A trip to Kaikoura isn't complete without eating fresh cray, strolling along the headlands and meeting the seals.
Secure in our kayak, my friend and I paddled with our guide out into the ocean, watching the seals sunbathing and splashing on rocky outcroppings from a conservative distance. We'd watch for a while, then traverse to the next spot along the coast, admiring the postcard-worthy views from the water.
As we started back to the shore, this fellow decided to come up and say hello. It was the closest that I'd been to these Kaikoura residents; I could almost count his whiskers and I imagined I could smell his fishy breath.
A few heartbeats later, he dove underwater, his inspection complete. We'd passed muster.