Sunday, December 06, 2009

Whale Watching

Booked myself a trip with Whale Watch to see the Sperm Whales that live in the bay of the Kaikoura peninsular. Kaikoura lies within the Southern Hemisphere Whale Sanctuary. Several different species of whale can be seen off Kaikoura at different times of the year, but almost always the huge Sperm Whales. The Sperm Whales that are seen in Kaioura waters are adolescent males that feed here to build up their strength to move to the mating grounds of the north. These whales regularly dive to depths of one kilometre, and have been known to dive to three kilometres, holding their breath for up to two hours - perhaps gulping down a few grouper or wrestling with a giant squid.
It was still too early in summer to see other whales such as the Orca that come in to hunt the dolphin calves that are born during summer.
We were lucky to see three individuals within the time that we were allocated at sea.
In preparation for a dive the whale will take several breaths before one final big blow and arching its back to head down in a vertical dive.

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