Having A Whale Of A Time

November 1991

One of the highlights of my life, not just my trip was seeing the whales in Kaikoura.

I remember being somewhat perturbed when I had first seen the size of the boats we were catching, I think there were about eight of us on each boat and they were tiny. I also had the distinct feeling that the boat captains were to say the least characters. We had zoomed through the waves at a terrifying speed. All I remember of the trip out to sea, was staring determinedly at the belt on the lifejacket of the person in front of me, to distract myself. Although I do seem to recall the thrilling dusky dolphins on the way

Source:Dolphin Encounter,


Catching sight of our first whale had made our hair-raising boat ride worthwhile. From memory I believe we had seen sperm whales. I understand the area is a nursery occupied by mothers and their calves. I think we saw about half a dozen. Our guide/kamikaze pilot had mentioned that the previous day they had seen many more. ( I remember the excitement back at the hostel when those travellers had returned.) He had explained he thought there had been killer whales in the area at the time and the sperm whales had huddled together for protection. Although sperm whales are huge, he had mentioned how a killer whale had once taken a bite out of one and it had died.

Whale Watch Kaikoura

I have been out to see the whales three times now. In Australia I have seen the humpback whales twice. Once one of them had come up right to the back of our boat, while I had stood there. They had also put a microphone in the water for us to listen to them singing. I do not think I will ever tire of  seeing and hearing those beautiful creatures. The sound of them expelling air through their blowholes is ingrained in my mind and my soul.

Two beautiful humpback whales dance.https://youtu.be/o767PuYbEXg

Source: BBC Earth.

Whale-Watching-Cat Balou, Eden, NSW