|Blue water and unusual rock formations along the coast
|The catamaran for our coastal cruise
|Hector dolphin lets her pup catch a ride
Murphy, the dolphin dog on this cruise, has an acute sense for finding dolphins. He scurries excitedly from one side of the boat and one end to the other as he determines where they are in the water—so cute and fun to watch—and he’s always right!
|Murphy, the dolphin-spotting dog
A colony of about 15 fur seals, including pups, sits on rocks soaking in the sunshine. We watch them waddle around and slide into the water. Because it's a clear day we see many sea birds in nests and flying overhead.Akaroa has only 500 permanent residents, but warm summer days can bring in three to four thousand visitors.
We learn about French, British, and Maori history. In 1838 the French whaling captain Jean Francois L’Anglois wanted to establish a settlement, but British officials hurried to assert their sovereignty and staked a claim 4 days before L’Anglois returned with French colonists. Immigrants from France and Germany followed, and these first settlers give Akaroa much of its Gallic character and picturesque architecture. The captain of our boat is the sixth generation of his family in Akaroa, which became a township in 1840.
|Fur seals love the rocky shore
|Native dancers perform for visitors
Other interesting excursions at Akaroa include the Antarctic Explorer museum, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Paua Bay Farm; and The Giant’s House (created by artist Josie Martin). Like to shop? VisitFire and Ice on the pier for blue pearls and other jewelry.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier