06 February 2017 | Marine Safari

The Cape Cormorants were out in full swing today...

Written by Jax, February 6 2017

06 February 2017 | Marine Safari

Guide Summary and Photographs

It was overcast as we left the harbour today on our beautiful vessel, Dream Catcher.  We took our usual route, cruising along the shallows in search of dolphins and free swimming white sharks, and managed to spot a Bottlenose dolphin between the breakers. Although usually found in groups ranging from 20 – 50 dolphins, one can see anything from 1 to several hundred individuals at a time. This dolphin seemed to be enjoying his time in the breakers and after watching him for a while, we moved on to visit Slashfin.

Our visit to Slashfin today brought both crew and clients much joy as we managed to bring along their first White Shark of the day with us. This often happens as the sharks are very fascinated by the vibrations our engines give off, picking them up with their sense organs, the ampullae of Lorenzini. After having a look at this relatively little guy, we head towards what looked like a black cloud on the water.

This is one of my absolute favourite spectacles on the boat, the “Cape Cormorants gone fishing” When, quite literally, thousands of these little back birds go in search of food together. It is absolutely awesome to witness them all flying in unison and what may be even more amazing is the sound their wings make when they all take off at once. We are incredibly lucky to be able to see this as the cormorants are, in fact, endangered according to the ICUN Red List which means that, at this stage, every little bird counts.

After watching the birds in awe, we head towards Dyer Island were we managed to spot the African Penguins on the rocks after a few days without being able to see them. The fact that the Cape Cormorants were few in numbers on the island was also pretty convenient as it is often tricky to point out these black and white penguins when the sit on white rocks in between black birds.

Geyser Rock was choc-o-block full of seals today as it seems that the majority have now returned from fishing. Shark Alley was also pretty full, with many seals fooling around and cooling off in the cold water. The seals do this by exposing their flippers out of the water. They lose heat very quickly through their flippers due to the fact that they have a large supply of blood vessels, here. The above process is known as thermoregulation.

On our way back to the harbour, we spotted some Cape Gannets, 3 African Penguins and a Giant Petrel. This made for another successful and enjoyable day at the office.

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