Whale tales and show-off dolphins
Yes, I might as well get it out of the way, I’m having a ‘whale’ of a time here in Kaikoura.
I feel unclean for even saying that, but it was necessary. It was about as unavoidable, in fact, as the important protocol to use when asking the cost of a venison burger here. (‘5 bucks? That’s a bit deer isn’t it?’)
Where was I? Oh yes, whale watching. Myself and the boy Lewis went on a boat trip today in the hope of spotting a few whales. Apparently the average sightings per trip is one or two. We saw five Sperm Whales up close. I was assuming you’d see them in the distance, but we sidled the boat right up to them and watched as they regulated the air pressure and went for another dive.
The sight I wanted to see was the familiar tail rising in the air as they dived (or is it dove?) into the depths. Each time they went under we got a perfect view of it. The highlight was when we saw two at the same time, right next to each other, simultaneously dive. Really impressive.
Dolphins are a different story. B*stards! They were doing all sorts of acrobatic flips and jumps while my fat fingers clumsily fumbled for the camera, but as soon as I was ready they seemed to realise that the big one was looking for a photo opportunity and turned the cold shoulder (don’t pick me up on my wildlife anatomy please, I know they don’t have shoulders any more than cats have eyebrows. I’m using it in the metaphorical sense). Anyway, after I got my camera out ready for the National Geographic Photograph Of The Year they went back to just cresting the water around us.
In all honesty they were great, really. There were hundreds of them swimming round the boat, being really inquisitive and friendly, and doing tricks for the cameras of all but the clumsiest oafs on board.
They just have a tendency to make you feel jealous, that’s all. They have a kind of look about them which says ‘Look what I can do you stupid humans, who needs the opposable thumb anyway? See how much fun I’m having swimming around and jumping about while you worry about your bank balance and the cold weather? I can jump ten feet out of the water and somersault with just the strength in my tail! I have sonar capabilities actually inside my head, whereas you suckers didn’t even work out how to use it til about 65 years ago! I have intercourse an average of six times a day with different partners and never suffer repercussive feelings of remorse, guilt or even soreness or itching and you think YOU’RE the most intelligent creatures on the planet? Ha!’
Ahem…..er, anyway, we had a lovely time today and I was very impressed with the whole affair. Joe’s stamp of recommendation is firmly on this activity for those of you planning a trip to NZ who are stuck for things to fill your time with (although I don’t see how anybody could be).
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
P.S. Did you know a Blue Whales tongue weighs the same as a fully grown African Elephant? No? Nor did I.