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Full Circle

Day 146: Wellington to Kaikoura, S. Island

Michael Palin - Full CircleHe points to the western horizon dominated by the snow-capped summit of Mount Tapuaenuku, not far short of ten thousand feet.

The depth and the mix of currents make for fertile waters and sperm whales come to feed within a few miles of the shore. The sperm whale is a 'toothed' whale and feeds on squid and other fish. According to Wally, they once found one with a fifteen foot shark intact in its stomach.

The weather is deteriorating, but may be much worse tomorrow, so he recommends we go out tonight. Our boatman is a lean young man with curly pre-Raphaelite locks. He's called Snow. 'Everybody sweet?' he asks as our aluminium-hulled dinghy is tractored into the sea off the shallow beach.

Then we're off like a rocket, slapping the waves at 80 kilometres an hour. Apparently oblivious to the thudding and whacking he's giving us, he points out rare and wonderful things en route - like the Western Black petrel, a shoal of Dusky dolphins or anything else we might have missed while being hit with a faceful of sea water.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 146
  • Country/sea: New Zealand
  • Place: Kaikoura
  • Book page no: 202

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