can never get out enough to photograph dolphins and whales.
can done so many times, in Australia and New Zealand, but
the last always makes me excited to do the next.
at Papamoa Beach
makes it easier to pop out and see the magnificent creatures
as there are a number of businesses making the cruises.
did my second cruise with Dolphin
Seafaris in January, 2013, because the business has
been sold to new owners and I wanted to see how things were
it turned out, the journey was just as good and new owner/skipper
Cameron was excellent. He's a Canadian and is a long way
from snow and ice - something I don't think he was very
worried about on a gorgeous bay of Plenty summer day.
off Tauranga in
the Bay of Plenty there
is a fabulous playground for dolphins, whales, orca, seals,
sharks and big-game fish.
the crew at Dolphin Seafaris in Tauranga know how to show
off our rich waters to visitors and locals alike.
Seafaris offers daily trips out to see the dolphins and,
when it is possible, you can swim with the creatures.
journey with Dolphin Seafaris starts about 7.30am with a
wetsuit fit-out at the Tauranga Marina before heading over
to Mount Maunganui to pick-up fellow passengers from Salisbury
we cruise by the docks of New Zealand's biggest export port,
new skipper Cameron gives us a rundown of what we can expect
through the day and our safety instructions.
in the cabin of the 50-foot catamaran Guardian on a beautiful
day there would be few things I'd find more enjoyable. Not
only is she a comfortable vessel to cruise around in, she
also has a fair bit of toe with a top speed of 27 knots
- perfect for keeping up with speeding dolphins.
lets us know that his crew contains not only divemasters
but also marine biologists who know their stuff about marine
life. Paula and Rebecca - to name but two - worked with
the former owners and know their stuff.
we push out of Tauranga Harbour Cameron continues his commentary
and then pushes the throttle so we can feel the power of
morning is absolutely gorgeous with little swell as we ease
out into the Bay's waters.
is a safety briefing and Paula explains how a swim with
the dolphins is organised, providing there are no baby mammals
in any pod we come across.
the horizon is the shadow of the Rena,
the container ship that came to stay. We skirt the 2 nautical
mile exclusion zone around her and head towards Motiti Island.
Cameron announced he's got a good feeling about finding
our quarry out the back of the island.
his intuition is spot on. North-east of us the crew spot
feeding dolphins and off we go.
many wild creatures, dolphins like a bit of interaction
with humans - if they are in the mood - and the more appreciate
(and noisy) the passengers, the more they are likely to
perform for us.
for us the 40 to 50 creatures were in a playful mood. They
zoomed in close to check us out and then whizzed around
and under the boat as we mooched along.
I love being out with dolphins and whales I was especially
pleased for the tourists on board to witness such a sight.
They were from Australia, Britain, France and Spain and
you can bet your bottom dollars they were thrilled at the
sights they were seeing.
matter babies within the pod prevented a swim, they would
be going home telling everyone about the great day in the
Bay of Plenty and that has to be good for our tourism.
regulations limit the boats to 90 minutes a day with dolphin
pods and so after 45 minutes we set off to try to find another
group to watch.
it wasn't to be, but everyone on board had a great time
anyway and enjoyed
you are coming to the Bay of Plenty one of the must-dos
is to take a trip out to see the dolphins.
is a truly magical experience.
PH: 0800 ECOTRIP (0800 326 8747)