Backpackerbird

An insight into the world of travel

Whale watching in Kaikoura, New Zealand. December 3, 2009

Filed under: New Zealand,Old Journal entries,Travel — backpackerbird @ 6:16 pm
Tags: , ,

Starting in Christchurch, along with Liz and Chris was picked up from the hostel by what was going to be my transport for the near future, the stray bus. Kerry was to be our guide. He had a dry sense of humour and made practical jokes. He was a Jack the lad type of bloke, extremely likeable. I made sure I sat within the main crowd that was forming on the bus so as to ensure I was sure to get to know more people.
1st stop Kaikoura. The weather was pretty miserable but we didn’t let that stop us having a blast. There were snow-capped mountains behind the town, not that they were anywhere to be seen for the thick cloud that lingered. Once we had checked into the lovely quaint and cosy hostel that had traditional fire places in each room, ornate wallpaper and plenty of old photos or Maori culture hanging in the many corridors, we walked down to the sea front. We were heading for the whale watching depot. $120 bought me a ticket to jet out to one of the deepest underwater canyons in the world. The ideal place to spot a sperm whale. A short wait in the gift shop ( a ploy to get us to purchase) and out to the boat.
I was truly expecting a boat rather like a sea trawler , the kind you see in fishing programmes in the north sea. An old battered tin can. I couldn’t believe how wrong I was. We were escorted onto a swanky Catamaran with large comfortable leather seats and foot rests to match. I was suitably impressed. Off we went, out to see in search of the giant sperm whale. It took about half an hour to reach the canyon, which I am told is as deep as 5 Auckland sky towers are tall. The Maori skipper has a whale tracking device so was positive we would see a whale. Whilst we were on the hunt an other guy gave us some useful information about the sperm whale and the area we were in. It wasn’t long before we were hot on the tail of our first whale. Once it surfaced we all sped out to catch a glimpse. This whale was apparently called Big Nick…He remained on the surface for about five minutes, blowing air from his hole giving us all a good view, before arching his back and plunging deep down into the depths of the canyon flicking his tail as he subsided. He cave us a classic whale pose. Perfect photo opportunity.
There were five whales out that day, the skipper said we were extremely lucky. On the way back to the marina we saw a seal having a fight with an octopus. Clearly lunch.
Fish and chips was on the menu when we got back on dry land. I opted for sweet potato chips, an interesting flavour, an acquired taste.
The rugby was on that night so we headed to the local bar. I sat drinking with the guys, We played cards which soon turned into drinking games. Bates were placed and money was lost. That’s what I call a day in the life of a traveller.

Advertisements
 

5 Responses to “Whale watching in Kaikoura, New Zealand.”

  1. Mattias Says:

    Now, this is what seens like a great day..! To spend a day on the sea in those conditions, I love it! Even though it would have been a bit more adventurous (and therefore perhaps even funnier) if it hadn’t been on such a touristy boat… 🙂

  2. Bob Says:

    Great post on whale watching. My favorite time of year. When traveling and selecting a whale watching tour company, I always try to pick one that states they are responsible in how they approach whales. Being as close to a whale may be fun for us, but not necessarily to the whales according to research.

    I just took a whale watching tour in Costa Rica and liked the professionalism this operator demonstrated. This page on their website explains how they approach whales and why.

    http://costaricawhalewatching.com/Responsible_Whale_Watching.html

  3. Jaylin Imram Says:

    I was reading something else about this on another blog. Interesting. Your linear perspective on it is diametrically contradicted to what I read before. I am still reflecting over the opposite points of view, but I’m inclined heavily toward yours. And no matter, that’s what is so good about modern democracy and the marketplace of ideas online.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s