Swimming with Dolphins

One of the most rewarding experiences in my life was when I swam with dolphins in New Zealand. Nothing can prepare you for the unique feeling of being so close to nature under its own terms.
It was back in 2004 and my wife and I were fortunate to be travelling around the country and using our friend’s car to get around. For this reason, we were able to get the ferry to the South Island and drive down to Kaikoura where tour companies offered Dolphin and whale watching tours.
We had to wait for good weather and, as lovely as Kaikoura is, there wasn’t much to do there except walk up and down the main street looking in shop windows until the weather cleared.
Finally, we were taken out and given wetsuits. The water was freezing, well below zero, and we were thankful for the flasks of hot soup and sandwiches that they gave us on the boat.
Suddenly a dolphin pod was spotted and we all took our positions at the back of the boat. There were about 12 of us in the group and we jumped in the sea as soon as the boat had got about 200 metres ahead of the dolphin pod.
Before I had time to think, there were dolphins all around me. Darting as quick as a flash above me, below and to the sides. Some came up to my mask and looked right at me, while others just whizzed past.
It was over all too quickly and I climbed back onto the boat speechless and wearing a stupid grin. I was stunned by the simple beauty and purity of spending a few minutes with such wonderful creatures.

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