Kia Ora! (Welcome)
Way down on the South Island of New Zealand in the quaint beach town of Kaikoura is a very unique wild dolphin experience.
At a very uncomfortable 4:30am wake up call, our group made our way to the main office to get suited up in our thick wetsuits & brave the safety briefing with one eye open. Then we were quickly whisked away to the docks to board our own boat out into the densely fogged horizon.
After a 15 minute joy ride, we spotted our first pod of these majestic creatures. We were told early am was when they were most playful, so our hopes were sky high and we all plopped off the back into the icy waters.
To entice the dolphins, we were instructed to swim in circles, dive down and make squealing noises. If you could only imagine 15 adults squealing away in the middle of the great big blue…. truly one of those moments I will never forget!
Over the next hour, the dolphins weaved in and out of us like they were threading a needle. They gracefully sliced through the waves with boundless, playful energy and no one wanted the morning to expire.
After we slipped off our awkward wetsuits, we grabbed a spot in the bow and braced ourselves for a show. They didn’t disappoint, as if they knew we were waiting with our video cameras to be oohed and aahed with extremely enthusiastic jump, flips and splashes.
And to think these mammals are not enticed by food or trained in anyway, no do overs or cookie cutter performance….. truly a once in a lifetime excursion!