Whale Watch

For one hour and fifteen minutes I was afraid we had paid 250 bucks to listen to people vomit and waft in the after effects.  The sea was angry and Whale Watch Kaikoura has little interest in sacrificing an opportunity to show you a whale. Even if the gusts out of the southwest have reached 15 knots and the seas are rough white capped swells rolling up to 12 feet high. What remains unclear is if the determination of the team to brave these seas in a 17 meter jet powered catamaran had anything to do with the fact that if the 40 people on the boat did not see a whale, we were entitled to an 80% discount of our 145 New Zealand dollar per person fare.

I’m not sure if we will ever know if it was pure determination from the Whale Watch team to find us a whale or if the team was inspired by the potential refunds – What I do know is that after 30 minutes on the sea I began to question the choice of Eggs Benedict for brekkie.

I am not kidding when I speak of 12 foot seas and a minimum of 30 people vomiting over the course of one hour and fifteen minutes.  It was the smell for me but the sounds for Amber which almost did us in.

We did not join the vomit party however.  Which I assume pleased Haley.  She was a crew member and it appeared her sole position on the boat was to collect people’s vomit bags, place in a safe disposal container and ask those who vomited if they would like some fresh water.  All I know is she was busy and changed her latex gloves a lot over the course of our 2.5 hour cruise.

In the end, they found one whale.  A sperm whale.  As we made our way out to the deck to take a few pictures and revel in the majesty of this huge creature, the waves did not subside for our presence on deck.  The boat passengers – those who vomited and did not vomit – stumbled to the deck, held on for dear life as the boat pitched and rolled in the swells and we snagged a few pictures.

Travel Tips –

I love being on a boat but I had never been more happy to get off this boat.  I’m sure this is a wonderful tour and it would be pretty sweet if it was a nice day on the seas.  Even sweeter if more wildlife was interested in dealing with waves and wind – i.e. it would have been pretty cool to see more whales or a dolphin. The sea was too crazy.  I’m not one to blame nature, our fault for booking on a day with strong winds from Antarctica peeling up the Pacific, but we have done some pretty impressive “touristy” stuff and this was not as cool as we had hoped.

Kaikoura is a nice town however.  Great restaurants, nice walks around the peninsula, incredible views of the sea with snowcapped mountains and some of the freshest seafood we have found in New Zealand. Our two nights here have been relaxing but perhaps one night too long.  Kaikoura is worth the stop, just check the weather before booking a whale watch and hope most people on the boat have been on a boat before…Otherwise its more like a Cancun Booze Cruise full of 19 year olds after 45 minutes than a touristy whale watch.

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3 Responses to “Whale Watch”

  1. Mom
    September 21, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Oh my gosh!!! I was hoping it was just spectacular. Good thing I wasn’t on that boat!!!! I would have more than one vomit bag!!!!!!! The experience will every lasting memories!!! Love you!

  2. Jeanie Groves-Short
    September 24, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Well, at least we got to see a whale of a tale. I mean the tail of a whale! Poor Amber, playing Nurse Nightingale.


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