(Photo taken by Steve Reynolds)

New Zealander Wade Doak gave a public lecture titled “Encounters” at Adelaide High School in early 1989. Wade is the author of several books. He has now written some 19 books about the sea. Back in 1989, “Encounters with Whales & Dolphins” was his latest book, hence the title of his talk (Encounters).

The lecture was held in a darkened theatre and I was unable to make many notes about the lecture. I published a report in our June 1989 newsletter (No.143).

At the time, Wade had spent 10 years studying encounters between humans and dolphins or whales in all parts of the world. He started off by explaining how he came to start studying human encounters with dolphins and whales. He then proceeded to detail many of the cases in “Encounters with Whales & Dolphins”. He broke his lecture down in to two parts. He discussed dolphin encounters first, followed by whale encounters.

Dolphins like to play games and mimic humans. They will communicate with humans through body language. Wade designed a dolphin suit for his wife Jan to wear as a means of communicating with dolphins.

Dolphins are not infallible and can make judgement errors which may cause harm to themselves or humans. They have been known to pull a snorkeller down from the surface before the person can take a necessary breath.

Wade told of some amazing events involving whales. He detailed many interesting experiences and contacts with them.

Both parts of his talk were illustrated with some great slides. SA’s Mike Bossley also spoke about the Port River dolphins that evening.

We now have a copy of Wade Doak’s book “Encounters with Whales & Dolphins” in our library. It is part of the ‘Sam Powrie Collection’. Wade’s dolphin suit and its use is described in the book. The Port River dolphins also get a mention there.

Wade now has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Wade-Doak-151318038214160/timeline/ .

I found this piece on the Facebook page:



My sixth cetacean book describes why and how my wife Jan and I began to exchange sounds with dolphins and whales using an elaborate system of gear that matches a two way telephone system. Aboard our dolphin research Polynesian catamaran ” RV Interlock” we eventually met with the most incredible responses I have ever heard of, that persisted over a prolonged period of time with multiple exchanges of increasing complexity. This is the Rampal section of the book.

Prior to this Jan and I had travelled widely among Pacific Island people who regard dolphins or sharks as their departed ancestors. The book describes these societies and their amazing relationships with the ocean and its life.

This book, the 19th I have written about the sea, is available per Amazon as a hard cover or digital download.

If you read it, my American publisher would appreciate reviews for posting on the Amazon site; so far it has only had one.

I need really your help, folks.

This cover, by Tutukaka artist and muso, our very dear friend Steve Moase, is of an old pohutukawa tree near the Ngunguru River mouth and my home. A portal to the ocean where I once rescued a small whale by swimming it out to sea…and when dolphins come here, the bell at nearby Ngunguru School rings and the kids are allowed to play..”

Wade also has a blog at http://wadedoak.blogspot.com.au/ and he features on YouTube’s oneoceanonline’s channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiwKqNpUnGw .

In 2012, Wade Doak was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to marine conservation in the Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours.

Several of Wade’s books are listed at http://www.wheelers.co.nz/browse/author/679228-wade-doak/ .

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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