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.