Perhaps unsurprisingly, butterflies play a starring role at Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Thousands of them flutter around freely, up to 75 species from across the globe. But the facility isn't just a home for butterflies: it's a thriving ecosystem. Exotic birds fill the space with their native songs, and other critters—including iguanas, tree frogs, and tortoises—also roam about the tropical plants and orchids.
In order to accommodate such a diverse spectrum of life, the thermostat at Victoria Butterfly Gardens remains set at 25 degrees Celsius with 80 percent humidity. The facility has essentially re-created a rainforest, and precise management enables it to thrive without packing the soil with such foreign sources as herbicides, pesticides, or protein powder. While strolling along its paths, visitors learn all about how the ecosystem operates, and various exhibits and displays let them inspect the Gardens' creatures and plant life more closely.
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A tiny ripple glides along the smooth-as-glass water, alerting captain Pete to the fact that he and his passengers are about to have company. Sure enough, within seconds a group of glossy black fins breaks through the sea in a silent, synchronized ballet. A native Washingtonian who has spent his entire life on the water, captain Pete orchestrates San Juan Excursions to grant guests the chance to go head-to-head with nature in moments such as these. As marine naturalists certified by the Whale Museum’s Naturalist Training Program, captain Pete’s crew of passionate guides take to the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound to entertain boatloads of guests with informative facts about area wildlife witnessed during excursions.
The team’s passion for nature informs its low-impact approach to whale and wildlife watching, which is exemplified in the Odyssey, the company's tour boat. Originally a U.S. Navy search-and-rescue vessel forged in 1941, the craft is fueled by biodiesel when possible and maintains a low propeller RPM to minimize the Bono moans it releases into the water column. Though San Juan Excursions specializes in whale watching, it also sends adventurers forth to explore the waters on their own steam during sea-kayak tours.
Nestled within a 150-foot floating vessel 5 metres below Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Pacific Undersea Gardens sprawls with an interactive aquarium and dive-show theatre. More than 5,000 animals such as rock cod, red snapper, Pacific salmon, and wolf eels slink and swim through the facility’s natural, protected environment, which guests can peek into from the dry side of numerous viewing windows. As critters flit about in a tidal pond, visitors of all ages gently interact with the sea creatures. In the vessel's spacious theatre area, divers shielded in masks equipped with communications gear chat with onlookers while swimming among sea stars, anemones, and a giant Pacific octopus affectionately named Armstrong. After the show, divers clear their schedules to meet with birthday partygoers, and friendly guides educate school groups and oversee activities such as knighting favourite teachers with a swordfish.
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If you like to ensure your self-presentation is at its peak, then it'll definitely be wise to take advantage of bar's fantastic ironing service.
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