Dolphin Encounter News
Dolphin Encounter Update September 2011
Welcome to the Dolphin Encounter® update for September 2011, the first update for spring.
Once again we’ve been enjoying mild weather interspersed with the occasional challenging weather pattern, but overall it’s been a great month. We have had a busy month welcoming Rugby World Cup fans from all over the world including Japan, South Africa, Argentina, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, USA, Canada and Australia, all wanting to encounter our “swimming with dolphins” experience. Some days we have been as busy as our summer days with all 3 boats on the water including Kotuku. Kotuku took her maiden voyage this month after the big revamp and new look. The hard work undertaken on Kotuku through the winter has certainly paid off with passengers enjoying viewing the dolphins from the upstairs viewing area and sitting on more comfortable forward facing seats.
The dolphins have started to move a little further to the south this month and have been located in areas such as Goose Bay, Haumuri Bluffs and the Conway, all within a 45 minute travel time. The pod numbers have consistently remained in their hundreds, although we never know how many dolphins to expect on each of our tours.
The dolphins have excelled themselves this month with some amazing interaction with our swimmers and lots of what we like to call “1 drop wonders” where the dolphins choose to hang out and play with the swimmers for the entire duration of the swim. This interaction is no doubt down to all the hard work of our rugby fans keen to embrace the idea of entertaining the dolphins with some great singing and manoeuvres in the water to captivate the dolphin’s attention.
Interspersed with the duskies has been a small group of loyal common dolphins. Sightings of this species of dolphin are unusual at this time of year as we normally see them during our warmer summer months. For most of the time the common dolphins prefer to bow ride our boats, however they have been seen on occasion to interact with our swimmers and many swimmers have commented on hearing their high pitch whistles as they communicate with one another.
Humpbacks have been sighted on several occasions this month which is also unusual at this time of year. Normally with the annual humpback migration we see humpbacks as they travel north through Kaikoura to the breeding and calving grounds of the South Pacific. We don’t normally see them on their way south again. One sighting was of a juvenile whale that was seen playing with a large clump of seaweed. Being an inquisitive creature he would swim up to it and play with it wrapping it around his tail before turning onto his back and start slapping the ocean with his huge powerful pectoral fins, an amazing sight to see.
So, till next time..........
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