Daily Illuminator

July 29, 2006: Dolphins Down Under

Dolphins Again Photos from our dolphin-watching trip. This was on the Dolphin Explorer, out of Auckland. Excellent, knowledgeable crew, and a nice boat . . . which was not nearly full, because this was the off season.

The first time we went, the sea was choppy, the boat had to travel slowly and couldn't get out very far, and we saw nothing at all. So the second try was half price. Seemed like a good gamble, and it paid off.

These are common dolphins. It was an hour before we saw any at all. Then "there's one!" Then a couple, then six or seven at a time, then hundreds. They followed the ship, and some of them escorted it in front, usually staying a few feet below the surface, as in these pictures.

And we saw whales, too . . . Bryde's Whales, a cow and calf together, and a male. They were breaking the surface in a pattern that the crew recognized, so we knew where to look and when. The photos I got of them are just "long black thing in the water," but still, wow. We saw whales.

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