The weather is suddenly quite lovely in Auckland. I celebrated with an afternoon in Hauraki Gulf with Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari.
The view was stunning… but enough scenery! How about some dolphins?
… and killer whales!
I loved seeing the critters, but it was also really nifty to watch the team searching for them. There is a lot of water to cover and the chances of just stumbling upon marine mammals is relatively small. To increase the odds, the crew watches for birds that are diving into the water in ways that indicate that some sort of carnivorous mammal is feeding on fish, and then head in that direction.
The company works closely with research teams to supply information about their sightings. On this particular trip, they used photos of fins to confirm that a killer whale whose baby had recently died had rejoined a pod.
The company also has a strong educational mission, and it’s clear from listening to them that they care deeply about the health of the marine ecosystem which we humans seem to be decimating at least as quickly as most other types of ecosystems. I definitely recommend their tour. (But, if you’re prone to motion sickness like me, I’d also recommend sea-bands or something similar.)