Apr. 20th, 2015

same_difference: (Me.)
So today, well this morning was our whale watching trip from Kaikoura. It involved us getting up at 6:15ish, for the 7:15 check in time on the boat. It took them most of the trip to track down a Sperm Whale, actually staying out longer than scheduled in order to see the one they tracked down. We were one of the first boats out, and with no whales currently in residence it was a mixture of luck and persistence to find one at all; especially considering it was done using a mixture of eye sight, directional underwater mikes with a 5km detection radius, and two other boats. In the end we saw one fur seal, the back of a Sperm whale on the surface, with the occasional blow and it's fluke as dived. Given they can only hear the whales when they are dived and hunting, and the whales only surface for 10-15 minutes at most every hour or so we were very lucky. Having said that it was somewhat anti-climatic, if only because we had maybe expected to see more on the trip, and it took a lot of hunting to get that glimpse. Plus I ended up being seasick (after the whale sighting, and thankfully on a very very empty stomach), so the cruising around looking for the whale was hugely thrilling. Still glad I've done it, and I appreciate how rare a glimpse that was, maybe next time something a bit more active like dolphins or orca would be better maybe.

From there we got back to shore at 11:30 and commenced the 6 odd hour drive to Franz Josef, where tomorrow we visit a glacier. It was a very pretty drive, the views added to by the snow falls last week capping the tallest mountains beautifully. I only have photos of the last hour and a half of the drive, partly because that was the bit Rachael drove, and partly because there were no stopping points at the most spectacular views, and what stopping points we found tended to be very sheltered by trees.

Tired now after such an early start (it's nearly 23:40 here), here's the weather is good enough for us to be able to have our helicopter flight to our glacier hike tomorrow.


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