08 March 2017 | Marine Safari

A Southern Right Whale and a breaching Sunfish...

Written by Jax, March 8 2017

08 March 2017 | Marine Safari

Guide Summary and Photographs

We had an exceptional trip out on the water today that I hope our clients will remember for years to come. The weather was a little gloomy with a little drizzle but our sightings were enough to put a smile on everyone’s face.

As we cruised through the shallows, our first sighting was of an oceanic Sunfish or Mola Mola. They can weigh up to 1 000kg and are incredibly strange and almost awkward looking.  Usually, when we are lucky enough to spot one they move relatively slowly, only speeding up a little to catch a Box Jellyfish or two.  Today, however, we were incredibly lucky to see the Sunfish Breach, which was a first for the entire crew for the boat. It is amazing to think that such a large, stocky creature is able to propel itself out of the water.

After this excitement, we head towards the shark cage diving vessels were we were able to spot a single Great White Shark. We are so glad that they have returned, although still a bit low in numbers and cannot wait for the action to pick up again.

Following this, we made our way towards Dyer Island where the African Penguins were sitting on the boulders. They were pretty easy to spot today since many of the Cape Cormorants were out at sea. After observing them for a short while, we moved towards Geyser Rock.

Geyser Rock was choc-o-bloc with Cape Fur Seals today with many in the water too.  The pups seem to be gaining some confidence in their swimming abilities and are pretty easy to spot between the lounging adults due to their energetic ways. Whilst in shark alley, we spotted thousands of birds behind the island and decided to go check it out.

The birds were our Cape Cormorants, which are known for feeding in groups containing thousands of birds. From afar, these little guys don’t like much but if you were to take a closer look, they are actually pretty beautiful. They have a characteristic orange gape as well as a blue eye which distinguishes them from any of the other species.

Our next sighting was definitely spot of the day; a Southern Right Whale. Kira had spotted a blow just behind the birds and, upon investigation we discovered this young cetacean cruising along, heading east. At this time of year, a Southern Right is the last thing on earth one would expect and both Karli and I were a little confused at first when this “Brydes Whale” (The only whale we generally see at this time of year) did not have a dorsal fin. Southern Right Whales certainly are the right whale to watch, cruising slowly and coming up frequently with very little fear of boats. Needless to say, we were all incredibly excited to view this majestic specimen and we stayed with him for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes, these whales do stray from their natural migration routes and end up in our waters out of the traditional whale season, although the reasons in this particular case are unknown.

On our way back to the harbour, we spotted some beautiful Cape Gannets as well as a few Northern Giant Petrels to end off the perfect trip at sea.

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