Guide Summary and Photographs
It was a stunning day to be out on the water with the African sun providing some much needed warmth to combat the chilly breeze we had blowing out there today. We had 3 amazing trips, with a really distinctive mother and her playful calf keeping us company just in front of The Clyde Reef System.
We launched bright and early for our first trip and head on out towards the shallows, spotting a large Sunfish only a few hundred meters outside the harbour. This chunky fellow gave us some great views, swimming right up against the boat with that distinct dorsal fin breaking the surface of the water.
We stopped at Slashfin briefly before finding a really special whale pairing just before The Clyde. Southern Rights often have white patches on their bellies of varying shapes and sizes, but a whale with white on its back is a little more scarce around these parts. In this pairing, we had a mother with prominent white markings all along her back, making her look a little like a larger than life dairy cow! The calf had a larger than life personality and we were really lucky to be able to watch these two tottering about. We watched with glee as the little one followed its mom around before we moved on over to Dyer Island.
On the second trip, we caught up with the same pair where the little one had started to play. At first, they were just relaxing in the swell but, as the wind picked up the little one became more boisterous. We got to see this cutie lob tail repeatedly, picking his tail up as high as what we could before bring it crashing down onto the water. We also got to watch him slap his little pectoral flipper, which is probably already over a few hundred kilograms in weight, against the water. This carried on for a blissful 10 minutes before we decided to leave them in peace and carry on with our tour, that was until the 3rd trip.
These two seem to be born performers, giving us yet another great encounter on our final trip of the day. The highlight or the crew on board was when mom opened her gigantic mouth, exposing her baleen plates. Southern Rights do hardly any feeding in our waters so we don’t get to see them do this all too often. The baleen is made out of keratin and is used to filter in the copepods and krill that these guys will consume in the masses to fatten up for mating and calving season.
Other cool sights of the day included a Short Tailed Stingray at Slashfin on our very last trip as well as a Large raft of African Penguins on the first.
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