1st FEBRUARY 2015
Well our Christmas ( Summer ) break is now over, what marvellous
weather we had . Very warm summer days over most of the country.
But I guess you can have too much of a good thing as we are now in
"drought conditions". No appreciable rain since before Christmas.
During the Christmas holidays we had our two youngest grand-
children, Harry and Chloe, fly down from Auckland to stay. We had
arranged with our son-in-law here in Blenheim, to take them fishing
in the Marlborough Sounds. Howeverat the last moment his boat
went u/s ( waterpump ) and couldn't be fixed in time for the trip.
They were really looking forward to the fishing trip, so instead we
booked a trip on a tourist boat to go and look at dolphins. On these
trips you can go swimming amongst the dolphins, but at 8 and 14
years old, we thought they might be a bit young for this. The day
was very warm and sunny and no wind - ideal to go and look at
dolphins in Queen Charlotte Sound.
No Common Dolphins or Orca were seen on this trip but the dolphins we did see were magnificent with
conditions, ideal ! If any of you guys are down this way, I would put Dolphin Watching/Swimming at the top of
your "must see" list !
Harry and Chloe outside the Dolphin Watch HQ. waiting to board the boat . In the Sounds there four species of dolphin, the small Hectors Dolphin, the Bottlenose Dolphin, the Common Dolphin and the big fellow, the Orca, or Killer Whale ( which is actually a dolphin ! )
Harry and Chloe looking for more dolphins !
A pod of about 100 bottlenose Dolphins were spotted in the distance. The staff on board showed the swimmers how to attract the dolphins by emitting a high pitched "squeal". Apparently all dolphins have an individual identifing
squeal which they continually emit to keep in contact with other members of the pod. This sound can be heard for many hundreds of metres !
This squealing by the swimmers must have worked as the dolphins headed towards them. A great time was had by all the swimmers ( and by all accounts by the dolphins! ) . The dolphins put on quite a show - leaping out of the water with the odd one doing complete cartwheels !
The small Hectors Dolphin. These are an endangered species and so as not to scare them, the tourists are not allowed to swim with them. These dolphins are abour a metre long and are multi-coloured. We came across this pod of about ten of them including some baby ones. They were quite used to this
boat and swam freely around and under us.
Some of the Bottlenose Dolphins swimming around the boat.