Friday, July 16, 2010

Hector dolphins

These are the beautiful Hector dolphins that we got to see today.
Our yearly membership at Orana Park is over so we decided to do something different for our family day celebrating Ruth's birthday. With school holidays finishing today and a special that children go free, we decided to go today instead of on her actual birthday which is on Monday.
We met up with a family for lunch who also have an adopted South African daughter (7 years old already). I had chatted to the mother a few times before. She had given me the contact info for Natu - the lady who has done Ruth's hair a couple of times. So it was great to finally get to meet them.
This is the boat we went on. The only difference was that it was only our family and one other couple that were on the boat with the crew today.
They had warned us that the swells where quite big today, 1 1/2 to 2 meters. But Brendon had his motion sickness tablets and we hoped that it would be ok. Having outdoor areas on the boat would also help.
Heading out of the harbour was amazing. We all stood on the very front of the boat and felt like we were on a roller coaster ride. The harbour is also so beautiful and we learnt a lot about the history. Eventually Hannah was too cold though so Brendon headed back with her. She wanted to go inside - downstairs and that was were things all went wrong. Brendon's stomach could just not cope with it and he got terrible motion sickness.
The swells continued once we were out at sea (poor Brendon) but it was not long before the crew spotted some Hector dolphins. So we spent quite a few minutes just looking for them and eventually we spotted them. They are the smallest dolphins in the world and also endangered. So it felt so very special to get to see so many of them. The first photo is a good representation of what it was like. As soon as we spotted them and got closer to them they came to us and swam around and under the boat. Brendon got to see them - and feed them. The poor guy was feeling just terrible. Poor Rachel enjoyed the dolphins but was crying as she was so concerned about her Dad.
We headed down another harbour which was wonderfully calm - so that gave Brendon a bit of a break. There was a muscle farm in this area which was amazing to see. Then we headed back. By this stage Ruth was not feeling so hot, so I had my hands full. The crew were very helpful though and between them, Rachel and I we managed to look after the 2 ill passengers and the very very active 2 year old. At one point Hannah had me going up and down the stairs with her and eventually I just had to say no as my stomach was not coping with that. Rachel took over for a bit and Ruth ended up falling asleep on my lap. So although it was a very eventful trip - it was also such a wonderful experience. The ride out over the swells was incredible and to see this tiny dolphins was such a special treat. I think we will all remember it for many years to come.

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