Today was the day me, CC and Hayzybobzykins went for the “Swimming with Dolphins”-excursion at the island-complex Bay of Islands, leaving from Russell. Max. 35 people on the boat, three hours. There was a 98% chance of us seeing dolphins, said Billy and Tommy on the boat, but we definitely don't get to swim with them each time – everything obviously relies on Mother Nature. Billy and Tommy were very friendly, very informative and very lovely. (Tommy was female btw, any ideas what name it's short for...?) There are loads of reasons why there isn't always the possibility of swimming with them: if they aren't being friendly, or if they're resting, and especially if it's a “nursing pod” meaning there are one or more baby dolphins.
|At the (cold) front of the boat!|
We didn't get to swim. But it was a PERFECT excursion anyways. AMAZING views, and loads of interesting sealife. Funky birds that dive-bombed from heights straight into the water, and we even saw two penguins in the water!! Already then I was like, even if we see nothing interesting from now on, this trip was a success for me.
|A zoom of a zoom, but it is a penguin!!!|
Then we found two dolphins. They were swimming fast and didn't act very “friendly”, so we just followed them. At some point they seemed to be getting more “friendly”, so Tommy asked for a few “strong swimmers” to get into the water and see what mood they're in. So, three guys, CC included, got into the water and tried to swim towards the dolphins. But they weren't sociable, and continued swimming off. Oh well.
|First dolphin picture|
|CC and others|
After that we found a massive pod of dolphins, probably fifteenish? It was amazing. I was actually happy when they realised this is a nursing pod, meaning a) I wouldn't have to feel bad about wimping out the swimming part – it appeared much more difficult and requiring talented swimming skills than I'd thought (I imagined it to be splashing in the water with dolphins happily bouncing around you or something like that) b) I'd get to see a baby dolphin!!!
|HELLO BABY <3_____________<3|
For about half an hour we just followed the dolphins, along with other boats, excursions and private, joining us. We were sat for nearly the whole time at the front of the boat, in the bright sun and freezing sunshine (resulting in me being hidden in CC's massive hoodie for most of the time, and CC actually managing to get wrinkle-tan lines (well, burn lines) from squinting in the sun so much), and so we got to see so much. Just sitting there, watching the dolphins swim in front of you, once or twice doing a fancy little jump out of the water (part of mating, apparently...), such happiness. :)
|Sometimes the boat just went on top of the dolphins|
|With Tommy and Billy in the background!|
I've never been the biggest fan of dolphins before – I mean, they're cool and all, but wouldn't count them as any sort of favourite animal. But now, I have fallen in love with dolphins. In the evening I had the sort of hollow feeling you have when you miss someone. I realised I missed the dolphins.
The rest of the afternoon was spent eating ice cream burgers (oh yes!) and hanging out at our pool (yep, our motel-village has a pool and spa pool!!), then had a very nice dinner at an outdoor food place called Hone's (CC and Hayzybobzykins had fish n chips, I had a fish wrap. Om nomsiekins). We went to Hayzybobzykins's afterwards to use her wifi (we have none), and I fell asleep there. It wasn't even 10. Dolphin-watching is tiring.
I wish you well.
|I am not a dolphin|