Posts tagged adventure
Five Fun Facts About Dusky Dolphins & Why I Think Swimming With Them is Ethically A-OK

I haven’t written in a while and I feel like I want to share what’s going on in the marine world of dusky dolphins! I’d never really heard much about the species before I moved down to Kaikoura (they’re just found in the southern hemisphere) and I thought all my bros and ladies up in the northern hemisphere might be a bit curious about the dolphins that have been an almost-daily part of my life since moving down to New Zealand.

First off, here’s why marine mammals rock: they live in the ocean full-time but they have to BREATH AIR. Do you know how inconvenient that must be? These animals have risen to the challenge with the help of evolution and they are rocking those blowholes and myoglobin-rich muscles like nobody’s business. Eight minute dive for a dolphin? No problem. Me? Dead.

Five Crazy Fun Facts About Dusky Dolphins

1) They are part of the genus Lagenorhynchus, which contains six species total. They all share the characteristics of a relatively short rostrum, stocky body shape, and a schnazzy body coloration made up of bands and stripes in multiple hues. Like rainbow dolphins. Magic.





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Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula - New Zealand South Island, Take 1

Since I was driving south from Kaikoura, there was no better place to start the adventure than the small town of Akaroa on the beautiful Banks Peninsula. Just 75 km's from Christchurch, this historic French and British settlement is nestled right in the heart of a beautiful volcano. With only a day to spend exploring here, I made sure to get out on the water with Black Cat Cruises to see as much of the peninsula as I could - and I really can't recommend them highly enough! I did a harbor tour with them and could barely control my excitement over the stunning vistas we were able to see. The geological history of the Banks Peninsula and the Akaroa Harbour truly shows itself in the dramatic coastlines and beautiful cliff and rock formations. There was something new to ogle at around every turn. 

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Falling in Love with the Timing of Your Life - Finally Off to New Zealand After 5 Years of Dreaming

I can pinpoint the exact moment when I determined that some part of me, at some point in my life, needed to move to New Zealand. Not permanently, not even for a full year, but an actual move, not just travel. I was on an early morning walk through Queenstown, eager to wake up before my travel buddies so I could venture off for hot chocolate and wifi (I wasn't a coffee drinker yet, gasp), basking in the pure joy of being somewhere new and feeling like the whole world was opening up in front of me. I was 20, fresh out of a semester abroad at the University of Western Australia, road-tripping around the North and South Islands of New Zealand with some fellow Notre Dame study-abroaders before returning home for Christmas. We had two hilarious Wicked campervans, a steady supply of bread and peanut butter, a zest for adventure, and no set itinerary. It was delicious. 

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San Juan-dering - Exploring San Juan Island on a Sunny Day Off

I'm pretty lucky to have an amazing archipelago to explore on my days off.  I've already written about Orcas and Lopez, but how could I overlook the island that I actually call my summer home? San Juan Island is a true gem in the Salish Sea. It's filled with hiking trails that wind along rocky shorelines and mossy forests, beaches covered in driftwood and harbors brimming with old-time charm, rolling fields of lavender and local farms that supply a vibrant farmer's market on Saturdays, and sweeping vistas of neighboring islands, the Olympic Mountains, and inter-island channels of water. I spend a good portion of my day pinching myself to ensure I'm in reality and drooling over the insane natural beauty of this place.

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Braving the Oregon Coast for the 2017 Eclipse Weekend

Manzanita...Cannon Beach...Ecola State Park...It seems that my family has an affinity for the Oregon Coast. I specifically remember how our summer trips to the windblown, misty beaches of the Northwest inspired my first waves of ocean infatuation. Not much has changed in the last fifteen years; when my mom recently discovered that her timeshare company has a property in Newport, OR, she pounced on the one available August weekend at the Embarcadero. "It's always full in the summer, what a miracle!" she reasoned. We'd stayed there once before, and had really enjoyed our weekend there this past Thanksgiving. We figured round two would be just as amazing, and maybe a little bit warmer.

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Lopez Island - Day Trip to the Island Nicknamed "Slow-pez"

One of the beauties of island living is that if you want to get away from it all, it can be as simple as hopping over to a different island that's only a few miles away. Quite different from dealing with the pricey inter-island flights of Hawai'i that I flew this past winter, moving between the San Juan archipelago is as simple as boarding the Washington State Ferry. It's free for walk-on passengers and bicyclists when you're moving between the islands (or if you're coming from the mainland, it costs a mere $13.50), so when I had a sunny Saturday off, it was a no-brainer to grab some bikes and my friends Jules and Katie to go on an inter-island adventure. Bonus - Saturday is farmer's market day out here! Eager to explore a new island, Lopez was an easy choice. It's known as the most bike-friendly of the San Juan Islands, although fellow cyclists will probably agree with me when I say that it can still whoop your tush if you haven't been biking in over a year (like me!). 

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