Meet the Crew - Sarah-lyn

Get to know our brilliant First Mate Sarah-lyn!

Where are you originally from?

I’m a Kiwi born and bred! I have lived in different parts of New Zealand (both the North and South Island) as well as overseas but returned back to Auckland five years ago.

How long have you been working for Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari? 

I started out as a Research Assistant on one of the PhD projects being done from the boat and I did that for a year before joining as crew. So, all up it’s been five years!

What’s your role and have you always been in that role? 

When I first joined as a crew member, I was a Second Mate which is the role that does the majority of the hosting of our passengers. I served in the galley and had one-on-one education conversations with passengers about the marine life. After three years I went and did my Skipper’s qualifications which led to my current position as the First Mate. The majority of my role involves boat maintenance, training new crew, locating animals and providing a commentary on safari.

What’s the best thing about operating in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park?  

It’s a massive, beautiful area and so close to the city. Which area of the Hauraki Gulf we explore changes daily. What I find special is that often we can be the only boat out there. So when we are with the animals it can feel like an exclusive encounter.

What’s the best thing about working on board the Dolphin Explorer?  

I love the diversity. The diversity of the area, the animals, the passengers and the staff! It’s not your typical day job that’s for sure. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Whale and dolphin watching, haha! Even when I am not at work I can be found at the beach with a coffee looking for coastal species like the bottlenose dolphins and orca/killer whales. I love to travel and when I go on holiday, I tend to pick places where I can go whale watching!

What’s your favourite animal in the whole wide world? 

My cat, Wilber.

If there is one question you could have answered about the oceans right this instant, what would it be? 

The oceans face many problems right now: climate change, pollution, overfishing, extinction, the discovery of new species, exploitation of resources…I would like to know what will the oceans look like in 200 years from now?

If there’s one place in the world you could visit (money no object), where would it be and why? 

Antarctica, to see killer whales/orca spy hopping through ice sheet gaps.

Any particular stand out memories or highlights from our safaris?

Killer whales/orca hunting the common dolphins! I will never forget watching the harsh reality that is the circle of life.

If you could give your passengers one piece of advice, what would it be? 

I love passengers that get really involved in the experience. Especially the ones who come along armed with heaps of questions, or constantly keep an eye out on the sea, helping us locate the animals!

Also, we take plenty of pictures for you so I would advise putting your own camera or phone down and to just enjoy the experience.