Latest News at Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter® Update For July 2014
Welcome to the Dolphin Encounter® Update for July 2014.
Winter definitely arrived late this year and we’ve been experiencing a series of good southerly blasts which means a number of cancelled trips, which is disappointing for both us and those wishing to see the dusky dolphins. Winter storms are expected at this time of year and one storm this month resulted in cancelled tours for an entire week. Mother Nature is certainly in control here!!
Once again, the dolphins have been in a variety of locations, with no real consistency on where they’re likely to be on each day. The same applies with the numbers of dolphins found in each pod, varying from small scattered groups to larger concentrations of up to several hundred dolphins.
Being wild, interaction with the duskies is always on their terms, it’s definitely something that we have no control over, but it’s always incredible to watch. The interaction this month has been fantastic with some very close encounters. It’s always possible that the dolphins miss the “human entertainment” when we’re cancelled for several days at a time and results in pure delight from our swimmers.
We witnessed some amazing high leaps of 5 dolphins all jumping out of the water at the same time. These high leaps are associated with mating behaviour with the theory that the female jumps first, closely followed by the males chasing her. Very little mating behaviour is observed at this time of the year with the main mating season commencing in the spring months. One individual clearly looked rather large and it’s a possibility that she is pregnant with the calving season due to start very shortly in September. Have a look at the photo and see what you think!
Exciting sightings of other marine life have included a rare sighting of a leopard seal out at sea. We occasionally get these vagrant visitors during the winter months and there’s at least reports once a year of an elephant seal or leopard seal during the winter time. Leopard seals are a large prehistoric looking seal that live down by the pack ice in Antarctica. Immature seals migrate northwards during winter and are occasional visitors to New Zealand. They are opportunistic in nature with a varied diet ranging from krill, penguins, fish and even other seals. Leopard seals have rarely been encountered by our boats on the water and are typically seen hauled out in various locations with a large individual one year hauling itself out on the boat ramp in South Bay Harbour for the night. On this occasion, this particular individual was seen eating a fish known as ling, a bottom dwelling fish that lives 150-500m deep. As these seals can dive to over 400m, this wouldn’t have been a problem for it to catch!
A few Hector’s dolphins have been encountered on our tours this month as well as several humpback whales who are really at the tail end of their migration season. The duskies have been seen actively enjoying their company bow-riding their larger cousins.
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.
That’s all our news for now.......till next time.
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