Guide Summary and Photographs
After a couple of days of little to no attention from our favourite fair weather gulls, today’s trip began with not one but two curious Sub Antarctic Skuas following our beautiful vessel, Dream Catcher. Once they realized that we had nothing for them, they moved on and we found ourselves at Slashfin, where we explained the cage diving operation. The sharks still seem to be avoiding the bay so we moved towards Dyer Island.
Dyer Island was named after Samson Dyer, an American man who came to South Africa to whale. As luck would have it, he ended up on this 21 hectare stretch of land, just off of what is now Kleinbaai, where he stayed for quite some time. Over the years, many seals were culled for their pelts and guano was harvested by the tonne for use as fertiliser before the island became a protected area.
Here we spotted some African Penguins in the water and on the boulders before making our daily excursion into shark alley. The Cape Fur seals were once again, incredibly playful and relaxed, which could be an indication that no sharks have been visiting the alley either. One naughty pup decided to take the fun and games a little too far, wrestling me for the YSI, which is an instrument we drop into the water to measure the temperature. We drop it all the way to the bottom of the sea bed to get a reading and it happens quite often that the head gets caught in some kelp, but today’s pull was definitely considerably stronger. After realising that I was in a game of tug of war, I quickly pulled the apparatus out of the water, with a small seal in tail, intent on winning his game. It’s moments like this that one cannot help but be in awe of the similarities between these oceanic pups and man’s terrestrial best friend.
It was Gannets galore in the deep sea with small flocks of our Cape variety moving past us up until we found ourselves close to the shore again. We also had two beautiful Albatrosses in the distance, shy by nature and perhaps by name too although we were unable to get close enough to confirm this. Just behind the island, we undertook a rescue mission when we found a Giant Petrel who looked to be experiencing a little trouble with his foot. He is now in the capable hands of our African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary who will try their best to give him a second chance at life. Last but not least, we had a couple of our shy Brydes Whales around who allowed us a quick sighting before moving in the direction of some lunch.
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