What an amazing day at sea...
We started off our day with the sight of thousands of little black birds. These little black birds, which can only be seen along the Cape Coast, are our beautiful Cape Cormorants. In this area, the birds are quite abundant with over 100 000 living on Dyer Island but, sadly, we harbour a most of their population, with them being considered an endangered species according to the IUCN. After watching them flock by the thousands, we found some Bottlenose Dolphins!
The Bottlenose travel along the coast, following the fish so we don’t get to see them every day but, today, we had them on both of our trips. These dolphins live in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide and are known to have a wide variety in their diet which includes up to 70 different species. The dolphins stuck around in the breakers for both trips which was super cool, with us counting 3 individuals all in all. We also got to see Humpback dolphins on both trips which is always a treat. The first tour had 3 Humpback Dolphins heading towards Uilenkraalsmond, where we had a few schools of fish. The second trip got their Humpback Dolphin fix just in front of The Clyde Reef System. This dolphin is one of our known individuals and we stayed with him for some time, watching as he moved towards the Kelp forests of the Clyde.
We also had 2 very successful stops at Slashfin today, spotting Copper Sharks on both tours. The Copper Sharks are still a relatively recent phenomenon at our diving boats, who used to be dominated by Great Whites before we started to see 2 Orcas come into the bay and hunt our White Sharks for their nutrient dense livers. Although our Great Whites are moving back in, today’s eco tours got to see the Bronze Whalers in full force, getting a view of their gorgeous golden colouration and well as a dorsal fin or two.
Due to the fish that we had around today, African Penguin sightings were also in abundance, we got to see most of the Penguins close to shore, which was great as sometimes these little birds are having to go up to 60km a day just to find some food. This is due to the overfishing in the area which has very definitely had an influence on these very vulnerable seabirds.
Other interesting sightings of the day included a seal who caught himself some lunch as well as a seal who had gotten himself into some trouble. This poor little seal had an injured flipper, with one of its bones completely exposed.
Apart from this sad sight, we could not have asked for a better day out on the ocean!