The Cook Strait, named after Captain James Cook, the first European commander to sail through it, connects the North & South Islands in New Zealand, the Tasman Sea on the north-west and the South Pacific Ocean on the south-east. The ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton is the only way across aside from flying. The Cook Strait is 22Km wide at its narrowest point and is an important habitat for many species of dolphin and whale. Killer whales & Hector's dolphins are resident, and Pilot whales often strand en masse at Golden Bay. Humpback whales & even blue whales are often sighted.