April 2019 Whale Watching Highlights
A month dominated more by the toothed whales than the baleen whales, we had the pleasure of spending time with lots of different groups of common dolphins and crossing paths with bottlenose dolphins who come into the inner Hauraki Gulf during the start of Winter.
Bottlenose dolphins are endangered here in New Zealand and have suffered from various human impacts so we only stop to collect the important data on them during the trips where they approach the vessel.
A quick stop to gather sightings data on bottlenose dolphins as we exit the Rangitoto Channel (left) and travelling along with common dolphins (right)
This month also saw the clocks change and with that and Winter drawing closer, comes epic sunsets on the ride home into Auckland City. They certainly are a bonus to our afternoon safaris and just one of the reasons why we love operating year round as we certainly don't get those photo opportunities in the Summer!
Beautiful safari sunsets! (c) Jorge Alfaro
The water temperatures are starting to cool down which means that the Hauraki Gulf should see an increase in productivity and we should be seeing the results of that - multi-species workups with seabirds and common dolphins feeding hard to maintain their body fat during the Winter months as well as Bryde's whales charging around the area feeding on the various prey items that they like to feed upon (fish, krill and zooplankton).
In other news, we were nominated as a finalist for the Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards this month! Our General Manager, Brad and Senior Skipper, Andy went along to the awards ceremony held at Parliament. Whilst we weren't a winner, we were incredibly honoured to have been selected as a finalist and recognised for our safari experience.
Senior Skipper Andy Light, Minister of Tourism Kelvin Davis and General Manager Brad Kirner
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