Day 15 Christchurch....going homeMarch 9, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C
It was the coldest night yet camping in Akaroa. We actually had to start the van up in the morning and turn the heat on to get ourselves out of bed. We made our way into town to try find breakfast. Turns out not many places are open by 9am. This town appears to be run by the cruise ships, one of which was in the harbor, and this particular one seemed to be a floating senior citizens center.
We got checked in to go swimming with the hector dolphins in the 14C water. Hector dolphins are an endangered species and only live around NZ. They are pretty small, a little over a meter long. Our skipper and guide said we could expect to see maybe 3 to 4 in a group, then we'd stop the boat and see if they wanted to come and socialize or do other important things dolphins have to do. We were in the boat about 20 minutes and spotted a pod that seemed interested in us so we got in the water (10 of us) with our 5mil wetsuits. It took the dolphins a couple minutes to start swimming around us but then at least one more pod came to join in on the action. Even the skipper and guide were excited to see this many dolphins in one place being so friendly. There were probably anywhere from 10 to 12 dolphins happily swimming and surfing around us while we gently bobbed around in the ocean.
We managed to get our 45 minutes of dolphin time all on this spot and got told to get back on the boat. Heather had made a friend that didn't want her to go and kept swimming circles around her as she was trying to get back to the boat.
Now we were real cold after getting out of the water so we slowly made our way to a calmer bay for some hot chocolate. The dolphins followed us for awhile surfing on the wake of the boat. We saw a sub species of the tiny blue penguin swimming around as well. We made it back to the wharf right at 2 for a quick hot shower before hurrying back to Christchurch to give the spaceship a finally rinse and vacuum before returning it. We made it in plenty of time. A short taxi to the airport and we had some dinner on the worlds smallest Plates for the food presented on them. We figured it was to keep people from lingering as half your food ended up on the table and made a big mess.
We boarded our quick flight from Christchurch to Auckland and that was the last time chads ears popped. Luckily they were stuck at 8000 feet pressurization altitude so the long flight from Auckland to LAX was tolerable. We both got some sleep on the flight across the pacific. Chad got the big X on his global entry receipt again but we were still the first people through passport control and waiting for our luggage. LAX has a global entry line for customs/immigration as well so we walked right through that and have been sitting waiting for our next flight.Read more