Whale watching - had a lovely walk early morning and got back to the motel in time for being picked up for whale watching - we had good conditions (as a precaution Kate had not breakfast) and a very fast boat. They had echo location to search for the whales, then zipped over to get close in time for when they surfaced. The whales are only on the surface for a few minutes so they have to be quick. We saw two sperm whales this way, they were breathing on the surface, then dived deep with a majestic sweep of the tail - just like the posters. We also saw masses of dusky dolphins which were playing all round us, leaping out of the water. We were told by our young male guide that they have sex several times a day with different partners, he said if we believed in reincarnation then being a dusky dolphin might be a good option...
Christchurch - arrived by scenic train with commentary. The centre of the city is still shut down after the earthquake - they are disassembling some high rise buildings - people were
sitting out in the sun watching. It is rather sad as many of the oldest building and grandest new buildings were affected including nearly all the churches. We went to see Re-START which is a new shopping mall made entirely in shipping containers - it is a rejuvenation of the city shopping centre with all the big names. It is very bright and cheerful with the containers all painted bright colours. Also saw the museum there which had loads of stuff about Antarctic exploration.
Kate and David