… and afterwards to the Vancouver Aquarium

Well, after our little hike through Lynn Canyon Park we simply did not want to go straight back home. And so we decided to expand our day trip a bit, and we ended up at… well… at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Once there, we saw Elfin having the time of his life, lying on top of a mountain of ice cubes. He really looked like he was in heaven.
And then it was Jack time! He really came down to play with me. Yay!
He is such a cutie, and could you resist his charms?!

We also watched the last dolphin show of the day where the marine mammal trainers Charlotte and Paula let Hana and Helen show some of their behaviours which is so much fun to watch.

And then we had some final minutes to play peek-a-boo or hide and seek with Jack.
It is always so hard to say goodbye at the end of the day – but we will definitely be back next week!

We went to Lynn Canyon Park and its suspension bridge…

Lynn Canyon Park is just a 20 minute drive from home, but we have to drive through three cities: Burnaby, Vancouver and North Vancouver – via the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing.
I love bridges and boardwalks, and as Lynn Canyon Park offers both, this destination was the perfect spot to go to. We went relatively early to avoid the crowd as Lynn Canyon Park is quite a popular spot among the locals.

First of all, we walked across the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge which is about 50 metres above the creek flowing underneath it. We then went along this beautiful trail leading to the 30 Foot Pool, admiring the untouched nature surrounding us. I so love these moss covered trees which always remind me that we are indeed living in the temperate rainforest – not that the amount of rain is any sign at all…

Anyway, on our way back we just passed the suspension bridge, went along a boardwalk (I also love those!) and continued our way until we came to the Twin Falls, two beautiful waterfalls which can best be seen from the little wooden bridge crossing the canyon.
And doesn’t it look like as if the sun was pointing out that there seemed to be a rather grim looking face on the rocks just below this bridge?! Strange, eh?

Our way back led us to climb a couple of stairs (more than 200) which was quite an uphill hike. But it was definitely worth it – and besides, we knew that before!
We will be back once our boys are here this summer!

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!

My birthday with Jack

Marcus and I took the day off and headed towards the Vancouver Aquarium where we went to see Jack and Daisy, our favourite harbour porpoises. Well, they are the only ones, but still…
As I like to play with Jack so much, I got to spend nearly all the time there doing exactly that.
When Jack spotted me among the visitors, he just stopped in front of me and looked at me, probably signalling something like ‘Have you come to play with me?’.
He is really so cute, so how could I resist?! And yes, I played peek-a-boo with him, hiding behind other visitors or just knelt down and hid behind my hand – and he was either looking for me, or he just followed me down and tried to see my face again. That is so incredible. I still cannot believe that he does that!
Marcus was very patient and let me play with Jack. He took lots of pictures, as I was too busy playing with this cutie named Jack. And then after a while Daisy came down, too. She loves having her pictures taken, and so she posed in front of the cameras. In a very gentleman-like manner, Jack always waited until Daisy had finished her photo session and came down to play afterwards.
We also met Margo, one of the volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium, and Marcus had a lovely chat with her.
This was definitely my best birthday ever!

Flight of the ISS

Today we were very lucky to capture the flight of the ISS from our balcony. You can even see some stars and the moon. Awesome, eh?

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.

Burnaby at night and an ISS sighting

While waiting for the International Space Station to appear, I enjoyed the view from our balcony and watched the moon wander from one place to another.
And then the ISS came into sight and flew by very quickly. Isn’t it amazing that we can see it from the earth?

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?

Another ISS sighting

Once again we were lucky to see the International Space Station flying above us – and to capture its flight. Just see for yourselves!