Forget whaling tours to see whales. Go on Pelagic bird trips. Last time was a pod of 20 minke whales checking out the boat. This time we had about 4 humpback whales, spy hopping, fin slapping, BREACHING, OFTEN. Amazing.
Not much in the way of birds, but we did get good looks of the birds we did see. Only 3 actual pelagic species - Yellow-nosed Albatross, about 40 of them hanging around the boat, a single Sooty Shearwater that cruised in and hung around for ages and a few Wilson's Storm-petrels that whizzed around the boat on occaision, appearing and disappearing behind the waves. I didn't realise they were so tiny.
Great Skua (which is apparently soon to be split out into the Brown Skua) were common, one in particular followed the boat and sat in close, allowing for lots of great photos. The odd bunch of Australasian Gannets flying by and Crested Terns even way out to sea.
Oh yes, and we also saw two species of butterfly waaay out to sea.