Guide Summary and Photographs
We had an exciting day with some memorable sights and hardly any wind, which was a welcome change after the last few days. The absolute highlight of our day was on the final trip of the day, when we got to see a very special apex predator make a comeback to the bay.
The first trip launched bright and early with us finding our first whales a few minutes out of the harbour. We had the whales travelling pretty shallow all day and this bunch was absolutely no exception. We got a couple of good looks at this mother and calf pair before moving towards Slashfin and then onwards towards The Clyde. This appears to be the favourite hangout spot for moms and babies and the moment, with us going on to see a couple more pairs before visiting our Cape Fur Seals. Gansbaai harbour was the next port of call, with us travelling around the infamous Danger Point to collect the next group of clients.
The second tour saw us moving straight towards Dyer Island from Gansbaai harbour, with us spotting a couple of cool birds along the way. The first was a couple of African Penguins that were chilling at the surface of the water. Our little penguins are having to travel up to 60km a day to find some food in our heavily overfished ocean, so although these guys were all the way over in Walker Bay, they were still relatively close to their home. We also had some Cape Cormorants and a Cape Gannet or two add some variety to our journey. After stopping at the Cape Fur Seals, we spent some time with a few more mother and calf pairs before heading back to the harbour.
Trip 3 also saw us doing most of our whale watching along The Clyde. Southern Right Whales are famous for calving in close proximity to shore, which is believed to be because the bays provide a little more protection than what can be found in the deep sea or feeding grounds. After having been pregnant for a year, the mothers are now nursing their calves in preparation for the long trip down south to the copepod rich waters of sub Antarctica.
Our final trip of the day, started off with an absolute bang, with Slashfin being our first stop. We hung around Slashfin for a bit, in the hopes of seeing a Bronze Whaler Shark, since our White Sharks have been on Hiatus for the last while. Several minutes into our stop, there was a scream from Slashfin “a Great White!”. The joy and excitement felt by both crews was indescribable as we watched the magnificent Feisty come up for the bait…oh, and the clients enjoyed it too! Feisty is easily recognisable by his wounds, caused by fishing gear having wrapped around his head.
After this we went on to see both a brindle calf and adult, although not together. Brindlism is not the same as albinism, as the whales do not lack pigment, but are simply born a “white” whale. The little calf was a serious cutie, with his salt and pepper pigmentation marks. The adult had already aged into a light grey tone, which was the only thing dull about this individual. We got both a tail and a few breaches out of this gorgeous guy before moving on with our tour. A big raft of African Penguins and a few thousand Fur Seals later, we returned to port, hearts content.
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