Latest News at Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter® Update for June 2014
Welcome to the Dolphin Encounter® Update for June 2014.
Typically, June is a quiet month for us, but this year we’ve been busy operating on most good weather days which has been fantastic.The dolphin’s location, although unpredictable in nature has been both to the north and south of the Kaikoura Peninsula, giving passengers a great perspective of the Kaikoura coastline.
It’s hard to believe that with snow beautifying the Seaward Kaikoura mountain range that people want to plunge into the Pacific Ocean. For some passengers, they can be a little apprehensive about the cold, but once in the water and engaging with dusky dolphins, their fear of the cold quickly subsides. The water temperature continues to cool down and currently sits between 11-12°C. This is still quite warm for this time of the year and no doubt a reflection on the mild winter we’ve had so far, but the thick wetsuits, boots and gloves followed by hot showers and hot chocolate quickly warm swimmers up.
Interaction with the duskies has once again been incredible with some highly inquisitive individuals. We’ve experienced some big pods ranging from 100-500 dolphins and although not all of them will stop to engage with swimmers, the ones that do certainly look like their enjoying their “human entertainment”.
A dusky dolphin with a difference has been seen recently. Known as a black or “melanistic” dolphin, they are typically seen during the winter months and have no white coloration. Up until this month, we’ve always believed that there’s only one black dusky dolphin that we conveniently named “Jonah”, but on this occasion, there were two black duskies including one with a nick on its dorsal fin, a unique marking and one that will allow us to recognise it on future occasions.
Other species of interest have included the New Zealand fur seal, some of whom have been actively engaging with swimmers before leaping out of the water and frolicking around. Common dolphins have remained in the area for some time now and a few of them are starting to get used to the idea of human interaction and following in the duskies footsteps.
A few humpback whales have been sighted on our tours including two individuals that surfaced right in amongst the dolphin pod. This incidental sighting meant that we couldn’t swim with the dolphins until the whales had travelled on due to laws in New Zealand making it illegal to swim with whales, but both the duskies and several New Zealand fur seals enjoyed bow-riding these 2 majestic creatures.
Finally, we’re running a winter promotion until the end of August for each successful dolphin tour and for direct bookings only, participants receive a free pair of Icebreaker socks at the end of the tour. So, now’s the time to “swim with the dolphins” and keep those feet warm throughout the remaining winter months.
So, until next time.......
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