The last part of our south island sojourn. We could have easily spent a lot more time here. When people said to allow 3 mounths I thought they might be exagerating. Of course that was back in the day when the pound could buy something here. We would have to get jobs for the first mounth – so that would make 4 mounths, to afford the extra time. Anyway, what have we been up to; Angela writes……
John said we couldn’t leave the south Island without swimming with dolphins at Kaikoura. I was in two minds about travelling right across the country from the west coast to the east coast but in retrospect I am glad we made the effort. We choose the early morning 6am trip which had been recommended to us as the dolphins are often more energetic at this time (I wish I could say the same for me) and as a bonus we got to see the sun rise across the bay too. We had a fantastic morning: the sea was calm; the sunrise was beautiful; the dolphins were plentiful and Jacob and I got to swim with them on 5 different occasions. In between the skipper carefully steered the boat in front of the pod again. The water temperature was a refreshing 16 degrees (air temp 9) and we were fully kitted out with wetsuits, flippers, hoods and snorkels. Louise wasn’t sure she wanted to swim and so John and Louise watched from the boat and took some great shots of the dolphins as they swam, jumped and performed acrobatics (no one knows for sure why they somersault out of the water but they look like they are having fun). Louise was at the front of the boat and the skipper referred to her as the dolphin whisperer as she enjoyed interacting with them with her own dolphin calls.
For me the experience of watching them and being in the water with them was up there with elephant bathing. There was something very special about swimming and interacting with wild dolphins. We were given suggestions on how to interact with them and the one that worked the best for me was swimming in circles while giving the dolphins eye-contact and making dolphin like noises. Sometimes this worked and I got disorientated after a minute or so of swimming around and around with them. It was difficult to capture this on the underwater camera but have a look at our video and it will give you an idea of the fantastic morning we had.
Jacob says the water was freezing and he was grateful for the hot shower, hot choc and biscuits once we had finished swimming. However, he enjoyed a dolphin swimming straight towards him, after the initial scare (you don’t see them coming until they are quite close up due to the water visibility). The dolphin turned around and Jacob got to touch its tail which was all rubbery.