 90 minutes ago, Hana and Helen presented even more different behaviours, which was so exciting that I almost forgot to take some pictures.

Although the sun was shining, it was pretty cold, and so we headed inside the main building to have a look at the axolotls which I like a lot. Today the darker one was hiding, but came out later and swam by.

And finally – yes, we were not at Jack and Daisy’s before -, we paid the harbour porpoises a visit. Jack and Daisy swam by several times, and Daisy was really curious and tried to get a good look at Marcus’s phone.

On our way out we saw Katmai and Tanu getting ready for their night’s sleep.

All in all, we had a fantastic afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Hana and Helen, Tanu and Katmai, Jack and Daisy

Today we managed to be on time to watch the last dolphin show of the day at the Vancouver Aquarium. We also observed Tanu and Katmai through the glass window, and spend some time with Jack and Daisy.

Sunday afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium

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.

We all had definitely lots of fun today!

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!

A wonderful afternoon at the Vancouver Aquarium

We try to visit the Vancouver Aquarium once a week, and this Wednesday we were pleasantly surprised to find Jack and Daisy back in their usual habitat, the B.C. Sugar pool. It was even better to find them both very active, probably being happy to be back home again.

Daisy came down to the underwater viewing area posing for pictures. She seems to check out all the lenses and decides to go for the biggest one. And Marcus was the lucky one she was posing for (probably seeing herself in the lens). That was so cute!
Jack was waiting to come down after Daisy’s turn and was happily playing with some visitors, including me! That made me really happy!
We also got to know Margo, a very friendly and engaging volunteer at the Vancouver Aquarium who told us a lot more about harbour porpoises, seals and fur seals that we did not know before. Thanks for the nice chat, Margo!

Then we went to see the dolphin show starring Hana and Helen. This time only one trainer, Leonora, interacted with both the Pacific white-sided dolphins. And it always such fun to watch them show all their different behaviours.
After their training session, Helen started playing with a fish which she spat out into the air, and then she caught it again. There was one time when a seagull nearby wanted to catch Helen’s fish, too. But Helen was quicker and snatched the fish away from under the seagull’s ‘nose’. That was really interesting to watch.
Hana, however, was enjoying herself in the smaller dolphin habitat – and probably happy to have it to herself again. Aren’t those dolphins adorable?

Then it was time to leave, but we managed to squeeze in a quick good-bye to Tanu, Katmai and Elfin. But we will be back soon!

On our way home we stopped at one point of Stanley Park’s seawall to admire the Lions Gate Bridge. Our second stop was near the Lost Lagoon where we walked along this beautiful newly built boardwalk in Stanley Park, the Cathedral Trail. From there we headed towards the Lost Lagoon and watched lots of wildlife, among them a swan and a group of Canada geese swimming in formation.

Back home in Burnaby, we were greeted by a cloud which looked very much like a harbour porpoise. That is definitely a sign, eh?

Vancouver Aquarium, Lost Lagoon and Burnaby sunset

The last day of May promised to be as sunny as a summer’s day – and is there any better way than to spend it at the Vancouver Aquarium?! – So that we did.

On our way there, at Devonian Harbour Park, we saw a Canada geese family with lots of goslings swimming happily together.

Once inside the Vancouver Aquarium, we made a beeline to Jack and Daisy’s habitat, only to see that now there were six female fur seals in. I had never seen any of those before, and they were fun to watch, too.
Jack and Daisy were still in the little dolphin habitat. But the good thing for us was to be able to see them interact with their trainers during one of their training sessions. Jack seemed to respond more to them than Daisy did.
We then walked over to the Steller sea lions and harbour seals to watch an interesting training session with them as well. Vancouver Aquarium interpreter Lauren and both marine mammal trainers Anna and Leonora made this experience very special.
It was the first time that we actually saw all four female Steller sea lions together with their male colleagues, the three harbour seals.
And then it was time to see the dolphins in action. Once again, Lauren very enthusiastically led the audience through the dolphin show in which Hana and Helen had fun interacting with their trainers Anna and Leonora.
When we went to see Elfin, Tanu and Katmai, they all seemed to have a very relaxing day.
Time is always flying by when being at the Vancouver Aquarium, and as it was nearly time to leave, we quickly headed towards Schoona’s habitat which she shares with lots of fish, some sharks and rays. So one of her co-inhabitants is often swimming in front of the lens and trying to sneak into the picture…

Then it was time to say good-bye to all the animals, but surprisingly we saw quite a few different animals on our way home, too.
In Stanley Park, there was this black squirrel sitting in the grass and climbing a tree later, and some turtles were swimming in the Lost Lagoon. There we also saw those huge berries which looked like raspberries, but I looked them up and found out that these are edible salmonberries.
At Devonian Harbour Park we did not only see two geese families, and one of them had twelve (!) goslings, but also some birds. There were a house sparrow, a male red-winged blackbird and a female Red-shafted Northern Flicker. Did you know that these Northern Flickers are the only woodpeckers that frequently feed on the ground? Interesting, eh?
At Cardero Park we also saw a Common Starling, and a bit further away, near the Marina, there was a single duck swimming with its duckling.

Back home in Burnaby, we had a beautiful sunset with great clouds. What a fantastic ending of such an amazing day!