How was your day at work yesterday? Yeah, same here.
Oh, except that while researching a story yesterday morning
with Otago Daily Times illustrations editor Stephen Jaquiery,
we stumbled upon a whale.
We'd been visiting the trawler Aurora for a feature on the
100th anniversary of the Port Chalmers Fishermen's Co-op.
A run of barracouta, the size of two football fields, was
leaping around in the distance, about 2km off Taiaroa Head.
Dolphins and seals were swimming among the 'couta, chomping
away in a piscatorial version of The Last Supper.
Jaquiery was snapping shots of the action when a large object
rose in front of us.
It was about 8m long and literally the size of a whale.
Then it suddenly surfaced and blew water over the boat.
"When's the last time you saw someone soaked by a whale's
blowhole?" Jaquiery asked.
The whale swam in circles on its side, its gaping maw wide
open. Jaquiery got some great photos - although most of them
Department of Conservation coastal marine ranger Jim Fyfe
later told us the whale was a humpback calf.
"They often travel through here at this time of year. They
migrate from the Antarctic up to the Pacific and then spend
summer swimming around Tonga."
An adult humpback can reach 16m in length and weigh nearly 40