• Tui Nature Reserve Wildlife Trust
    Biodiversity Project
    Restoring the natural heritage
  • Biodiversity Project
    Conservation Project
    Marlborough Sounds New Zealand
  • Breeding for release
    Breeding for release
    Species formerly present
  • Tui Home Slide Kakariki
    Yellow-crowned Kakariki
  • Koru Native Wildlife Centre
    Koru Native Wildlife Centre
  • Conservation Park
    Tui Nature Reserve
    Mature and regenerating native bush

Dolphins and Gannets in the Bay

"Grab the dog's, mate, we're off !" Liam said to me on a Sunday afternoon before heading off to the beach. We took nothing but the dogs, camera and cellphone and walked down to the wharf.

wharfWe took the kayaks out, emptied them of spiders, and loaded the dogs on. After grabbing our life jackets from the boat, we decided to paddle across the bay.

It was calm and sunny, not a boat in sight to interupt us. I had Chase on my kayak. She always sits on the bow as far front as possible. A dog thing.

We were about three quarters of the way when a small group of dusky dolphins came our way. Chase is usually quite calm on the water, but if anything moves she goes nuts. So I quickly had to restrain her on the wobbly kayak as the small pod swam beneath us. We wanted to make pictures but it was impossible with the dogs, so we tied them up on the beach.

We went back with our camera, although for a little while they seemed to have gone. Some time afterwards another small group came in. About eight of them swam through, hunting for fish with a whole flock of gannets behind them.

When dolphins are fishing it's always best to give them some space, afterall, no one likes to be disturbed while eating! But Liam happened to be in the perfect place as they passed by. The pod suddenly seemed to have located a school of fish and began threshing the surface. Gannets dived down just metres from us. Puncturing the water like bullets before popping up soon afterwards, their throats swelled with fish.

After the fish-frenzy,  the dolphins spread out and dived underneath the kayaks. We could see their white and black streaks slide beneath our small vessels. Stunning, it makes you smile just thinking about it.

Before long they vanished as quickly as they came and we continued to circumnavigate the bay. The only casualty being Rova fall out of Liam's kayak, twice.

Leona.

Liam made this video :

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Tui Nature Reserve Wildlife Trust

Email: | Phone: +64 (0)27 4483447

Private Bag 65023, Havelock 7150 Marlborough