Kaikoura is a lovely little seaside town, although I didn't notice this the day I arrived because it was raining all day. I have had a friend again while I've been here, because I've joined back up with Nanna. So the two of us spent the afternoon playing cards to keep ourselves amused. Weirdly the weather here seems to alternate at the moment, so a crap day will be followed by a really nice one. This was useful here because I had booked to go whale watching on Tuesday and it turned out lovely! Even better news was that we went to the booking place on the day and they let me change my time so that Nanna could come with me.
Kaikoura is very close (about 5 miles) to a massive deep trench in the sea, which means they get lots of marine wildlife hanging around, particularly whales, who like to go down really deep to look for food. But they also come up to the surface every hour or so to breathe (I'm guessing - i'm not exactly a whale expert) and that is when we get to sea them. So we went out on the boat and we saw two sperm whales (and then saw the first one again). We watched them on the surface for about 10 mins each, every so often spitting a jet of water into the air. Then the exciting bit came, where the whale dove down again and we got to see it flick its tail up in the air. I was especially excited cos i got a pretty good pic of the first whale's tail! (The one above is actually mine this time) After we'd watched two whales dive under the water, we then had a bit of time to go off and find some dusky dolphins. We saw a pretty big group of them (maybe 30-40 or so) and when we arrived they swam around our boat and started jumping up out of the water. Not only did they do the usual jump out of the water that you expect from a dolphin, but some of them were also leaping like salmon! This is what it looked like to me anyway, but what I mean is that they jumped straight upwards, instead of smoothly out and back into the water. (Probably something best explained by pictures or hand signals, haha!) If anyone understands what i mean I'd be very impressed.
I've been looking forward to going whale spotting for a while, so I'm glad I had a nice day for it. I was even more glad the next day, when the weather turned out to be rubbish again. Nanna and I were planning to go for a walk around the Kaikoura Peninsula, but by about 11 am the sky had started clouding over and eventually rained, so we ended up amusing ourselves by watching movies and playing cards again.
Kaikoura is my last stop on the South Island, and tomorrow I get the ferry back across to th North Island again.