Guide Summary and Photographs
It was another gorgeous day in the bay with a lot of bird (read schooling fish) activity pretty close to shore. This is always great for us as it means that there is the possibility of finding our favourite marine species a little closer to home, and not in the deep sea.
This is exactly what happened on today’s trip, with us finding a Brydes Whale and her delightful calf just a couple moments after leaving the harbour. Although little is known about their reproductive and parenting behaviours, we estimate that the gestation period of these cetaceans is around a year long and that the females will have one calf per season. The babies tend to come up to breathe a little more which resulted in us having a great sighting.
The visibility was stunning in the shallows today which made our stop at Slashfin quite exciting. We had a beautiful White Shark around and were able to watch this striking creature’s movements below the water, which made it easy to predict when he was about to break the surface. This made for a great photo opportunity and once the shark had exposed his smoky dorsal surface and impressive jaws to us, we made our way to Dyer Island.
Half way to the island, our path became obstructed by thousands of Cape Cormorants who were out and about in search of their breakfast. Interestingly, these birds are not fully waterproof so they need to dry their wings out after a hunt. One may see them sitting with their wings outstretched, this also helps to warm them up a bit after diving into our freezing Atlantic ocean and some say that the heat can even assist with the digestion of their prey. After letting them pass, we continued on our way.
The lack of Cape Cormorants made it pretty easy to spot our favourite flightless birds on the island today. African Penguins are the only species that we really get to see in these waters although, sometimes, there is the occasional vagrant – such as the Macaroni Penguin- that washes up on our shores.
The seals appeared to be having a ball in the water today with many jumping about. I managed to snap a couple of pics of the younger seals completely out of the water and have included my best below. Animals, just like humans, need to play in order to grow and develop. Being able to jump and porpoise are important life skills for any little pup who will be braving our shark filled waters.
Our trip back to the harbour included a ride through the washing machine, some Cape Gannets, a group of porpoising seals and just enough sea spray to keep us feeling invigorated.
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