Today, we set out bright and early to beat the spring tide and howling wind predicted for this afternoon.
It feels as though summer is finally upon us here, with temperatures slowly reaching for the 30 degree mark. We had an awesome time on our first trip, spotting the Marine Big 5 in just under two hours on a completely still ocean. The first sighting was of some Southern Right Whales, who are still sticking around in the vicinity of Uilenkraalsmond. Whilst watching the whales, we also had a lone Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin pop up in the same area. We’ve been having a few of these dolphin sightings recently, and it’s great to see them moving through our bay after a couple of quiet months without them. We got to tick shark off the list next, when we moved on over to Jouberts Dam to find some Bronze Whaler Sharks by our sister company, Marine Dynamics. When we took a stop at Dyer Island, we found several African Penguins near the water line. Many of our penguins are currently moulting, which means that they will stay on land until their new feathers come through. The Cape Fur Seals was our final stop of the day before heading back to the harbour.
Trip 2 started off with the sighting of a lifetime when we came across a mom and calf pair of Southern Right Whales very close to the rocky shores of Franskraal. When we arrived, these two were simply travelling along but, as the sighting progressed, they became more and more active. After playing around for a bit, baby took a deep dive before propelling itself out the water, only meters from the boat. We all watched in absolute awe as this little one kept at it, with some of the closest breaches of the season. The little whales often seem to breach in a bit of a circle before finally surrendering to their need to breathe, coming up for a bit on a break. During the breaching, we seemed to catch his interest with him approaching and coming up right next to the boat to have a look! Around this time, a little Cape Fur Seal joined in the action and we got to see the wonderful interaction between these two species of marine mammal. After fooling around with the seal who would flop around just in front of the whales large heads as they slowly pursued him, mom though she’d take the sighting a step further. After going down for a second, she came up with a piece of kelp on her nose or bonnet, like a 60 tonne puppy with a rope. More, we could not ask for so we moved on to see Bronze Whalers, African Penguins and some Cape Fur Seals. On our way back to the harbour, we also spotted another species of whale when a sub adult Humpback Whale popped up just on the other side of the washing machine.
Our very last trip of the day kicked off with a Cape Fur Seal who had really bitten off a bit more than her could chew, with him lunching on what looked like a gigantic Cobb. Seals cannot grasp with their flippers so we watched this determined dude fling the large fish around, much to the delight of the scavenging Kelp Gulls who had gathered in large numbers, waiting for the opportunity to steal some food off him. We went whale watching next, with at least 4 pairs of mom and calf Southern Rights enjoying the still waters off of the long stretch of beach called “Die Grys” which means: “the Grey”. After this, we got to see a few Bronze Whalers around Slashfin before making our way around to Dyer Island. Here, we found a large raft of African Penguins in the water before taking a stop at our Cape Fur Seals to bring the day to an end.