The final part of my Canada series is now here! This is one is all dedicated to the wildlife around Vancouver (more or less). Come with me to explore the Vancouver Aquarium and on a whale-watching trip.
After our very intense hike the day before we chose to have an easy day in the city, and go visit the Vancouver Aquarium. Considering the weather wasn’t the best and it was raining loads, this was a great day to spend the day. The Vancouver Aquarium is a non-for profit society, and they’re dedicated to the conservation of marine life. This is very evident around the aquarium, with videos and panels everywhere that you can read and learn about the work they do rehabilitating injured seals and other animals.
After seeing the sea otters I officially have a new favourite animal. They were simply adorable, check out the video to see what I mean! My second favourite tanks were the ones with jellyfish, which for someone that is terrified of them is saying something. The fact that I was safely behind a glass probably contributed to that. They were mesmerising to watch, with their bright colours and lazily floating around. All in all it was a fun day, and I highly recommend a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium if you get the chance.
Being able to see whales in real life has been on my bucket list since forever. So it’s just obvious that while visiting Vancouver, a renowned destination for whale sightings, I’d go whale watching. I went with Wild Whales Vancouver, and we spent about 5 hours at sea. Park regulations say you’re only allowed about an hour with the whales, so the majority of that is really just driving to where the whales have been sighted. The drive there is fun too, the water is usually calm as the sea is repaired and not too choppy, and the crew bring round maps and journals for you to learn about the whales.
The whales had moved from the original sighting spot, but we found them quite easily, mostly due to the two other whale watching boats there. We saw a pod of killer whales hunting, and it was one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Killer whales come out to breathe 3 or 4 times in a row, then dive deeper and before resurfacing to breathe next time after 7 to 10 minutes. They can obviously swim quite far in that time, so every time they dived under we’d be looking everywhere frantically, trying to spot fins resurfacing somewhere. We were very lucky as we saw them hunting, and they were doing so very close to the surface, so we could see their tails splashing around throughout it.
Regulations say you have to stay at least at 100 metres distance from the whales. However, if you stop the engines of your boat, and then the whales swim up close to you there’s not much you can do to prevent it. We were very lucky as this is what happened, with one of the killer whales even slamming its catch (by then it was just a big chunk of meat and bones, but the crew identified it as seal) on the side of our boat. This was the highlight of the trip for me, and I was lucky enough to catch it on video, you should really check it out!
On the drive back to Vancouver we stopped at a strip of rock, where we saw sea lions chilling in the sun. Seeing them sunbathing, jumping in the water every once in a while to cool down, and making sounds at each other, made me wish I was a sea lion too! All in all it was a great trip, and I highly recommend going whale watching if you’re ever in Vancouver. Don’t forget to check out the video for the full footage of the things I’ve described, and Instagram for more photos!
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