Latest News at Dolphin Encounter
Dolphin Encounter® Update for August 2014.
Welcome to the Dolphin Encounter® Update for August 2014.
We’ve been relishing the warmer winter this year with glorious weather. People tend to automatically assume that winter means lots of storms and bad sea conditions, however over the last few years winter has been mild and this winter must be the mildest we’ve experienced in quite some time. Passengers have been able to enjoy sunny days and calm seas enabling them to absorb the scenery as we make our way south to locate the dolphins.
The dolphin’s location has once again been unpredictable with dolphins being located both to the north and south of the Kaikoura Peninsula. This challenges our “spotters” who dedicate their early mornings sitting on a hillside in strategic locations around the Kaikoura District searching for dolphins. As a result, travel times have been highly variable with travel time ranging from as little as 20 minutes to 1 hour in each direction.
Due to the nature of dusky dolphin society, we never know how many dolphins we anticipate finding, so it’s as much as a surprise to us as it is to our passengers. Pod sizes have ranged from small friendly scattered groups to pods in their hundreds. We’ve been incredibly spoilt with crystal clear waters enabling customers to get a brilliant view of the dolphins and the crew have been blown away by how good the visibility has been. Great visibility is also a huge bonus for those who are watching too, as the dolphin’s race in to bow-ride and you really don’t need to be in the water to enjoy viewing the dolphins.
In amongst the duskies at times has been large groups of common dolphins. An unusual time of year to see such a large pod. Common dolphins are distinctive being larger than the duskies, a distinctive beak with a tan blaze along their sides. This species tends not to engage with swimmers, rather preferring to engage and play with the boats. They are great to see and bow-riding duskies and common’s give us a great opportunity to compare both species. On occasion the loud whistling emanating from commons is clearly audible for all on board.
A few Hector’s dolphins have also been encountered on our tours. Being the smallest and rarest salt water dolphin it’s always a privilege to see them, particularly if they are the friendly variety.
That’s all our news for now., so till next time..........
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