A Marlborough man witnessed something he'd never seen before while out on the water near Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds.
Last week, John Young was out on the Clearwater mussel farms, which he co-owns, when he saw a young deer calmly wading through the water.
"To see the deer swimming through there was just fantastic," Mr Young told Newshub.
"This thing wasn't the slightest bit stressed. Its ears were up, it was alert and I was trying not to disturb it."
Mr Young considers himself a "realist", in the sense he appreciates wild animals can be killed for meat, but also believes it's just as special to witness animals in their natural habitat.
"If you went back 35 years ago, whenever a deer poked its head up, everyone was after it," he said.
"On this particular day, no one in their right mind would want to ruin that animal's day."
Mr Young was fascinated to see how fast the deer could swim, given the animal's slim build.
"That's the thing I found intriguing, you just wanted to watch it," he said.
"To have that idyllic bay [in the background], and there's the mussel farm, and there's the creature going about its business.
"That moment of co-existence [was special], we all share the planet and sometimes it is just good to sit back and enjoy it with the other creatures."