Latest News at Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter® Update for September 2014
Welcome to the Dolphin Encounter® update for September 2014
We welcomed the arrival of spring. Reflecting back over winter, we’ve had an incredible winter. Fortunately for us, this winter has been very mild meaning fewer storms and calmer seas. We certainly appeared to be much busier than in previous winters and no doubt the milder weather has contributed to this. The only clue to winter was the stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Seaward Kaikoura mountain range astounding many passengers by the dramatic scenery.
The dolphin’s movements have started to change with the changing seasons. Usually during the winter time, the dolphins are located to the south, while in the summer months they’re much closer inshore and closer to South Bay Harbour. It’s always impossible to know where the dolphins are likely to be on each tour, but on some days the dolphins have been found in their summer locations such as Goose Bay and Black Rock, while on other days they’re down south in areas such as the Conway and Kelp. Travel time obviously varies from 20 minutes upwards, but with the mild winter days and glorious sunshine, what better way to spend the trip, but sitting out on the deck enjoying the weather and keeping a watchful eye out for the abundance of marine life.
As summer rapidly approaches, so we begin our yearly recruitment process for seasonal guides and this month we welcomed two new guides, Fiona from England and Nicole from the USA. They’ll be undertaking an extensive training programme and are already actively involved in the boats and are looking forward to a busy summer season.
The dolphins have been an excitable bunch this month and their interaction could well be attributed to the awesome visibility that we’ve been experiencing. Not only is great visibility a bonus for swimmers, but also for those watching, particularly at the bow of the boat where the duskies thoroughly enjoy bow-riding, even rolling onto their sides to look up at the passengers watching from above.
Last month we encountered a pod of common dolphins in the area and although the bulk of these have now left the area, a few remain behind with the duskies. Typically common dolphins race in to play with the boat, but rarely interact with swimmers. However it appears that the few common’s remaining in the area may well have spent too much time hanging out with the duskies, as they too have been seen interacting with swimmers.
We’ve had the odd sightings of Hector’s dolphins too and although not encountered frequently on our tours, they are great to see and create excitement for our passengers as New Zealand’s the only place in the world to see them. Not only this, but they are amongst the smallest and rarest oceanic dolphin.
We’ve also been involved in the release of Hutton’s shearwaters this month. Endemic to Kaikoura and returning from their winter migration, a few have become disorientated crash landing in the Kaikoura area and we’ve taken them out to sea for release.
That’s all our news for now. So, till next time..........
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