In August last year, we decided to venture to the East Coast (Pacific Ocean side of the island), which weird to say when I'm a California West Coast girl! Anywho, we heard from some friends of ours that there was this place in Kaikoura that took you out in the open ocean to swim with wild dolphins. They told us about what an amazing experience it was and how it felt to be one with these beautiful creatures. I remembered reading about it in our travel book, but I guess the book didn't sell it as well as our friends did.
Well, we planned the whole weekend around this experience. There wasn't much to do in town, especially during winter (FYI: Southern Hemisphere = opposite seasons), so we mainly just walked around a bit, ate A LOT, and visited some silly seals as there's a huge seal colony there as well. As it turned out, it wasn't a lovely weekend for weather, and a nasty storm kept us from being able to swim on the day we scheduled. Luckily, they put us on standby for the next day and we waiting anxiously to find out if we'd be able to go. once we got the green light, we made our way to the facility where we'd change into a full wet suit equipped with a hood, gloves, booties and snorkel gear. We watched the 10 minute safety and information video and then took the bus to the dock. All 20-30 of us hopped on board and heard some more safety information.... ventured out for 20+ minutes only to be told it's getting too rough on the water. Womp, womp. So much for all the hype, but you don't want to mess with Mother Nature! After getting a full refund and many apologies, we made out way back to Nelson fully intending of coming back again.
Well, six months and two seasons later, we finally made it out. While the weather wasn't nearly Summer-like, the water was calm and the dolphins were many. While I don't feel like writing novel, I'll leave you to watch this little video I made. We rented a Go Pro from Encounter Kaikoura and I'm SO glad we did. Pictures and memory just wouldn't have been enough. While we easily had over 30 minutes of video, I managed to cut it down to about 3 minutes. I hope you enjoy... and better yet, get the chance to swim with wild dolphins too!