There I was standing on the other side of my front door.
The motel room felt toasty, with the little heater spreading its warmth around the little environment that occupied a bed, a bathroom and not much else. I had come accustomed to the warm feeling but alas, it was time to brave the coldness.
I was wearing the only pair of jeans that I packed in my bag along with a long sleeved top sporting the yin-yang symbol, a red and black checked shirt and a newly purchased long black jacket with its hood draped over the Anaheim Ducks baseball cap I was wearing.
It was time to brave the cold and rainy weather that had set itself upon Akaroa, New Zealand.
Today was going to be a good day. Akaroa is the only part of the world where you can see the rarest dolphin on our planet – the Hector Dolphin. They are also the smallest dolphin in the race and I had a boat trip planned to explore this tiny place’s shores to see if we could find any.
Whilst I sported my London power walk fighting the wind and rain, I realised I had made it to my destination an hour early. What better way than to warm myself up than with a hot chocolate I thought, so I went to the nearest cafe and did exactly that. I had great views out onto the Pacific Ocean which were the waters that hit this islands shores.
I finished my hot chocolate at what must of been a record time, so I left the cafe to go and sit on a bench by the shore. I pulled my book out and hunched over it making sure my jacket covered as much of me as possible. Then came the time to walk to the dock that was right next to me and board the boat.
I was greeted by our captain, a towering man who was as friendly as ever walking around the boat sparking conversation with everyone asking where they have travelled from. He was accompanied by a girl who looked as though she was in her twenties holding a cute little black fuzzy dog who I later found out would be our little dolphin searcher.
With his adorable looking life coat on, the dog hears the calls of the dolphin which is naked to the human ear, so when the little fella would run to the side of the boat it was a sign that the dolphins were nearby.
The cruise into the Pacific provided some incredible views. The size of the hills and the mountains made me feel pretty small. Not that I’m blessed with height anyhow. Our captain provided us with several facts about what we were looking at. There was a giant rock that created a plate like scene where we were told that it was the leftovers of a volcano that erupted almost 600 years ago.
It wasn’t too long before we got a glimpse of our first evidence of wildlife living in these rocks and oceans. A yellow belly penguin. To the amazement of the young woman and captain we were told that it was the first time they had seen this breed of penguin in the area. When I zoomed in to take a photo of the little guy it was then I realised the challenge of being on a boat while trying to take awesome photo’s. The choppy seas made it impossible to get a shot that wasn’t completely blurry.
A little further on we came across a blue nosed penguin in the ocean. If I thought it was hard taking a photo of the yellow belly penguin sitting on a rock then it was twice as hard taking a picture of the blue nosed penguin in the water. He would swim under the ocean and pop his little head up for a brief second to take a breathe before heading back down. It’s safe to say it was hard to get photographic evidence of this penguin.
As we sped up fighting the rain and waves we finally found them. Our little doggy friend teased us a few times before as he ran to the front of the boat making us get our camera’s ready for the dolphins that didn’t appear. However, this time the dog was correct. Just swimming in front of the boat were two dolphins. They were incredible. So fast, they were swimming up and down the deep ocean investigating the boat. Knowing it was probably impossible to get a decent photo of these wonders I decided to stick to recording a video (which can be seen here).
Even though it was only for a very short time, I felt super lucky to witness two hector dolphins. We were told in the summer months in New Zealand they swim closer in, so considering it was a very cold, windy and rainy day I felt so lucky to see the rarest type of dolphin in the world.
Our boat adventure consisted of seeing a bunch of seals, seagulls and lamb walking the steepest fields I’ve ever seen before we found ourselves back at the dock. Towards the end I found myself shivering from the coldness being out at sea so it was only right to go and get myself a pizza and look back on this incredible experience.