Well, a beautiful sunrise again but the water in South Bay was too rough to put the boat in or do land based tracking so Romy, Monique, Bridge and I decided to try to go whale watching. We set off at 7:45 A.M. We traveled out to the whale habitat in a large catamaran boat.
About five nautical miles off shore we found a sperm whale but just as we arrived he dived. These sperm whales are all bachelor males and seem to stay around Kaikoura most of the year as there is plenty of food in the deep underwater canyon or trench.
We headed off for another sighting and in the next half hour or so we saw three sperm whales. They are huge and spend time on top of the water for up to 20 minutes, blowing little spouts as they breathe. Then they deep dive for up to two hours.
You can just see the whales' dorsal fin and a blow of air. It looks like steam. The blowholes on sperm whales are off set slightly to the left and the "blow" goes off at a 45 degree angle. This is a feature peculiar to sperm whales.
As we came back in from the deep water we drove right around Barney's Rock. It is called this as local stories say that a whaler named Barney used to sit atop this rock looking for whales. Now Barney's Rock is a home for New Zealand Fur Seals and Pied Shags or Cormorants.
As we headed back in shore along came the dolphins swimming alongside the Whalewatch boat.
Soon it was time to return to Kaikoura after a very special day with the marine mammals of the area.