Pelagic Encounters was excited to be back on sea on the 27th November 2016 for a bird tour. We headed out early on the vessel Whale Whisperer, cruising past Dyer Island, an Important Bird Area (IBA), but our destination was in deeper water where we hoped to find a trawler. The seabirds are attracted to these fishing boats for obvious reasons and this makes for some incredible close up photographic opportunities.
On the way we came upon a bait ball of anchovy or sardines. The feeding frenzy of hundreds of Cape gannets diving elegantly into the water and the Common dolphins predating from below was a sight to witness. After continuing on further we started to see some albatrosses. We spotted both Shy albatross and the Indian Yellow-nosed. We were also lucky enough to see Sooty shearwaters and Cory’s shearwaters.
Although we had travelled 118km, we were unable to connect with a trawler, however, we found an area with many smaller boats fishing. Here we found some very exciting marine animals. We saw a large Ocean sunfish, known as the mola mola which was about two metres. These unusual looking fish are known for sometimes basking at the surface and we were lucky enough to see this behaviour. We also saw a loggerhead turtle and then were astonished to see a couple of groups of pilot whales. The pilot whales came right next to the boat, taking an inquisitive look at us before leaping out of the water. This sighting really rounded off an incredible day at sea. That is the magic of the open ocean, you just never know what you are going to find out there.
(Pelagic Encounters are arranged ad hoc depending on weather conditions. Should you wish to be on the list for upcoming trips please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org)