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Whale Watching

semi-overcast 20 °C

After Maharau we made our way to Kaikoura with a quick stop in Blenheim to do some shopping and another stop by theh sea for some lunch in a wonderful old and really romantic restaurant. Just before Kaikoura we bought a couple (only 2 as Antje doesn't like them) of fresh lobsters for dinner and also saw loads of seals. Absoluteley incredible how many there were. Just next to the road. They were also quite active and swimming in little pools, fighting and annoying each other. I have never seen so many before. What a sight!
We had a quick look around in town and went for a walk on top of the cliffs before having our delicious dinner just by the sea, the two lobsters... yummy....
It's getting really cold now though, so we moved inside straight after dinner and proceeded with loads of wine....:-)
After an early morning we went to our whale watching tour which was a huge success. The weather was fantastic. Unfortunately the boats were quite big but it was still fantastic. We saw 3 sperm whales. They are 18-19 meters long. In case you wonder where the name comes from... here you go:
When whalers first caught them, them examined them and cut open their huge forehead, which holds 2.5 tons of a white oily liquid which they believed was sperm, hence the name sperm whale. They can't have been the brightest... Why on earth would one animal need 2.5 tons of sperm and then keep it in his forehead????
Never mind, they use the liquid to dive. When they go down it turns into wax which makes it heavier and keeps them down and once they want to come up again, they warm it up so it becomes liquide which helps the ascent. They are the whales that dive deepest, up to a 1000 meters, hence they need some help with that liquid/wax. They are the only whale that stays on the surface in the same spot for 5-10 minutes before diving down again, which makes it great for watching them, as they literally don't move. We have seen 3 of them. Very impressive. The best part was when they were diving down again and you could see the tail properly which usuallyis in the water. The classic whale tail! Loved it!!! Got some nice pics and videos form it too.
On our way back to the harbour we saw 200-300 dusky dolphins which was incredible. Have never seen so many dolphins in my life before... I know I keep saying this, but it's true. They are the acrobats of the sea and were very active and jumping around. A few of them did quite a few high jumps, which was great fun to watch. Got again quite a few good pics and even remembered the movie this time :-) The whole trip was a great success. After that I bought myself a nice ring as a memory.

Unfortnately I was stupid enough not to book my dolphin swimming and it is all booked up for the next 2-3 days. I have put us on the waiting list but no luck. After being very disappointed we met a guy in the car park who started the conversation with "3 girls in a campervan looks like trouble..." :-) if only he know how right we was...:-)
Anyway he told us that there was only one company offering the dolphin swimming and one of his friends is driving the boat and called him exactely one year ago from the boat to tell him while his customers are in the water swimming with the dolphins, Orcas are attacking the dolphins and killing them and there was blood everywhere in the water and the people still swimming and so on... Great! Exactely that kind of story you want to hear....
However he also told us that you can also go dolphin swimming in Akaroa, a very nice and cute little French town which is beautifully located close to Christchurch on a peninsula.
I booked the tour straight away and was very happy. We went for lunch again to a lobster place, just by the sea, only a little stall selling fresh lobster, called Molly.

Posted by Julia1976 07:51 Archived in New Zealand

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