Bucket list item #49: Go whale watching
Those of you that know me, know how much I love animals. If you've gone through my bucket list, a lot of the items include animals, so it's really a no brainer why I would have whale watching as something I would want to do.
I have just always seen whales as such majestic creatures. They're so massive and the fact that we have animals like that on this earth amazes me. Just imagine, a blue whale can grow to be almost as big as a Boeing 737! That's insane!
I was in the middle of planning my trip to New Zealand when I found whale watching as one of the possible activities I could do along the Stray bus route. There's a little town called Kaikoura that's north of Christchurch and is known for it's whale watching experiences. I was scheduled to arrive in Kaikoura the day after I flew into New Zealand; I quickly booked the tickets, and was ready to go.
A little bit of a back story before I tell you about my experience. I grew up around the sea. My mum is from a little town in the Philippines that's right by the ocean. Literally just a few steps outside our front door and you would be swimming in the sea. That whole side of my family is made up mostly of fishermen so I wasn't really that concerned about getting sea sick. I kept thinking it's in my blood to be on the water. Boy was I wrong! The jet lag, the lack of sleep from the flight, the exhaustion from travelling hit me all at once about twenty minutes into the boat ride. I was the first to hurl! So for those of you thinking of going, please take some kind of medicine just in case. Ginger drops, or a simple anti-sea sickness pill should help. Don't let the waves ruin your moment!
I have to admit, being sick did take away from the experience a little bit so I didn't enjoy the day as much as I thought I would. I had my head in and out of a bag, and every time we stopped for a whale, I had to force myself outside to go and take a look. We were quite a bit of a distance away from them so as to not disturb them, but nevertheless, I could feel my heart swell with excitement every time I saw the tail go up and break the surface.
The whole trip was about two hours long. The whales would only stay up on the surface for a couple of minutes before they would go back down, and we'd be on our way looking for the next whale. I think that added to my sea sickness - the fact that the boat would only stop for a few minutes before racing off to find another one.
Would I recommend whale watching? I think for the animal lovers out there, I definitely would recommend it. It's still an amazing experience, and learning about the different species, and seeing them in real life is indescribable. I would say it was worth the 2 hours I took out of my day. But for those of you that aren't that interested in the marine life, then no, I probably wouldn't recommend you go on the experience. Doing a different activity such as swimming with the dolphins (another popular experience you can have in Kaikoura) would be a better choice.