You are going to read extract from a newspaper article about wildlife in New Zealand. Choose the answer (A, B C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.
Swimming with dolphins
Jonathan Lorie reports
As darkness fell on the olive trees, I had nothing particular to do, so I sat on my own in my tree house and listened to the Pacific waves roll in, without a care in the world. My muscles ached slightly from swimming with 400 dolphins beyond that surf, but I was looking forward to dinner in a nearby restaurant, then an evening in my room. My iPod was playing jazz but I was listening to the sounds of deer calling to one another outside. Was this, I wondered, the world’s finest place to get close to the wild?
I was in the small town of Kaikoura, in New Zealand. ‘It’s the best place in the world for swimming with dolphins,’ explained Kate Baxter, the receptionist who welcomed me to Hapuku Lodge. She showed me up the slightly loose stairs to my tree house. ‘And seeing whales,’ she added. ‘But mind you read the weather forecast at breakfast.’ She smiled. ‘If the sea’s rough, you might need a Kaikoura Cracker. It’s the only seasickness pill that works.’
Kaikoura has two great claims to fame. One is Hapuku Lodge – the luxury tree houses between the mountains and the sea. Its restaurant serves superb food and its management is keen to be green in every respect. It has been called the world’s most romantic location for a honeymoon. (line 25) The other lies just off
the coast. Below those huge waves is the Kaikoura Trench – a Grand Canyon of the ocean, 60 kilometres long and 1,200 metres deep, whose rich food chain attracts 14 species of dolphin and whale. Nowhere else in the world has such deep water a kilometre from shore.
Next morning, I’m ready for the sea. Following instructions, I search the breakfast room for that weather forecast. It’s a handwritten note that says: ‘Rough seas warning.’ Should I be worried by this, and go easy on the early-morning eating? But I don’t need much persuading by Stefan, the smartly dressed waiter, to try the Lodge’s full breakfast dish of the day: fried duck and potatoes with egg. It is wonderful.
Unlike my stomach when I hit the water an hour
later, determined to catch the best experience this coastline has to offer: a swim among dolphins. They’re everywhere. Our speedboat is surrounded by hundreds – jumping, diving and splashing in circles around us in a display of playfulness and trust. I sit there dressed in rubber, madly adjusting my mask. ‘You have too many smile lines,’ warns the instructor from Dolphin Encounter. ‘They’ll let the water in.’ Then I jump into the white water behind the boat.
There’s a shock of cold water and the sensation of being in the middle of the ocean, even though we’re within sight of the mountains, not half a mile from shore. But out here the open water stretches all the way to Antarctica, and wide-winged, ocean-going birds fly just above the waves. It rises and falls like a vast creature breathing, the boat appearing and disappearing with each wave. Luckily, I have taken a Cracker.
Then I look down. Below me, far into the depths, are the shadow-like figures of dark dolphins. They move quickly through soft green light. I float face down, looking into their world. We make three dives like this – the maximum the instructor allows. ‘We don’t want to disturb them,’ he says. But it is enough. On the third, a single dolphin of my own length appears beside me. It stays close. I see its head turning towards me, looking into my face, and then I hear its voice. Nothing had prepared me for this.