Day 15 - Wild Kingdom

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November 20th 2007
Published: November 20th 2007
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This was our Sea Safari day. We hit the open ocean in search of whales off the coast. We boarded our specially modified whale watch vessel and headed about 4 miles offshore. Specially modified means you can seat a lot of tourists and hold a lot of sea-sick bags. About a mile off the coast, there’s a continental shelf (cliff) that drops from about 200 ft to just under 4,000 ft. The boat had a display that showed up where we were, the depth, etc. As we made our way out, the crew gave us a short lecture on the different animals in the area. It would have been better, but she had to keep waiting for the French interpreter. About 70% of the people on board were French, and a bit pushy. Oui, oui! The crew located a sperm whale using passive hydrophones to listen for their clicks and sure enough, we spotted their water spouts about 100 yards away. We crept in for a closer look and got some great pictures before he dove under. The whales spend most of their time deep diving for food and coming up for air when they have to. We saw another whale a few minutes later and it’s pretty impressive. One was named Big Nick and one was named Little Nick because they had nicks on their tails. On our way back to shore, we found a school of Dusky Dolphins. They ran right by the boat and were having a good old time. We also cruised into the shore and spotted a colony of seals, but we couldn’t get near as close as when we found them the other day. By the way, Brian asked one of the crew if seals ever bite people, and he said only when they people go closer than 10 yards. Gulp! We’ll know better next time. Once back on shore, we walked around the town a little before we boarded the train again and headed south to Christchurch. The train ride was not nearly as enjoyable this time. We had to share our table with two British guys that talked more than Amy and Tammy times 10. For those of you that don’t know Tammy or Amy and how they talk when they’re together, that’s a lot. One of the guys started eating an apple, but he wouldn’t stop talking long enough to eat it and it turned brown. We arrived in Christchurch late (7:30 pm is late for Brian) and grabbed a taxi to our hotel. Nice hotel - Chateau on the Park. We’re going to explore the gardens when we stay here on the way back home. Long day. That’s all for now. Stay tuned.

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20th November 2007

Looks like a lot more fun than
You probably enjoyed watching the whales a lot more than the Dallas/Shins game....

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