Wednesday, March 27, 2013


One of the big tourist draws at Akaroa is the population of Hector's dolphins that are habituated to interacting with people.  We got to chatting with a skipper of one of the local tour boats and he made it sound so easy to find dolphins and go for a swim with them that we decided to give it a try...

We had our team of crack divers to assist.

And, well, it turned out to be pretty straightforward.  We just stopped the boat after at the mouth of Akaroa Harbour and the dolphins came to us.  A few things to notice about the video - first of all, there are Elias' great exclamations of "this is AMAZING!  this is AMAZing" in the background.  Then you should also note that the whole family is in the water at one point, with Galactic left to herself.  Definitely the first time we've done that!

These round, undercut dorsal fins are diagnostic for Hector's.

Hector's are endemic to New Zealand, and not particularly numerous.  They're a small dolphin and, as you can see, quite inquisitive and playful.  A day spent going out to see them was just the ticket for a team that has been keeping pretty busy with goal-oriented travel lately.  It was a joy to see how much pleasure the boys took from the experience.

The next day we sailed from Akaroa to Lyttelton, under spinnaker almost the whole way.  We were accompanied by Hector's for much of the day.  They spent a lot of time bow riding on our towed dinghy, of all things - we've never seen that before.

They were a real highlight from our time on the South Island so far.


  1. Says the video is private...:(. I am from . Just getting started as a cruising family and blogger. Also I am a huge fan of dolphins. Thanks for the blog. I've been following it for awhile now. Inspirational all winter as we slog through Minnesota winter and prepare to move aboard and start cruising 4/29. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Mary - Thanks for that... and congrats on moving aboard and setting off - very exciting times, I'm sure...

  2. Hi Guys,

    Would love to see the video but it comes back marked private.


  3. Same here. Couldn't access the video. It's marked private. Mom

  4. Wow, that IS amazing, great to see you guys having fun with fellow mammals! Grant.

  5. Hey Galactic, great shots, they really are quite tiny.....
    Eric had the idea.... start this O/B, let s go!!

    1. g'day Triddar, great to hear from you.... did A. send you our addresses? Shoot us an email as we somehow left Hobart without your contact info!