Sailing Bay of Islands New Zealand - bay of islands wildlife

By: Sailing Bay Of Islands New Zealand  06-Dec-2011

August 3, 2008

Most days we encounter bottlenose dolphins in the Bay although when it suits them they will head further out to sea and do whatever dolphins do. Even when there are many holidaymakers with boats during the summer months, these wild dolphins seem keen to seek out human company. The trampolines on our catamaran provide an ideal viewing platform as these delightful creatures frolic under the bows.

August 3, 2008

Occasionally orca whales are seen as they head for shallow estuaries in search of stingrays. We have observed the orca tossing the mutilated rays into the air, rather like a game of cat and mouse. Brutal, but that’s nature. Of course you never have the camera ready when this happens !

South of Cape Brett is the old whaling station of Whangamumu where more than 50 years ago there was a thriving industry. Net Rock as the name suggests had a powerful net attached which was used to snare migrating whales.

Whales are still seen if sea conditions are suitable and the distinctive ‘blow’ is visible.

August 3, 2008

One special resident of the Bay and coastline is our Little Blue Penguin or Korora of the Maori. These shy blue/grey birds are often first observed as they duck under the waves as we sail by. They soon pop up again and paddle on their way, occasionally poking their heads under or meeting up with a couple of mates with loud “waaa, waaa “ calls to each other.

We have had this noisy calling under Cool Change in the evening and when observed through the under hull hatch we could see two penguins swimming under the boat between the hulls and looking up as though they thought they had found a suitable cave to nest in. They didn’t realize it was our nest !

May 22, 2008

This trip, we spotted a lone seal basking on the rocks near Deep Water Cove.

Seals are very rarely seen this far north but he was very well camouflaged so it is possible there are more around. We’ll just have to keep our eyes open around that area.

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