Bay of Islands - New Zealand - North Island
01.09.2007 - 26.09.2007 10 °C
When we signed up to go Dolphin watching, we never thought that we would get the experience of getting to swim with them. That kind of stuff only happens on Walt Disney movies, and when it does, the Dolphins come right up to you, cure you of all personal hang ups and illness, let you ride on their backs, flip you in the air, and give you a new lease of life.
So when the giant Maori skipper of "Dolphin Adventures" offered us to jump in and have a swim with these critters, I was only too keen. The fact that the water was about 5 degrees did not phase me, and neither was the fact that we had to get changed into wetsuits in front of the entire boat. But hey, whats a bit of bum cheek and boobin flashing going to harm anyone??
The Dolphins were swimming madly in and around the boat, this was going to be my Disney moment. Irish mate April and I waddled to the side of the boat in our luminous yellow flippers, goggles and snorkles, and in we leapt reeling from the cold of the water.
They say that you have to interact with the Dolphins if you want them to play with you and it is amazing how this reduces people to their lowest level. People were making noises that sounded like a dying cow, some were letting out high pitched squeeks, some were clapping, some were flapping their flippers around and others were just choking and hyperventilating from the salt water.
Drew stayed behind as chief "Dolphin-Pointer-Outer-From-Birds-Eye-View". And kept shouting "they're behind you, they're infront of you, they are underneath you, swim left, swim right" It felt a little bit ludicrous and after a short while and a lot of energy the dolphins seemed to disappear.
So with the waves splashing salt water and hair into eyes, we made a very unglamourous exit shivering, coughing and spluttering, and started making our way home.
Next thing a 2m dorsal fin appears on the horizon, and skipper, starts skipping and getting excited about killer whales lurking about in the sea. He then excitedly tells us that Dolphin is the food of choice for this big guys which is possibly why they disappeared.
Lucky the sheer lack of grace in the water made it easy for the Orcas to see which was which on the menu and we all got off unscathed.
So double whammy for us. Whales and Dolphins in the same viewing.
And with that, we headed back to our Campervan for another night of 2-minute noodles under the stars.
* Couple of extra pics of the 90 mile beach, our campervan, hole in the rock, larking about on the beach