A whale tail

Trip Start Oct 12, 2011
Trip End Aug 07, 2012

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What I did
Whales, dolphins, seals and penguins

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Heading off the bus from Christchurch we lushously see people tucking into amazing cooked breakfast – our mouths water we look at the menu and our mouths are not watering anymore $20 for a breaky!! No not on a backpackers budget. Second best option, go to the supermarket buy budget everything for a fry up. We take it over to the beach of stones and cook ourselves a delight looking at the sea and AMAZING snow-capped mountain range. Jaw dropping scenery. We then headed off to see what  the town has to offer, booked our Whale watch – eeekk  chilled out in the sun. we found a great little camp sight in town (we were planning on a free one 10km out of town but decided against it for our early moring whale watch) set up our little canvas (nylonhydostaticuubbbeerrrwaterproofbrightorange) home. Headed down the strawberry tree for some beers because it was tipping it down and a gale…. It took us 1.5 mins to walk to the pub and we were soaked – we had our lovely plastic ponchos on – so we looked the part…. Poor travellers. This is the extent of our waterproof gear for our ride!! On the 'WET coast' as they call it. As the other festival tents buckled under the storm our stayed strong and we had a great night’s sleep… the bears may have helped there too.

The next day we did the peninsular walk which was a really lovely change to biking, but obviously we biked to the walk. We got to see the seal colony on the rocks next to all the rock pools with massive amounts of sea weed bigger than anything I’ve ever seen before. The seals were fairly hidden amongst the sea weed and one lay across the pathway as we nearly walked into it like a fat Labrador! After walking over rocks at water level we took up to the cliff tops to walk back with wider panoramic views really a very relaxed day. On the way back we rode to a caravan selling fresh sea food got a plate of mussels with garlic and chilli oil they were fresh and tasted so nice. The next morning we are getting up early to do the first whale watch can’t wait!!

The whale watch day started as every day should with a fry up, got ourselves to the watch office late obviously, as we were staying the closest to the place. The whale watch Kaikoura was a real set up and properly run outfit lots of people were awake early for the whales. Its our first sunrise at 7.30am with a Hugh moon still present normally its 5.15am so it’s a real nice surprise. The watch begins with the safety briefing of the boat, having been on nearly all types of sea worthy and some not so sea worthy vessels this is the first safety briefing I have had during our travels on the water. The boat is like others just super new and two Hugh Volvo engines that really make a difference.  The narrator of our journey tells us to put our seatbelts on everyone looks round grasping at the seats there aren’t any nice joke!! Later the boat rushes over to see a whale we are on top at front holding on he is driving at full tilt so fast flying over the water what an experience! During our trip the boat stops and the experienced driver listens to sonar they dip into the water looking for something you can’t see or barely here. The whales sonar is off just before it rises and during its digestion so finding something quite hard to find. While we wait mega great wandering albatross and other sea birds fly around, the albatross is like small aircraft its wings even look like they fold up, then we get word from the captain get inside he puts his foot down were there in no time.

The first sighting a Sperm Whale, didn’t realise how big they were its breathe hole is on the front top the rest of what you can see looks like  a sunken barn roof the rest under the water is at 45deg  the sonar gives warning the captain says it will dive soon. Were all camera ready the whale the sea the mountains everyone holds their breath as the whale does the same only it does it for 2 hours. There are several more sightings 3 whales in total. After we travel further up the bay to the dolphin watch get out look around and there’s dusky dolphins doing back flips rush to the boat to follow us back to harbour. An awesome experience we’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.    
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