“It was whale-tacular! Nice to see the baby calf and mum together (and the smelly seals).” – Stybelsei
“An amazing trip!!! Super friendly crew! Thank you!!” – Thibault
“We had a whale of a time! The whales breaching was stunning!” – Trish
“Thank you for giving us enough time to enjoy the animals.” – Reih
October and November are lovely months to visit South Africa, for both the weather and the wildlife. With the African sun living up to her reputation and moms, oceanic and terrestrial alike, giving birth to some uber cute babies, it may even be the best time of year to come through!
The day started off with a Humpback Dolphin and her calf, although this cutie was not too little due to the majority of their births happening in late summer and autumn. We had launched onto the flattest sea that we had seen in months and stopped just in front of Uilenkraalsmond estuary when these two popped up. The visibility was exceptional today, with us being able to see the reefs that punctuate the shallows below. These particular dolphins were also mega relaxed so we got some great views of them as they stayed close to the surface.
It was time to have a whale of a time next, when we had a little Southern Right Calf bring some excitement into our lives by giving us a few epic breaches. It is too adorable to watch these little guys as they speed around the bay, breaching and then coming up to gasp for some air before repeating. Our stop at Slashfin was also pretty great when we got to see a Bronze Whaler Shark investigating our bait line. We found some Juvenile African Penguins in the water on our way into Dyer Island, with these two giving us some close look, seemingly unperturbed by the boat. The highlight of our day was next up when we were cruising along in Shark Alley. Laying on a stretch of beach, A teeny tiny Cape Fur Seal baby stood out like a sore thumb amongst the much larger fur seals around him. This marks the beginning of 2 months of unbearable cuteness, and we could not be more excited.
The second tour of the day also had some lovely whale action, with some active moms and calves around. Today, all in all, we counted 5 pairs of Southern Rights which is really great for such a small stretch of coastline. These whales will, however, not stick around forever as they are also moving from bay to bay whilst here, in addition to the large migration that they do back down south. We got to see some Bronze Whalers at Slashfin next, with a few animals around. Unlike White Sharks, which are solitary, Bronze Whalers are known to school so it is very possible for us to see several of these gorgeous cartilaginous fish at a time. We spotted some moulting African Penguins sitting on Dyer Island next and then head on over to Geyser Rock, where we had hundreds of seals cooling off in the crystal clear Shark Alley.
Our final tour started off with some Southern Right Whales cruising slowly along the surface of the water. We travelled with a couple of groups before we had an adult Right Whale work a little magic and give us a majestic breach…or 6. 60 tonnes worth of mammal hitting the water is certainly a sight to marvel at, with all of us enjoying it thoroughly. The Bronze Whalers at Slashfin were also really fun to watch, with a Short Tailed Sting Ray making an appearance at Slashfin too. Things got both really interesting and really sad after we had checked out some Penguins on Dyer Island. In just the short space between the two islands, we found 2 African penguins. The first was a little moulter who had taken to the water. The second was a seal bite causality whose entire neck had been bitten off by a seal. Overfishing in the area has created increased competition between these two species, with the Cape Fur Seals usually coming out on top. After picking up this poor little bird. We took our final stop at Geyser Rock before heading home.
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