In jail in Christchurch, Kaikoura and swimming with wild dusky dolphins!

 

Wednesday, April 2

The jail was actually really comfortable and certainly the quietest city accommodation we’ve stayed in. I liked the signs all over the place referring to guests as inmates, parolees when they leave the building, reception as wardens and cleaning staff as life timers.

We had one stop at a cafe on the way to Kaikoura. Once there we checked in and went for a walk along the coastal trail in Kaikoura. We took our time, only got a little lost and spent about 3.5 hours enjoying the countryside. When we met up with the guys later we realized we weren’t the worst off, they forgot the name of the hostel AND where it was. Pretty funny and typical after staying in so many different places.

We joined the others for dinner and enjoyed a couple of games of pool before heading off to bed. Another great day 🙂

April 3 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPHANIE!!

At 5:30 am 5 of us girls walked the 20 minutes to the dolphin encounter office where we got garbed up in heavy duty wetsuits and then waited. Twice through a an advertising video and we were getting ticked. Apparently departure time is 7 am and we just got to be the “lucky” ones to have to be first to get suited as they did it in shifts. Grrr.

We were all pretty grumpy when we got on the boat but then we saw the dolphins off in the distance and then they were swimming along the bow of the boat, obviously playing. We kept going as they said they were looking for the pod and where it was headed. The boat stopped and we were surrounded by dusky dolphins, jumping, twisting, somersaulting all over the place.

Entering the water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. The dolphins swam under and around me and, as directed, I hummed and made noise through my snorkel to attract them as well as diving down and swimming in circles with them. The inquisitive creatures checked me out and swam circles with me. I looked into the eyes of these wild creatures and they were definitely playing with me. It was such an amazing experience!

Back in the boat I shed my wetsuit and hosed off under the hot water hose but could see my breath so standing in a wet bathing suit was not an option. It took me forever to change as my fingers were so cold they wouldn’t work.

Finally back on deck I enjoyed a hot chocolate while trying to get photos of the jumping dolphins. Wonderful!

By 10 am Simon had picked us up from the centre and we were on the road to Picton to catch the ferry. One sandwich at the Dutch bakery wasn’t enough so I went and got a meat pie. Playing with dolphins works up an appetite!

The ferry crossing was gorgeous as the sun came out and the temperature sky rocketed. Some of us enjoyed the sunshine and great views from the deck (or as the Kiwis say “dick).

Wellington looked familiar. It seemed so long ago we were there. The group went out for Mexican food and some of us went 10 pin bowling. It’s definitely NOT my forte but was fun anyway.

Evidence of the earthquake.

Evidence of the earthquake.

 

Restart mall. The stores are in shipping containers.

Restart mall. The stores are in shipping containers.

Cardboard church

Cardboard church

Funky tree in the botanical gardens

Funky tree in the botanical gardens

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He's not going to let me get much closer

He’s not going to let me get much closer

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Poser

Poser

He's watching me with one eye

He’s watching me with one eye

Norway pines are strange looking trees

Norway pines are strange looking trees

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Quail

Quail

Pretty ducks

Pretty ducks

 

Playing with dolphins.  It circled me and stayed longer when I spun around too.

Playing with dolphins. It circled me and stayed longer when I spun around too.

 

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Dolphin antics

Dolphin antics

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jellyfish

jellyfish

Leaving Picton

Leaving Picton

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Melanie and Simon shenanigans

Melanie and Simon shenanigans

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