The rain stopped and this became our PERFECT day with for the first time ever literally everything falling into place. We checked out of the park early and as we drove towards Dolphin Encounter the sun came out and the sea became a mill pond. We were on the 8.30am Dolphin Enounter trip and got fully kitted out with wet suits and snorkels while being briefed on the best ways to interact with the wild dusky dolphins when at sea. Our boat left at 0900am complete with fab pome crew and our journey time to the dolphins was around 25minutes. To say this is what dreams are made of is an understatment - swimming with dolphins is something that i have wanted to do all my life never once dreaming that it would be as wonderful as it was. We got in the water on 3 occasions and there were up to 300 dolphins surrounding us, darting and diving around, circling around you, backflipping in the air. You are encouraged to make dolphin noises (much to the spectators amusement) and they do respond to your noises and swimming movements, basically the more dolphin like you are the more fun they will have interacting with you, finally all squeezers swimming paid off. We were soooooooo lucky in that all the swimmers in our group of 13 were very good at this and we kept the dolphins around us for what seemed like hours. Afterwards the boat cruises along after the dolphins who surround the boat, there were so many you didn't know where to look and we even spotted baby calfs with their mothers and seals.
We returned to shore totally speechless and the only thing we know for sure is that this was the best most wonderful experience and day ever!
In the afternoon we had lunch in the 'Why Not' cafe and stopped at a seal colony to watch the baby seals try and master movement - all very cute before driving to Blenheim for out free wine tasting at Hunters winery. We then carried onto Picton where we caught the Arsenal game in the local pub before camping by the ferry ready for our trip over to the North island the next day.
The 13th is seriously lucky for some and at this point after what had to be the absolutely perfect day our luck ran out.....................to be continued..........