Kaikora a Dolphin Encounter

After a busy weekend, the early 7am bus to Kaikora is a pain, but I can sleep on the bus at least. So had an adequate nights sleep, just the noisiest beds ever squeaking every time you move staying in the YMCA Christchurch. So the bus takes under 3 hours and arrive just before 10am to a rainy and grey Kaikora.

Luckily I am pre planned with my trip to swim with Dolphins at 12.30pm and when I ring to reconfirm they do worry me that it might be cancelled as it is a choppy day. When I arrive, however it’s operating, but they do warm of sea sickness and ask if a strong swimmer as waves big.

So they provide wetsuits – big thick ones that will help make buoyant and keep warm as the sea is freezing here. We have to watch a briefing video that tells us how to catch the attention too for the dolphins – making noises, circling fast and diving down as it’s our job to entertain them not them entertain us.

We jump in a bus to where the boats are and split into two boats. My group seems nice. The boat really ends up flying in the air as it travel across the waves, quite good fun and like a rollercoaster. No sea sickness just yet, but always focussing on the horizon which helps. My dorm mate later explains about sea sickness and why it happens, as your body thinks it is being poisoned as your focus is blurry and so makes u sick to get any poison out. Clever really….

So when we get out to where the dolphins are, there are so many in schools splashing about and diving. They are DUSKY dolphins and some common ones. The markings of them really stand out under the water and they are so playful coming right up to us, looking very inquisitive too. The water really takes your breathe away just how cold it and so it’s a nice distraction and makes it totally worth it.

When the horn goes we have to get to the boat to move to a next snorkelling area and do about 5 in total. Each time the dolphins play with us, although sometimes not for long as they head off as seem to love jumping and when the boat moves swim along by the boat.

Being in the water where it’s so choppy actually starts making me feel sick, but nothing too bad although when back on the boat there are few others not feeling well and so that makes me worse and where I’m so cold despite having a blanket over me adds to it. Luckily we are only on the boat for short journey and then on land I can change out the wet suit, however that is a task in itself as hands are so cold I can’t undo anything or put my clothes on easily. Back on the bus I soon start to warm up and then head straight to the hostel for a nice warm shower, as soon as we get back as it’s just a 10minute walk. Definitely worth the cold though to experience that, such an amazing thing swimming with wild dolphins.

4th April 2016

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