Four Steller sea lions

During Up Close with Dolphins we could hear the sea lions from time to time being quite noisy – and yes, all four of them were in the habitat today!

One of the sea lion girls was lying on the platform, looking around, roaring, even sticking out her tongue (!).
The other three were swimming around, getting out onto or near the platform in between – all while being very, and I mean very, very vocal. They were even roaring in the water!

(to be continued…)

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.

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.

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!