Guide Summary and Photographs
Today, we enjoyed the last bit of pleasant weather ahead of the impending cold front with some spectacular Dolphin sightings! But, before we get into today’s amazing trip, just an update on our Great White Sharks. We can now confirm that the two deceased Sharks that washed up on our beaches are, in fact, due to Orcas. Unfortunately, this means that we were unable to see a White Shark today, although that did not dampen our spirits too much.
Our first sighting was of a Cape Fur Seal who had caught himself a little shark for breakfast, we watched him thrash and feed for a bit before moving on with our tour. After finding nothing too exciting in the shallows, we head towards the Geldsteen (named so due to the profit one could make from fishing in the area back in the day) to our sister company’s boat, Slashfin, spotting one of our little African Penguins along the way. Here, we were lucky to spot 3 Giant Petrels as well as a White Chinned Petrel, all trying their luck in the chum slick coming off the back of the boat.
Whilst here, Kira spotted a disturbance in the water so we decided to go and check it out. We were elated once we realised we had come across a small pod of around 30 Common Dolphins. These guys will sometimes join together, resulting in mega pods of up to 10 000 individuals. According to Michelle, a very special guest and previous researcher with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust noted how we often see these majestic creatures move through the bay when we do have a cold front moving through, possibly because the fish are pushed in this direction. After some bow riding and some great photographic opportunities, we moved back towards Dyer Island.
As we approached, we saw hundreds of Cape Cormorants returning to their home after a great morning expedition and after having a look at a lone African Penguin on the Island and our adorable Cape Fur Seals, we head behind the island.
Here, after checking out a porpoising seal or two, Kira’s eagle eyes found us yet another pod of Common Dolphins. This one was a little larger with a couple more babies in the mix, much to the delight of all on board. Once the pod relaxed, the approached and began to ride the waves next to us, making for a spectacular sight. The dolphins stayed with us for a bit before changing direction and we made our way in the direction of some diving birds.
At the sight, we had Arctic Skuas (Parasitic Jaegers), Sub Antarctic Skuas, Giant Petrels, White Chinned Petrels, Cape Cormorants, Cape Gannets, Swift Terns and a few Sooty Shearwaters. Kira had seen the blow of a whale in the area so we stuck around for a bit and, amazingly, the second pod of dolphins found us again and decided to approach! They didn’t stick around for too long and after deciding that this Brydes Whale was a little too shy, we moved off too.
Finally, we caught up with a Brydes Whale in the deep sea. This guy seemed to be heading towards the fish and so we moved with him for a while, predicting his movements using the whale footprints, a flat patch caused by the tail of the whale. This meant that we finished today’s trip with 4 of the Marine Big 5.