We invite you to our very first 2018 Marine Evening.
On our first trip, we left Kleinbaai harbour again in slightly overcast conditions, but pushed on towards The Shallows in search of Dolphins. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in sighting a dolphin so we headed over to our shark cage diving site to try and see if we could spot any sharks. It was a bit of wait until we saw our first shark. A sizable Bronze Whaler appeared next to the cage and was inches away from taking the bait line.
After moving on from the shark cage diving vessel, we made our way to a reef system known as The Clyde. This reef, covered in kelp forests, stretches all the way from the South African mainland to Dyer Island. We passed over the reef in search of any whale spouts in the distance. Again, we did not spot any whales but were pleasantly surprised by two separate rafts of African Penguins on either side of the boat containing both adults and juveniles. Both rafts were close to the boat but didn’t stay with us for too long, however it was beautiful to see these birds in their natural environment.
Moving on towards a full geyser rock to say hello to our seal colony, we were welcomed by playful juvenile seals porpoising around our boat. Currently the island is filled with tiny black seal pups still unable to swim. When they first start to swim in March, large Great White Sharks move into the area around the island for an easy meal. Unfortunately for the pups, only half of them will survive to see their first birthday. This may seem cruel, but the sharks are driving a stronger population of seals by predating on the slow and the weak.
Finally we headed back around the island and back towards the harbour after another successful trip on Whale Whisperer. Fortunately for us, one last surprise in store as we spotted two Giant Petrels, one sitting on the water and another gliding amongst a flock of Cape Cormorants.
With trip one complete, we headed back to the harbour to switch over to our larger vessel, Dream Catcher. On board, today we had final year students from Reddam School in Cape Town.
Off in search again of the Marine Big 5, we headed towards The Shallows and soon spotted our Humpback dolphins just outside the surf zone. Some brief sightings and we thought they had moved on, but to our surprise they came for one last pass giving everyone another glimpse of these gorgeous creatures.
Our Shark Cage Diving boat had already returned to the harbour, so fortunately, we met another company that had a cage in that water. Within seconds a feisty Bronze Whaler appeared at the bait. Luckily, everyone was able to see the shark, and as to not interfere with their diving operation we moved on again to our seal colony. Once more we were greeted by some playful juvenile seals, performing aerial stunts around the boat much to the amusement of everyone on board.
We left the seals behind and headed out through Shark Alley towards Danger Point to look for whale spouts. Unfortunately, no whales on the second trip, but what an amazing day on the water with some excellent marine sightings.