Guide Summary and Photographs
Today, we got to hang out with some incredible humpback Dolphins who were the absolute highlight of our trip. Although they are the most common of the toothed whales on our tours, with less than 500 of these amazing animals left on our coasts, we consider every sighting to be special, with today’s being nothing short of spectacular.
We had hugged the coast along to Franskraal and were about to do a YSI reading when a couple of these amazing creatures popped up and we went on to see several more. The dolphins were really inquisitive today, popping up right next to us to have a look and then diving down again, only to emerge again a couple of meters away. We had a bit of swell running today which they were taking complete advantage of, surfing and having a wonderful time amongst themselves, to the delight of us all. Although you wouldn’t believe it possible, things got even more exciting when one boisterous little dolphin began to jump, launching its entire body out the water a couple of times.
After this awesome sighting, Slashfin was our next port of call. Unfortunately, they had just reached their anchor spot when we arrived so we decided to head on towards the very important birding area that is dyer Island. On the way, we picked up some kelp, which some of our adventurous clients had a bite of, to sample the area’s most abundant algae.
In front of the island we were treated to the sight of around 8 Southern Giant Petrels, which is not too common for us as we’re usually only seeing a few at a time. These birds are not doubt taking advantage of the array of carrion in the water which consists mainly of juvenile seals and cormorants, many of which were just trying to learn how to swim. After getting some nice pictures and watching them take off, we moved into shark alley to give our seals a bit of attention.
Our pups are growing stronger every day and it is absolutely awesome to see their curiosity starting to blossom. Most are sitting at the water’s edge by now, entering the water every so often with the more daring of the bunch even going for a swim with the adults.
Once we had gotten some quality time with our colony, we head out into the open ocean were thousands and thousands of birds awaited us. It’s safe to say that we had a lot of fish in the area today, with cormorants, terns and gannets all making in appearance in this gigantic bait ball. We also had a cheeky little visitor in the form of an Arctic Skua. These birds are also known as parasitic Jaegers and are famous for cheating hardworking seabirds out of their meals by harassing them until they have no choice but to regurgitate some fish.
Although the birds were plentiful, it was a little quiet on the marine mammal side of things so we slowly head back in towards the harbour where some warm soup awaited after a wet and wonderful ride.
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