Bruno & Manuela “Interesting trip. good organisation. Thank you!”
Jeff Adam “Just delightful! We saw 4 of the Marine Big 5 but that aside it was the knowledge of our guides Will and Jax that made it exceptional.”
We awoke to perfect conditions this morning in Kleinbaai harbour as we set off on our Marine Big 5 Adventure. On board our whale watching vessel, Dream Catcher, we soon spotted an Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin in the shallows, just behind the Shark Cage Diving site. We were extremely lucky to see this species as we have not seen them for a few days. Only around 500 Humpback Dolphins remain making them South Africa’s rarest cetacean. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust has catalogued around 30 individuals in recent years that frequent our bay. This species tends to reside in depths of around 20 meters or less which often them in close proximity to human activity, they are often caught in fishing nets or injured by hooks and fishing lines.
As we continued with the trip towards the island, our wildlife spotter found us two Bottlenose Dolphins fishing off Sandy Point. Unfortunately, these dolphins are very fast moving and soon disappeared into the distance, a special sighting nonetheless. As we moved towards the island we noticed a Northern Giant Petrel floating on the water. These enormous birds are quite common in the area often scavenging on deceased seals and birds.Our seals weren’t as playful today in shark alley, most were sticking very close to the shore, this could be an indication that some of our great white sharks are returning to feast on the inexperienced seal pups. We left our pinniped friends behind in search of the largest member of the Marine Big 5.
From the very start of the trip we noticed a lot of bird activity on the western side of the island, indicating that there may be plenty of fish in the area. We like to use the birds as a guide to find our fish-eating whales such as the Bryde’s Whale. This tactic soon paid off as we spotted a few whale spouts amongst diving swift turns and a beautiful juvenile Cape Gannet. The Whale today was very cooperative with the boat, often surfacing near us providing some excellent photograph opportunities of the 40-ton mammal. These animals are our resident whale, found off our coasts search for fish all year round. This beautiful sight marked the end of our trip as we headed towards the harbour. This was not to be our last sighting, we managed to spot a lone juvenile African penguin, known as a ‘blue’ on our way home. A magnificent sighting to wrap up our adventure as we managed to sight 4 out the Marine Big 5.
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