I saw Flipper

The weather again was lovely in Kaikoura. So we started with a walk to the seal colony It was about half an hour from our hotel and a nice way to stretch our legs. As soon became clear you don’t actually have to go to the colony to see the seals. We found one asleep and all on a little wall at the old harbour, just around the corner from our hotel.  He loved his spot and was lying flat with his flippers dangling on either side of the wall. Oh and he loved being photographed. At the parking place near the colony one of the seals was having a scratchfest and was quite cool with being our model too. and when we walked back we found one asleep in the green grass. Really quite weird to see that. I had visited that colony before in 1998 I think with my friend S. when she visited me. IN those days they were nowhere near the parking area. No we had to climb over all rocks at low tide to see them. They were totally shy then. Mind you they’d upgraded the parking area since then and improved the whole. it is called progress.

That afternoon we did what nearly all tourists do in Kaikoura; whalewatching. Yep again in a boat, but on a mirror like ocean. We soon arrived where they usually spot their whales. The whales here are male sperm whales They are known to be solitary creatures.  And yes after a few minutes we saw this big brown log that resembled a huge tree floating in the water. We moved slowly and we had the whale to one of the sides of the boat. It was longer than the boat. huge! Every so often it blew some air from its airhole and after about 10 minutes he had enough of being a photomodel and took a dive with a great tail spin. So what now as this was quicker than anticipated.  So we go again and we spotted another one, but he took a dive before we got close. Let’s search some more and then Jackpot! there were two together. How unusual. Most likely they were the both that we’d spotted earlier digesting their food a bit. So there we were floating next to two breathing trunks. We were hoping for a synchronised dive but that was pushing the luck too far. Of course these dives are photographed and with digital cameras you just click away and you’ll see at home if any of them are any good. But once you have taken your pictures you really start to have a look at the animals in front of you and you fall silent in the present of such wonders of the world.

Well and then. I mean we were spoiled for whale and we still had time. Oh well then there are the dolphins we can visit. These are the Dusky Dolphins and they are playful fun loving curious animals. One of their hobbies is looking at people. From far we saw them play and ump around. Jumping out high and back flipping. It was a joy to watch. As soon as they noticed the new boat with a new load of people they raced over to us and swam around the boat akin to a swarm of mosquitoes around a flame.  They are so incredibly fast moving and agile that I took the multi burst trick. That means that I took many pictures in a few second bursts, It also means that I have many many just water pictures.  But it worked as I also have  a few very interesting good shots when one can see how playful they are (the one at the top) SO also managed to get a few good one with a similar trick. Dolphins are very cure animals but as SO said, “somebody should nail them down to allow for a nice picture” Really a good dolphin picture is pure luck. So all in all we had a lovely afternoon that brought us everything we’d hoped and even more. Tomorrow we are heading back to the North Island

PS The weather in the Netherlands can change fast but it is nothing compared to here. We had a great day on the water, tonight clouds are moving in and the dampness is increasing. Now here tonight at 21.00 a storm broke loose. It is raining and we have wind lashing around the unit. We even had a power cut. Oh well we are safe inside, and as long as the weather is nice on cook straight tomorrow we’ll be fine.

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About Gilraen

My blog is simply about my life. I moved countries for the first time in 1993. I lived in the Netherlands, UK and NZ. The initial idea was to keep my overseas friends up-to-date with what was going on in my life. The blog, like me, is always changing and evolving.
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