Guide Summary and Photographs
The mist over the ocean this morning definitely added an air of mystery to today’s trip. As we cruised along the shallows towards the shark cage diving vessels, one could feel a sense of anticipation in the air as we all awaited our first sighting. This came in the form of a Short-Tailed Stingray at our sister company’s boat, Slashfin. These Majestic creatures grow to be the largest marine based Stingray in the world and often come up to the shark cage diving vessels when the temperature of the ocean rises. After a bit of a wait, we also managed to see a Great White Shark surface, curiously checking out the bait before disappearing to the depths again.
After stopping on Slashfin, we head towards Dyer Island and, along the way, managed to spot 3 African penguins, one of which was a little juvenile easily identifiable by his brown plumage. These little guys are usually boat shy but we were lucky to have them stick around long enough for us to get a couple of great views. Keeping to the bird theme, our next sighting was of a lone Giant Petrel. Often dubbed the “vultures of the ocean” due to their scavenging ways, we got to watch this large fellow take-off like an aeroplane on the water, which is always an awesome sight to behold. Following this we picked up a piece of Sea Bamboo and explained its many uses while a couple of our braver clients sampled this edible, nutrient-rich algae.
Our next stop was Shark Alley where we watched the Cape Fur Seals go about their ways, admiring all the little black blobs in the pup nursery and appreciating the adult’s tomfoolery as they congregated in the water to cool down and play. We also noticed the building of a new Bank Cormorant nest on the keel of the Prince Port, which brings the count up to an exciting 4 nests!
On our way back to the harbour, we decided to go behind the island and head towards Danger Point, where we managed to spot a couple of species of Terns diving for fish as well as a couple of Cape Gannets. Unfortunately, we also managed to come across a deceased Gannet, the victim of a Cape Fur Seal who had inflicted quite a large bite on this beautiful bird.
Our last sighting of the day was that of two Bryde’s whales who were also taking advantage of the fish stocks moving through the area. They came up for us a couple of times before they took a deep dive, something we’ve come to expect from these shy creatures. Whilst having a look at the whales, the Red Tide (an Algae bloom caused by upwelling in our summer months) in the bay also became quite apparent. Red Tide is easily identifiable by the red to burgundy discoloration of the water from which it gets its name.
After this, we head back to the Great White House for some vegetable soup and some divine homemade bread. Overall, an awesome day at the office!
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