As a little girl I fantasized of living my life traveling around the world studying dolphins like the main character in my “Dolphin Diaries” books and I was always so jealous when my friends got to go swimming with dolphins at the parks in Florida.
However, here in New Zealand, I got to live out my childhood dream- at least for a day.
My mom, sister, and I splurged to go on one of those dolphin safaris- but there is no way I could have imagined how cool it would really feel to see dolphins out in the wild. There were less than 20 passengers, 4 crew members, and a researcher aboard our ship and we spent about 4 and a half hours out on the water- sailing deep into the Hauraki Gulf.
We were fortunate enough to come upon a pod of about 7 bottle nose dolphins- and boy were they playful. They kept looking up at us and swimming up alongside the boat. The crew said that the animals enjoy leaning against the front of the boat and letting it just push them along. We spent at least a good 30 minutes just hanging out with these guys. SO COOL!
We also spotted some common dolphins on our way back towards Auckland. They were much smaller than the bottle nose dolphins though they definitely were speedy. We had a baby dolphin showing off in front of our boat for a good while.
Dolphins aside, it was such a wonderful treat to spend the day out on the water, away from the city. We had gorgeous weather and the water was so clear- which was great for pictures! Thanks Mom for making 10-year old Lauren’s dream come true!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Lauren M. Chapman and I am a junior at Washington University in St. Louis studying to be a High School Math Teacher. On campus you can often find me singing with my a capella group, baking, tutoring or catching up with friends. I am a mid-western girl who loves home, but is thrilled to be on my own big adventure in New Zealand! I love being outside, soaking in the beauties of natures, and getting to meet amazing people from around the world. I cannot wait to take a little piece of Kiwi culture back home with me.</span></p>