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…)

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…)

Destination N°1 – the Vancouver Aquarium

At lunchtime we arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium and immediately saw a huge birthday cake (or better said, the rest of it) in Elfin’s habitat to celebrate Stanley Park’s 125th birthday. Elfin had already eaten the most delicious treats and was now having an after-lunch swim.

Meanwhile, Helen and Hana were playing with a ball, and shortly before their show started, Helen brought the ball to her trainer Paula.

We then watched Aurora and Qila swimming by at the underwater viewing windows before heading up the stairs for the penguin walk in which Hope and Salt Spring were the stars.

Back at Elfin’s habitat we saw Margo, one of the volunteers, and had a nice chat in which she also explained a lot about sea otters. And as to prove his existence, Elfin was crushing parts of his ice cake against a wall in order to get to the good stuff inside which he was munching away happily. He also gave us a glance from time to time.

Of course, we could not forget Jack, and so we went to see him next. He was really happy to see us, and we had a great time together.

Some time later we went to see Hana and Helen again who were in a really good mood, and then we went to the beluga habitat once more to watch another penguin walk. Luckily for us, Hope, our favourite penguin, was in it again. It is always so much fun watching her waddle along, while she is looking around and taking in her new surroundings. She seems to be really curious and never runs straight into her carrier.

After that we spend some more time with Jack (Daisy, unfortunately, stayed in her corner) who was enjoying the attention a lot. But then it was time to say goodbye as we wanted to attend another event.

On our way to the parking lot in Stanley Park we saw a raccoon family sitting on a garbage bin, probably looking for some leftovers.

(to be continued…)

We’ve done it again…

Well, yes, we once again spent some hours at the Vancouver Aquarium…

On our way to Jack and Daisy (yes, that is were we always end up first) we said hi to Elfin who was busy grooming himself.
At Jack and Daisy’s habitat we saw Margo, one of the volunteers at the Aquarium, and had a nice chat with her. Okay, Marcus was the one having a longer conversation; it was just a quick chat for me as Jack had spotted me right away, and I couldn’t disappoint a little harbour porpoise, could I?

After a while it was time to see Hana and Helen in action, and we made our way to their habitat. Both dolphins were in a good mood today and performed some great jumps.
After their show, we watched a Steller sea lion enjoying her snack that was frozen inside some ice. She definitely had fun crunching on it!

We also had a look at my little favourites, the axolotls, but only the white one was in sight.
Anyway, after that we watched one of the penguin walks, this time starring Hope (our favourite penguin) and Salt Spring who came out of the carrier, looked around and walked along the beluga habitat. Their waddle is so cute.

Then it was Jack and Daisy time again. Jack was happy to see Marcus who he hadn’t seen before. And luckily for us, Daisy didn’t stay in her corner for too long and came down to the underwater viewing area to check out our cameras.

Hana and Helen’s last show was next, and we couldn’t miss that, could we?
After that there were some more minutes remaining for Jack and Daisy – and both were happy to see us again. So were we!

All in all, we enjoyed another fantastic and relaxing day at the Vancouver Aquarium before heading home again to get back to work.

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.