14 March 2017

4 of the Marine big 5 including a Penguin release...

Written by Jax, March 14 2017

14 March 2017

Guide Summary and Photographs

We had an awesome and eventful day out at sea starting with the release of two of our African Penguins. These trips are always memorable as our clients get to watch conservation in action as we release members of this endangered species back into the wild.

With this in mind, we head towards Dyer Island straight from the harbour on this perfect sea day, eager to get the Penguins home. Once we arrived, we spotted 3 African Penguins in the water and then did the release. In the very capable hands of our African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary manger, Theanette, the transport box was tipped and the little ones plopped into the water. After having watched the penguins come so far, goodbyes are always bittersweet for our APSS family who care so much for the birds with which they work. We spent a last couple of moments with these amazing little creatures before heading towards the open ocean.

Here, we were able to spot not one but two Brydes Whales as well as a host of pelagic and seabird species. This to the absolute delight of the birders on board.

The bird list included:

White Chinned Petrel.

Sooty Shearwater.

Cape Gannet.

A Storm Petrel (no positive identification on which particular species it was.).

Sub Antarctic Skua.

We managed to get a couple of great sightings of the Brydes whale too and I managed to snap a couple of shots while it hunched its back and took a deep dive. After this we head into Shark Alley to have a look at our thriving Cape Fur Seal colony. For the second day in a row, the seals were incredibly active and almost charming. Below, I’ve included a photo of a little one that even decided to come say “Hi”, approaching the boat quite confidently.  There were what seemed like hundreds of pups in front of Hospital Rock today and it was too cute for words watching them brave the breakers in an effort to get back to the main island.

We found ourselves at Slashfin next where we managed to catch a glimpse of a juvenile Great White Shark. Even a small shark like this one is an impressive sight and one really got a sense of just how “apex” this fishy predator really is when it lunged for the bait. Great Whites are generally slow moving but, in short bursts, may reach speeds of around 40km/h.

This was our last stop of the day before heading back to Kleinbaai Harbour for some vegetable soup and homemade bread.

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