Dolphins guaranteed?

Trip Start Oct 03, 2012
Trip End Feb 28, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kaikoura is small beach town a few 100 kms above Christchurch and famous for the rich sealife near the coast. The steepness of the mountains is also found under water as the continental shelf edge lies just offshore here. Because two currents meet it causes plankton and small fish to get close to the surface. This attracts seals, dolphins and whales. After I've checked in to the grossest hostel so far (as Rob Geus of the tvshow 'De smaakpolitie' would say in Dutch: 'daar wordt ik niet vrolijk van!'), I descide to take a walk along the peninsula to check out the seal colony. Ar first it's hard to spot them cause they blend in with the rocks and mostly just lay there. But as I walk further I see more seals. There's a small pond of water on the rocks, sort of a private hottub where a mother seal teaches her baby to swim. They are quite funny because they swim sidewards with their tailes out of the water, very funny! But don't get too close, cause seals appear nice and slow, but they are pretty territorial and protective of their young ones. And they're a lot quicker on land then I thought! Seals are not the only thing I see. I also see my French friend Florent from Oamaru standing on the rocks! What a nice suprise! He stays at the same hostel. We finish the rest of the hike together. In the evening there's a very beautiful sunset near the mountains. It's a bit cloudy but this gives the sky spectecular colours. Good foto material!The next morning Florent and I go on a dolphin watch tour. Kaikoura is supposed to be the best place in NZ for watching and swimming with dolphins. Not just any kind of dolphin. It's the dusky dolphins that live there, one of the smallest but most aerobatic species of dolphins. But after the big dissapointment in Bay of Islands I'm a bit worried about not seeing any dolphins either today..Our boat heads out and the captain says it's only a matter of time before we find some dusky dolphins. And he's right. A few minutes later I spot a couple of dolphins but the're not interested so we head on to another spot. Finnaly there's a small pod that follows the boat! I'm on front of the boat and can see the dolphins gracefuly swimming along with us. When the pod is big enough, the people who signed up for swimming with the dolphins get into the water. Our crew advised them to make lot's of noise under water to attracr the dolphins. I can tell you, this really is sort of a ridiculous sight but yet very entertaining. Imagine a pod of fast and graceful dolphins swimming along with a group of slow moving, noise making people in the water. Still it is exciting to watch the interaction between the people and dolphins. We make 5 stops for the people to swim with them. When they're done, the boat heads back to the harbour at a slower pace. Suddenly several pods of dolphins form a big pod and swim along with our boat. This is beautiful to see cause the dolphins start doing their trics like backflips and tailslapping on the surface. It's as if the really try to entertain us! I've really enjoy watching these dolphins! This trip was certainly worthwhile and definetly makes up for the Bay of Islands trip! Yes, I'm sarisfied now cause I finnaly got to see my precious dolphins :D
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