I’m sure a lot of people have considered the prospect of whale watching. I’m not sure how the subject came up on one of our visits to New Zealand, but I suspect it was one of those tourist activity leaflets you find in the foyer of motels, hotels, and guesthouses.
Needless to say, it was only a short detour to go to Kaikoura and check out the prospect.
Yes, the ocean at the time seemed manageable. My wife has a bad time with sea sickness, but she was prepared to make the trip, after some necessary preparations. Seasickness tablets and special bands to wear on her wrist were recommended and used.
The boat was large and had two decks, and mostly enclosed. There were a lot of people on board, and we sat inside for the beginning of the voyage. The sea wasn’t rough, but there was about a meter and a half swell, easily managed by the boat while it was moving.
It took about a half hour or so to reach the spot where the boat stopped and a member of the crew used a listening device to see if there were any whales.
That led to the first wave of sickness.
We stopped for about ten minutes, and the boat moved up and down on the waves. It was enough to start the queasy stomachs of a number of passengers. Myself, it was a matter of going out on deck and taking in the sea air. Fortunately, I don’t get seasick.
Another longish journey to the next prospective site settled a number of the queasy stomachs, but when we stopped again, the swell had increased, along with the boat’s motion. Seasick bags were made available for the few that had succumbed.
By the time we reached the site where there was a whale, over half the passengers had been sick, and I was hoping they had enough seasick bags, and then enough bin space for them.
The whale, of course, put on a show for us, and those that could went out on deck to get their photos.
By the end of the voyage, nearly everyone on board was sick, and I was helping to hand out seasick bags.
Despite the anti sickness preparations, my wife had also succumbed. When we returned and she was asked if the device had worked, she said no.
But perhaps it had because within half an hour we were at a cafe eating lunch, fish and chips of course.
This activity has been crossed off the bucket list, and there’s no more whale watching in our traveling future. Nor, it seems, will we be going of ocean liners.
Perhaps a cruise down the Rhine might be on the cards. I don’t think that river, wide as it is in places, will ever have any sort of swell.