Guide Summary and Photographs
November is just around the corner, which may give some the impression that whale season is slowly drawing to a close but, in our bay, we’re seeing more and more mom and calf pairs around, which has made for some incredible encounters.
We set out today into an Easterly Breeze, with us heading straight on over to Uilenkraalsmond to commence the whale watching component of our tour. It is so awesome to only have to travel a mere 10 minutes to find the first of these gorgeous cetaceans, with Southern Rights being super distinctive as far as whales go. With their immense size, no dorsal fin and rough white callosities on their heads, they’re really a sight to behold. We watched a few mom and calf pairs dawdle around the shallows, before we had one playful calf begin to breach. We got to see this little one fling himself out the water several times before we took a stop at Slashfin, where we had a Bronze Whaler about.
On the next tour of the day, we started off with a Sunfish, also known as a Moonfish or Mola Mola in the shallows. These guys can weight up to 1 ton, but that’s not the only reason why they’re so impressive. These large bony fish can lay up to 300 million eggs at a time! After watching this dude come up to the surface, we spent some time with our Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins, who were in and amongst several Southern Rights. When you’ve got 2 of the Marine Big 5 around, it’s often tough for us to choose which to watch and photograph but, luckily, due to the relaxed nature of both species, we were able to have ample time with both! We also spotted and a Bronze Whaler on this tour before heading towards the Cape Fur Seals of Geyser Rock for a quick stop.
Trip 3 also commenced with the sight of the same Sunfish, who was trying his luck with some Box Jellyfish at the surface. We went on to watch our Southern Right Whales after this. Sticking with a a very relaxed mom and calf pair. This was a great choice as, all of a sudden, the calf picked up speed and began to breach right next to the boat, with this even inspiring some tears of joy in some of us. The little calf kept at it, breaching in circles for a great 5 minutes before stopping. We also had a lovely African Penguin Sighting on this tour, finding 2 rafts out at sea. The first was a little skittish but we got to spend some time with a couple of juveniles which gave us a great view!
We had a few Humpback dolphins show up in the shallows whilst we were doing a YSI reading in the shallows on trip 4, so we decided to stay put for a bit and watch these endangered creatures frolic just in front of the estuary. Whilst watching the dolphins, we also had a large school of Horse Mackerel pass us, which was probably why the dolphins were slightly more jovial than usual. We got some awesome views of the Southern Rights next, with us following 2 mothers and calves as they slowly made their way around the area, picking up the sand from the sea floor below due to how shallow the water is in certain spots. We finished off our day with a stop a Bronze Whaler Shark and 60 000 Cape Fur Seals before moving back towards the harbour.
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