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Taking the Dragons by storm

playing with seals and dolphins

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 11 January 2009 | Views [566]

I meant to spend Christmas Day surfing on a beach, but a slight ankle injury and cold rain meant I would spend this day of peace and joy with good friends and food. I actually had two dinners. One was with my Bosses family and the other was at a cherry farm. The cherry farm lamb roast was an all day long feast of meats and drinks, though I arrived well after 9pm. The following days were busy at the deli with snobby, rude, and even some pleasant customers.

That brings us to New Years Eve... This was definatelly a very fun night which brought all the Akaroan characters out. I made it to a friends house by  4am and was up bright and early at 9am to work at the busy deli (Wahoo!!).

My advisor arrived into the country on January 6th. We proceeded towards Kaikoura where he was staying and doing some dusky dolphin research. The most interesting thing about hanging out with Tim is that he knows where every good food joint is on a 6 hour stretch of road from Christchurch to Nelson. On our first day in Kaikours, we were surveyors on a 5:30 am dolphin trip. I got to play with a very fancy camera and pretend I knew a thing about the creatures to the tourist. Then we headed to Ohou point to survey some New Zealand Fur Seals, then we headed to the seal waterfall, and to finish off our day we took Panua Ahai (the boat) to the dolphins again. It was just the two of us and +500 dolphins. This was by far the best part of the day. I jumped into the icy water without a wet suit to swim with the Duskys. They were so playfull, doing flips and tricks just feet from our boat. I drove the boat while Tim photographed them. It is so amazing driving within a pod of dolphins that stretched over two miled wide..WOW!!. FInally to finish off our night, we all (the research team) went to the Whaler to participate in quiz night. We came in 3rd, and drank a lot. The great thing about it is that out team, "The Pretty Pink Hornicorns" won every boat race we participated in. A boat race is a team drinking game where your team has to drink faster than the other team. We were internationally sponsered with a Mexican, a Texan, a Russian, and a Californian.. I think we represented our countries and states well.

Then it was off to see Marlbourough sounds and do a short walk along the Queen Charlott track. I would definatelly want to to the whole thing which takes a day. We spent the night in Nelson to celebrate a friends birthday and do some shop talk about my seal project. I think I will incorporate all the beautiful places of NZ into my project (all the places with seals and tourist). This way I can travel all over the country :).

Tags: dolphins, kaikoura, seals

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