Sea lions, dolphins, belugas

Well, we were still in Stanley Park after our mini-geocaching tour, so going home simply was no option – and we had to go to the Vancouver Aquarium…

Unfortunately, we were already too late to watch the seal and sea lion show, but we took some snapshots of Izzy and Ashby, two Steller sea lions, and either Hermes or Davinci, a harbour seal, before watching the dolphin show. Both Hana and Helen seemed to be in a good mood and performed a lot of jumps, too.
After that we watched another great show, featuring Aurora and Qila, the beluga whales.

And finally we said hi to Jack and Daisy, and spent the remaining time with them, but we did not take any special pictures today…

We definitely had a fantastic – partially sunny – afternoon! Fully energized, we headed back to work again…

Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales and harbour porpoises

Together with my in-laws, Marcus and I arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium in time to watch the last dolphin show of the day – and the show was great! Helen and Hana seemed to be in a good mood and performed a lot of jumps.
After the show we stayed a little bit longer at the dolphin habitat to observe both Hana and Helen swimming leisurely in the smaller pool, having a good time.

After that we just made it to the beluga show to see the mother-daughter pair Aurora and Qila who also seemed to have fun interacting with their trainers.

Finally, we made our way to Jack and Daisy, our favourite harbour porpoises – and we were lucky as not only Jack came to the underwater viewing area to say hi but Daisy frequently came down, too! So we spend the remaining minutes with them and had lots of fun!

Fully energized, Marcus and I then attended our second special volunteer training which was really good and inspiring indeed!

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.

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!

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…

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 great day at the Vancouver Aquarium

Today we spent quite a lot of time at the Vancouver Aquarium – so much actually that we watched the dolphin show three times! But it never gets boring to watch Hana and Helen interact with their trainers. Besides, every time there is always something different to see, so that each show is definitely unique.
Marcus also had a nice chat with Leonora, a marine mammal trainer at the Vancouver Aquarium, – and we also had another quick chat with Lauren, an interpretive specialist at the Vancouver Aquarium. It is great to meet the passionate people who work with those amazing animals here at the Aquarium.

In the habitat opposite Hana and Helen’s one, all four female Steller sea lions were present and relaxing (or trying to sleep?) in groups of two, whereas the harbour seals were swimming non-stop.
The fur seals were probably inspired by the sea lions and decided to have a nap, too.

We also paid a visit to the African penguins, and all seven of them were standing close together – as usual.
From there it is just a step or two to see Aurora and Qila, the mother-daughter beluga duo swimming in their habitat. First Aurora was relaxing in rather shallow water while Qila swam by, but later we could watch both of them in action – from the underwater viewing area.

On we went to have a look at Elfin who seemed to be enjoying some rays of sunshine. Isn’t he cute?
Then we decided to go to see Schoona. I love sea turtles, and it is always very relaxing to watch her swim through her habitat.
On our way to the seahorses we also saw this beautiful tasselled wobbegong, a species of carpet shark. Its pattern looks amazing, eh?
And we really spotted some seahorses which usually takes some time. Can you see them, too?
A bit further on, we also saw those garden eels that always retreat into their holes when a fish swims above them. They are fun to watch, too.

However, as huge Jack and Daisy fans, the most interesting part for us was to watch these two harbour porpoises interact with their trainers, and later on seeing them checking out themselves in a window that was covered with a blind and acted as a mirror. It really looked like as if they were checking out their outward appearances, their flippers and flukes. That was so funny to watch.

After we said our goodbyes to them, on our way home, we got the most amazing view of Lions Gate Bridge which I had never seen before at night. So we had a quick stop to take some pictures of it. Stunning, 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!