“Lovely boat ride, compliments for the enthusiastic guidance!” – Dorien
“Fantastic conservation education and enthusiasm.” – Diana
“Thank you for the interesting day! Amazing wildlife!” – the Fierz Family
It was an interesting day out on the water with a gorgeous, sunny start. The sea was relatively flat, making for a pleasant first leg of the trip in which we hugged the rocky shores of our coastline. The cliffs eventually lead to the stunning Franskraal beach which is where we start to have a look for the rare Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins. Today, we were in luck as we managed to spot one lone specimen between the waves. These dolphins are quite large, reaching a size of about 2.8m. They like to spend a lot of their time in the surf zone, and this guy was no exception.
After watching this shy marine mammal for a bit, we continued with our tour towards the island. On the way, we spoke a little about Cape L’Agulhas. The area got its name from Bartholomew Dias on the 16 May 1488 with the lighthouse being set up by March 1st 1849 due to the many shipwrecks experienced by the area, one of the more famous being the sinking of the Arniston.
We spotted an African Penguin just in front of Dyer Island, this little one got a bit boat shy but we did manage to see his black and white head bobbing up and down a couple of times before we decided to move on.
Once we were in Shark Alley, the mist began to set in. luckily, it wasn’t too bad as we passed the Cape Fur Seals and we were still able to get a couple of good photographic opportunities. These furry creatures reach sexual maturity at 3-6 years and can live up to approximately 20 years. We also took a look at the endangered Bank Cormorants on the Keel of the Prince Port as well as hundreds of Cape Cormorants, returning to Dyer Island after a morning at sea.
It was incredibly misty behind Dyer Island making it almost impossible to spot the blow of a whale however, the birds where plentiful. We came across a couple of groups of Cape Gannets, with some of them showcasing their brilliant diving abilities. We do not know exactly how long these guys live but estimates put it anywhere between 10-40 years.
We also got to see a couple of Sooty Shearwaters, who travel all the way from sub Antarctic islands close to New Zealand to pay us a visit. A White Chinned Petrel also came to investigate us, showing off its effortless gliding abilities.
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