This morning we got up at 5:00am… RECORD (for me!) It was still dark when I got up – Mum alarm – and I shovelled my breakfast down so we could get there quicker. When we arrived at the Encounter office, we went inside, warmed up,( it was cold outside) and geared up! I got my flippers, (story about them later) my snorkel, my hood and my two wetsuits (one over the other).
Once we were ready, we watched a short film. I cheered the morning up, (literally, I cheered when Tracy our guide said there would be free hot chocolate on the boat) and we clambered in to the bus and dove off to get our boat. Once we arrived and were on the boat we told it might take an hour or more…
5 mins later…
DOLPHINS!!! Hundreds and hundreds of them! Straight away by the sound of a horn we dived in, to face a shock… IT WAS FREEZING!!! You had to wait a few minutes to adjust to the temperature. It was hard to breath, now either it was because the wetsuits were VERY tight or it was because it was so cold!? Once I was ready I swam to the crowd but the dolphins beat me to it! A pod of them swam right beneath me, so I tried to remember what happened in a dolphin documentary by David Attenborough. I did some clicks and squeaks. The dolphins were interested and came really close. Either they were thinking “Look! It’s talking like us, let’s go see!” Or they were thinking, “look at that nutter, let’s go see what all the rumble is.” So what? At least I was with them!
[Dad says: please watch the videos by clicking on the highlighted text below to view them on YouTube.]
One pod seemed particularly interested. I called one dolphin Dizzy Dot. Do you know why? I recognised it from the others because of a dot on its side. That explains dot but dizzy? Well it kept circling me, getting faster and faster. I looked it in the eye and spun round and round and round until it went straight into another dolphin and I went straight into another snorkeler! So I called it Dizzy Dot!
Then the horn blew. I swam back to the boat, climbed in, (I was last) and we followed the pod. We got back in and I saw a rare sight of a Mother with her calf. The calf was the size of my friend Georgia (sorry, it came straight to mind!) But the other dolphins are taller than my headteacher Mrs. Normington!
The sea was getting choppy now but it was more fun! Loads of the ladies climbed out, threw up and stayed out! It was brilliant going up and down and up and down and I began to bob away… But the horn blew and I climbed back into the boat.
Here’s the story about my flipper… We were just following the pod, I was excited and very happy. It was raining now and the waves were big! So there I was, minding my own business, when a massive wave suddenly swept up and stole my flipper! I shouted MY FLIPPER!!! I sounded like the horn that had blown to signal us! I thought I was doomed but the boat turned around. Tracy grabbed the net and gave me back my flipper! That’s the story of the flipper and the big wave!
We got in once more and then had free hot chocolate and biscuits then I stuck a hose down my wetsuit. It was warm and lovely! We dried off and went on the bow where dolphins leaped and somersaulted and did things acrobats couldn’t do! But it was more of a race between the boat and the dolphins. They were going under the boat swimming as fast as their flippers could take them! The faster we went the more excited the dolphins were! We got back, said a big thank you and went home for a proper shower!
Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura: thank you for making my dream come true.