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We struck lucky and got a call from the swim with dolphin people to do the trip today!
There was just enough time for a bit of bike maintanance before our departure. Again,
Dolpin Encounter were very professional and kitted us up in wetsuits and showing us a film
of how to behave, what to expect when in the water with dolphins etc before loading us all
into a coach bound for the wharf.
The weather was super again and as we set out in search of Dusky dolphis we instead found a
large male Orca (Killer Whale)! Scott was super excited, as were the trip guides as Orca
are only seen near Kaikoura once every three months or so. We followed the Orca for a while
and also spotted a large pod of dolhins, plaing happily in the sea as they were the previous
day. The Orca dived more deeply and disappeared from sight so our boat turned back to find
the dolphins for us to swim with. No sooner had we turned when the 'Wings over Whales'
plane radioed to say they had spotted a pod of five Orca in the area! Our boat soon tracked
them down as the male Orca rejoined his pod, including two calves. We followed these
amazing creatures for 30 minutes or so as they criused through on their way to the Kaikoura
Peninsula. Their presence was enough to spook the dolphins. As they don't want to become
Orca dinner their tactic is to break up into smaler pods, head to the shallower waters of
the shore line and lie low rather then jump and play as usual. This all meant that we
couldn't get in the water with them as it would be unfair to an already stressed animal but
we were honoured and lucky to get to see the Orca (I'm glad we didn't witness a dolphin
being eaten, I wouldn't have liked that).
Back on land we cycled to the Kaikoura Peninsula and walked over the cliff tops for some
amazing views of the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. We also saw a colony of Red Billed Gulls,
more fur seals and had a really close encounter with a blue penguin who was trying to find
some land to rest on. It was just Scott and I and the little penguin and it was because
were were traveling on bikes that we spotted him and were able to watch him for a while.
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