[LogBook] Snorkeling with dolphins – New Zealand
Ahoy Sailors & Mermaids! Many of you would say that your dream is to snorkel with dolphins… And this is what I am going to tell you about today! Snorkeling dolphins New Zealand
This week’s post is very special to me for many reasons, and the first one is that I have achieved my career goal, which is to work close to cetaceans, and also for the coolest company in NZ, Dolphin Encounter based in Kaikoura. We are incredibly proud of our beautiful Dusky Dolphins and wildlife!
But, we are not the only company to offer dolphin swimming tours in the South island of New Zealand… I finally had the chance to meet our friends Black Cat last week, in Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula, and will tell you more about them and their very special Hector Dolphins too! Ready? Let’s snorkel!
#South Bay, from Kaikoura, Pacific Ocean
Water Temperature: 11° in November, 15° in December… And up to 18 during summer!
Sightings: Dusky Dolphins & Jelly Combs.
About the dolphins: Dusky Dolphins are amongst the most acrobatic dolphin species, and that’s why we love them so much in Kaikoura! They can reach 2,2 meters in length and also 30 years of age. Duskies are also very curious and playful, and will come for sure to check on you as you sing your best song while swimming in the deep ocean. Huge pods are spotted along the Kaikoura coastline during summer and if you have a good look you might even see babies!
About the tour: Get ready for the best experience of your life! We provide a full 10/5mm wetsuit, hood, snorkeling equipment, and GoPros for hire for anyone wanting to bring memories back home. Our 3 boats (2 catamarans and 1 monohull) will take you to the dolphins, in the deep emerald waters, to swim and watch the stunning Dusky Dolphins! – As this is an open ocean experience, snorkeling experience or a good swimming level is recommended.
Notes: Don’t miss the opportunity to swim with the Dusky Dolphins! We highly recommended to book in advance for the high season (December-March) as it gets really busy around here!
#Banks Peninsula, from Akaroa, Pacific Ocean
Water Temperature: 14° in December… Also up to 18 in the summer!
Sightings: Hector’s Dolphins.
About the dolphins: What makes Hector’s Dolphins so special is that they are an endemic species to NZ, but also the world’s rarest and smallest – 1m50 in length – dolphins! About 15 000 Hectors live in NZ waters, they are however a Threatened/Nationally Vulnerable species. Hectors most special feature is definitely their black and rounded dorsal fin! They can live for about 20 years, live in smaller groups than the Duskies and seem to love the light green murky waters of Akaroa!
About the tour: The departure is from Akaroa Harbour, located in the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary that has been created to protect these very special dolphins. The small number of swimming seats makes this experience more intimate which is really appreciated, and the team is absolutely adorable! The equipment provided is a wetsuit, boots, and a mask. No fins nor snorkel are necessary as this experience is about letting the dolphins come to us, and because half of the action is happening on the surface of the water. The – tranquil – personality of the Hector’s Dolphins makes the approach a little bit different, and searching for the right group to swim with makes this experience even more special.
Although Dusky and Hector’s Dolphins look the same at first glance, you can notice that, after spending some time observing them in their natural habitat, these 2 species are completely different! And that is why if you have the chance to do both tours, I absolutely recommend you to go fo it and book as soon as possible!
Snorkeling with dolphins is an outdoor activity and is for that reason, completely weather dependant. To increase your chances to have a successful tour, planning to stay in the area a few days is a very good idea!
This is the end of this logbook in New Zealand! If you liked it please feel free to let me know in a comment! Sea you soon for more bubbles! Snorkeling dolphins New Zealand