Kaikoura Whale watchingNovember 23, 2017 in New Zealand
Today is highlight day...
The weather is calm, around 20 degrees Celsius wind chill, blue skies and were off to the Whale Watch Center. We're a bit early, as we don't like being late, and they put us on an earlier boat because of that. So less waiting, which is good :-)
From this point everything goes fast. Safety briefing, bus ride to the marina (which only opened a week ago (it was completely rebuilt from scratch, after last years earthquake)), getting aboard the ship and only 20 minutes later we caught our first (of three) Sperm Whales. Now this is the biggest 'Moby Dick' size whale you can find, although from the water surface it just doesn't feel that way. Sure, it seems like a big thing, but only to imagine that more than 95% of the whales body is still under water...
So... It gave us some time to take foto's before it dove under again, showing it's magnificent tail (fluke), allowing us to take the famous fluke photos we have all been waiting for.
On to the next. Only shortly after, #2 showed up.
Then on our way back we saw some Dusky Dolphins. These are the dolphins everybody talks about when they 'just talk about dolphins', but people just don't know ;-)
These are the 'Flipper' dolphins, that jump out of the water, doing stupendous acrobatics and speed along boats. Not easy to take photos of them though. But at least we tried.
Last but not least, we saw Wandering Albatross. One was also seen and pictured close by. This compensated for the lack of big Albatross photo opportunities the other day. :-)
Now the only 'downside' ... is that the Wandering Albatross is slightly smaller than the Royal Albatross which we saw nesting. Believing our guide however, the wingspan can be larger, with little over 3,5 meters.
After our tour, we did our own 'wandering' around the Kaikoura Peninsula, and nearly stumbled upon a seal, that was sleeping under a rock and out of our sight. It was only until I was for about 2 meters away I noticed him... I immediately took a few steps back before starting to take photos. Which was good, because when the first 'click' was noticeable, the animal woke up and started growling at me. I took a few more steps back, and it closed its eyes and continued sleeping. All good.
Around this walk, we found a Duck's nest with 4 eggs, walked by a nesting colony of Gulls and saw some other seals.
So this morning was a good one. We finished off with fish & chips at the same toko we were last evening... just because...
Tonight's gonna be something else, dinnerwise, but we don't yet know what.
Tomorrow driving back to Christchurch, and then it's over... It's a shame we have to go back.
We had a blast the last three weeks and they went by so fast. Although, it feels ages ago that we'd seen Hobbiton, or been at the North Island at all. On the other end, not really looking forward to the long flights ahead of us, we are looking forward to be back at home, with family, friends and our cats.
Why am I writing this now, we still have another day. True that. But tomorrow we probably are not going to have much time to chat around on Find Penguins. We must be checking our baggage, make everything fit and ready for the journey homeward.
Should you have read all of our blogs, and saw all our pictures: thanks very much for your interest. We hope you liked following us. Please be welcome within a couple of weeks to come and check out all the other photos of our wedding and this fantastic honeymoon!
To end this all, thanks to all who have made all this possible (via wedding gifts and tips & advice on where to go and what to do around HK and NZ), and you'll know yourself if you've earned your share of thanks ;-)
Obviously we are not going to name all of you, as we will probably forget some, but both our parents, who both supported our honeymoon in a substantial way, deserve to receive our sincerest gratitude in person!
Very, very!! special thanks to you, Jan, Marja, Dick and Carla.
And very much thanks to all the others who supported us.
See you back in the Netherlands!Read more