Author: Dawber, Carol/ Bott, Nadine
Publication date: 15/10/2022
Imprint: Small New Zealand Publisher
‘Thar she blows!’ The cry rings out. A whale is spotted
from high on the Marlborough Sounds headland.
An old whaler radios down to the boat – there’s a
humpback in Cook Strait. The motor fires up and the
crew speeds out. It’s the same drill and the thrill of
the chase has not diminished, but these men are no
longer out for the kill.
Former whalers were the heart and soul of the
Department of Conservation humpback whale survey
that took place every winter from 2004 to 2015.
As citizen scientists, they brought generations of skill
and local knowledge to the conservation effort.
Diary from the Lookout is the story of swapping
harpoons for dart guns and cameras to identify and
record whales on their migration journey. It’s the
story of ex-whalers turned whale watchers and the
scientists, conservation workers and Sounds locals
who were part of the team