02 April 2017

Today, we had an exciting ride out on Whale Whisperer...

Written by Jax, April 2 2017

02 April 2017

Guide Summary and Photographs

Today, we had an exciting ride out on our smaller eco vessel, Whale Whisperer. There were a lot of birds in the sky and on the water throughout the bay indicating the presence of some schooling fish. This is always great news for us as it brings about all of our favourite animals including the little African Penguins.

This was our first sighting of the day when a lone penguin popped up whilst we were on our way to check out some Cape Gannets sitting a little further off. He didn’t stick around for too long but, we weren’t too sad about this as we managed to spot a Brydes whale a short distance away.

These whales move quite sporadically and can travel quite fast, this majestic character made this very clear as he kept popping up on opposite sides of the boat but, lucky, we were still able to get some awesome sights. During this game of cat and mouse, we spotted quite a large raft of African Penguins in the vicinity too and stopped to admire them before trying to find our illusive mammalian friend again.

Once the whale had taken a deep dive, we head towards the Shark Cage Diving Vessels in the Shallows.  Slashfin had a Great White around so we lingered for a bit in the hopes that it we would get to see that iconic dorsal fin and perhaps a tooth or two. This Shark definitely did not disappoint, doing a semi breach in an attempt to get hold of the Salmon heads on the bait. Luckily, our experienced bait handler was too quick for him and after this he disappeared into the depths.

Our next stop was at Dyer Island, the home of 27 different species, including the Leach’s Storm Petrel, the first procellariform to be found breeding in Southern Africa. These guys are not too easy to see so we settled for the hundreds of Cape Cormorants returning from their Sunday morning fishing trip. It is always beautiful to watch them fly together, often slipstreaming in order to conserve energy.

Following our time with the birds, we made our way to Geyser Rock where the majority of the Cape Fur Seals have also returned from their hunting grounds. Around this mini island, one could see a lot of sea foam which is quite a fascinating phenomenon.

The foam is caused by the churning of minerals and organic matter such as proteins and lipids from the larger animals, plants and microorganisms in the area. Algae blooms (such as the red tide we are currently experiencing) are also often the cause of foam when they decay. The water, filled with all of these particles, is churned up by the wind and swell, trapping air and creating bubbles which build up to form the foam.

After watching the seals and enjoying the sight of the foam, we head back to the harbour via the open sea. On the way, we spotted a White Chinned Petrel, a Giant Petrel and many more Cape Gannets. Giant Petrels are pretty famous for using the oceans as a run way when taking off and we were lucky enough to get to see this today. All in all, a wonderful trip.

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