Monday, May 16, 2016

Mammal Monday

We spent several low-key days in Twizel (with equally low-key internet) and then made the beautiful drive to the charming seaside town of Kaikoura yesterday. 

This morning we got to go out on a whale-watching boat, and we had three separate encounters with the gigantic sperm whales that inhabit these waters year-round. Sperm whales are the 4th largest whale species and the largest toothed whale (as well as the largest toothed predator), and they are the second deepest diving mammal. They can hold their breath up to two hours, and single dives normally last between 40 minutes and an hour, so it was pretty remarkable that we got to see three in just a couple of hours. It was a fantastic experience!

This afternoon, we visited the Kaikoura seal colony and enjoyed seeing the fur seals up close. Most of them were napping or lounging on the beach, but we did see a few frolicking in the water. When we left the seals, we got caught up in a sheep traffic jam, which was bound to happen at some point while we were in New Zealand, I suppose.

We ended our animal-focused day at the little one-screen cinema (that reminded me very much of an old, small town, high school auditorium) to see The Jungle Book. It was such a fun day and a great way to end our time on NZ's South Island.

Whale Watching

Seal Colony

Road Block 

Beautiful Kaikoura
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