Kaikoura, New Zealand (January 24th – 25th, 2018)

January 24th

Whale-watching day! I was debating with myself (due to budget) if I really wanted to spend the money on a whale watch. This is something I could do on the east coast of the US. I don’t know how much it would cost, probably about the same or maybe less, but possibly more. Who knows. I didn’t really think to do a google search.

Anyway, it was between the cost of Dolphin Encounter cruise (หœ$90) and swimming with dolphins (almost $200). I decided to go for it. I couldn’t check in for the cruise until 12:15pm so I managed to bring my stuff over to the Sunrise Lodge and spent a little time pondering life at the beach at writing in my journal.

That view doesn’t hurt my feelings.

It was a gorgeous day.

Finally, checked in, got my ticket, and hopped on the cruise at about 1pm. We headed out to sea and it took a while to find the whale. The captain used a hydrophone to listen for whale chatter. It took so long that I started thinking I would get the approximately 80% refund of the cruise fee if we didn’t end up seeing a whale. All the sudden, the chief “spotter” on the boat crew said “there, there!” while the captain turned the boat on as quickly as possible and sped forward towards the occasional puff of water vapor into the air from the water’s surface.

I got to see a sperm whale called Aoraki! It was so cool!

He flipped us the tail… he was diving down to fish again.ย  ย One flick of that tail underwater is about 500 horsepower.

Thanks for the visit, Aoraki.

By then it was about time to head back to shore. We did have a bit of spare time to stop if we happened see something. We were moving at a pretty good pace when all the sudden the boat captain said “oh there’s a marlin!” and quickly slowed and stopped the boat. They opened the doors and let everyone out onto the deck. The marlin came and swam directly towards me at the edge of the boat.

After the marlin, we continued towards land and found a pod of dolphins to hang out with for little while.

Dolphins are such cool creatures.

While hanging with the dolphins, we got to see a big albatross! I had seen advertisements for an Albatross encounter cruise; I’ve always thought it would be really cool to see one… and I did! It was awesome!

After the cruise, I went back to the hostel, made lunch, and then worked on my blog. Not much else.

January 25th

Nothing planned for today. I did have to run to the post office and figure out how much it would cost to send yet another package of stuff I haven’t used home. I wanted know how much if would cost to ship as I was sending my rock climbing harness, hammock, rain fly, a few clothes, and maybe some other stuff adding unneccessary weight and bulk to my backpack home. I was happy when the Kiwi Bank and Post clerk told me that it was going to cost slightly less to send all that stuff home than what just my rock climbing harness cost.

After I got that package in the mail, I went for a long walk along the coastline of Kaikoura.

Those are whale bones, more specifically, pretty sure they’re whale ribs.

Not sure what these were (pretty sure they’re not pineapples – I didn’t taste test) but they were all just lined up like that with no one around who did this.

Some art next to the street.

Another pretty coastline observed on my walk.

More coastline.

Subsequently went to the grocery store for a couple of things, then back to the hostel to cook lunch and work on my blog.

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