Guide Summary and Photographs
There was an iciness in the air today as we launched our boat onto a still ocean. Luckily, the warmth of the African sun came to the rescue and it got a little warmer as the trip progressed. Our trip began in its usual fashion with a trip along the stunning white beaches of Franskraal and Die Grys. We admired this untouched piece of coastline before taking a stop at our sister company, Marine Dynamics.
Although they did not have a shark during our visit, they had a rather epic stroke of luck a little later in the trip when a Great White Shark appeared! We are really holding thumbs and hope that this will be the first of many who begin to move back into the bay. This is generally a great time to dive and so we cannot wait to get back into the full swing of things.
After this, we caught word of a Southern Right Whale which had made its way through the “Geldsteen” (This translates into “money stone” referring to the great wealth that could be accumulated by fishing here in days gone by). This is an area just in front of Dyer Island so we picked up some speed and made our way along the Clyde.
The whale had made some good pace with Kira spotting him just behind Dyer Island, after this we lost the whale for quite some time before Taylor, our trusty volunteer, spotted him just 100m off from us.
These whales are not like the resident Brydes Whale in that they do not feed in our waters. This means that one cannot rely on the fish or the birds to give away their position. Remarkably, Southern Rights feed only in Antarctica, living off of their blubber alone whilst visiting our waters, a period which spans all the way from July to December if we’re lucky!
After watching the Southern Right, we spotted a Brydes Whale who was surprisingly far friendlier than the “Right whale to watch”. They Brydes gave us a couple of awesome views, approaching us and exposing its head (which we really don’t see every day) coming up only 50m away!
By the time the whale disappeared, we found ourselves just behind Geyser Rock so we popped into Shark Alley quickly to have a closer look at our Cape Fur Seals. These fur seals can live around 20 years and can dive down to really impressive depths of up to 350m. These guys don’t really migrate and are protected on Geyser Rock under the Sea Birds and seal protection act of 1973.
After sometime between the islands, we head on back to the comfort of the toasty whale room, with some pesky Sub Antarctic Skuas joining for the last leg of the tour.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the great moms reading this.
A couple of facts about the mothers in our bay for some extra reading:
- Cape Fur Seal Moms recognise their pups by their call and their scent.
- Some toothed whales, like Orcas, will stay in a pod with their mothers for life!
- It is thought that Southern Right Whale calves can drink a few hundred litres of milk a day.
- We still don’t know where Great White Sharks go to have their pups.
- Albatrosses can spend up to a year looking after a single chick, which is pretty impressive for any bird species.
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