December 2018 Safari Highlights
Whale and dolphin watching trips at the end of 2018 certainly did not disappoint!
The start of the month produced superpods of common dolphins as well as orca, bottlenose dolphin and Bryde's whale encounters.
We also began our twice daily trips in mid-December which means we are running morning safaris (8:00 departure) as well as our year-round afternoon safari (13:30 departure) until the end of January. Morning trips are special for our crew as we don't normally operate during these hours so they get to experience what the Hauraki Gulf marine life is like in the morning as well as in the afternoon!
Common dolphins approaching the Dolphin Explorer (left) and riding the bow (right)
Towards the end of the month, we saw smaller dolphin pods showing different behaviours compared to the start of the month. In the summer, common dolphin pod sizes become smaller as the dolphins spend less time working together to feed and more time socialising, mating and caring for their young. It is this time of year when the common dolphins tend to give birth as the warmer waters give the calves an increased chance of survival.
As well as our cetacean friends, we saw plenty of little blue penguins rafting on the calm water surface and sharks coming into coastal waters to breed.
We can't wait to see what 2019 will bring!
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