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KaikouraDolphinSwim - 18

An underwater view of Dusky dolphins during my dolphin swim with "Dolphin Encounters", a friendly and efficient eco-tourism company in Kaikoura, New Zealand. The Duskies are wild dolphins, not trained, and there is a pod of somewhere around 500 that lives in Kaikoura bay year round. The boats basically take you out on the waters, find the dolphins (they say their success rate is somewhere near 80%!), then position the boat in the path of the pod and tell the swimmers to get into the water. You are not supposed to try to touch the dolphins (they generally stayed at arms length from me), but you can make sounds and dive down to try and attract them. I found that diving down worked best, as every time I did so, a dolphin would swim toward me and circle me a few times, pinging me with its sonar and looking at me with its eye. This was an amazing experience!

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Uploaded on April 9, 2008