After a fantastic helicopter flight over the Islands with perfect weather we decided to book ourselves onto a boat trip. We had a choice between diving the Rainbow Warrior or Going on a Dolphin watch with a chance of swimming with them. The chance of seeing dolphins is 95% which is good enough. The chances of actually swimming with dolphins is 65% because they might be with young or feeding or maybe even had enough of us dumb humans.
We booked a trip to see the dolphins and very early the next day we headed out on a Kings boat trip around the Bay of islands.
The clouds slowly began to clear and the views where as beautiful from the boat as they had been from the Helicopter trip the day before. All the way out to sea we were on dolphin watch and after about an hour and a half, dolphins had been spotted by another boat so we headed for that spot. When we arrived, there were two dolphins then suddenly there were more, six or seven in total swimming in front of us breaching one after the other. It was an amazing site seeing these huge bottle nosed dolphins leaping out of the water and swimming around the boat. They can grow between 4-5 metres in length and have solid strong bodies.
Then the deckhand began untying the net on the side of the boat and all of a sudden we were undressing and putting on wet suits, goggles and snorkels and before we had time to even think about it we had jumped into the freezing ocean into this net attached to the side of the boat while the Captain guided the boat towards the Dolphins. We could see the dolphins coming around towards us and the deckhands screaming go go go!!! And we were out in the ocean about twelve of us from the boat, Me and Becky side by side. The ocean just descended into darkness. Looking through my goggles there were huge dolphins swimming right past us a metre away. We were diving down to be in their world watching them effortlessly twist and turn and play with each other, then they came to see what we were all about. You could clearly see them looking at us, intrigued. Above the water they were leaping out high into the air and cleverly landing amongst us without harming anybody. It was a truly amazing feeling to be swimming with these incredibly intelligent mammals in their own environment, one which photo's can never do justice.
For over an hour we tried to keep up with the dolphins but in the end they had other business to attend so we climbed out and carried on with our tour of the bay. Just as we had got out and drying ourselves down a Hammer Head shark casually swam along the boat and sunk out of sight.
For the rest of the day we were on a natural high from the dolphins. We sailed around the islands looking at various places, including Piercy island better known as "the hole in the rock". We saw Seals and gannets and an abundance of fish. We stopped over on Moturua island for lunch and enjoyed a walk to the top of the island to a lookout point over the rest of the bay. All in all it was a fantastic day and the whole Bay of Islands experience was awesome.