29 April 2017

The right whale to watch at the wrong time of year...

Written by Jax, April 29 2017

29 April 2017

Guide Summary and Photographs

Today, we launched out of Gansbaai Harbour for what turned out to be an absolutely magical trip. Sometimes, one gets the feeling that the sea might be a little “bluer” on the other side, as Walker Bay has been harbouring some awesome sightings lately, but today, our bay proved to be the winner with a Brydes Whale and not one but two Southern Right Whales paying us a visit.

Walker bay, did, however, provide us with a beautiful African Penguin sighting. We were lucky enough to come across a pair of very relaxed birds, who were preening away. The one pint-sized guy even exposed one of his little feet, which was absolutely adorable. We don’t often get to see them preening and exposing so much of themselves, so this was quite a special couple of moments. We also spotted a sunfish, who was a little camera shy, taking a deep dive just a few minutes after he was spotted

We head around the infamous Danger Point next, stopping at Birkenhead Rock (the final resting place of the HMS Birkenhead) before taking the deep sea route to Dyer Island. On the way, we spotted several smaller flocks of Cape Cormorants on their way out to their fishing grounds as well as a few Swift Terns on their way back, each exhibiting the lunch they had caught in their bright yellow bills.

The ocean was incredibly quiet otherwise and we searched in vain for spout of a Brydes whale. Just as we were about to give up hope, we spotted one just a couple of hundred metres in front of the boat. This shy individual then disappeared for a good 10 minutes before coming up just enough times for us all to have a good view. These animals are by far the hardest whale to watch, but, satisfied we moved towards Shark Alley.

This is when Kira Spotted something fantastic, two Southern Right Whales, seen a little earlier today in Jouberts Dam, were making their way towards the open ocean. This is very definitely out of our traditional whale season where the whales generally begin to arrive in July, staying to mate and calve in our sheltered bays before heading back in December to 50’ South.

These majestic creatures never fail to amaze, weighing in at an impressive 50 tonnes, they are well known for their fantastic behaviour such as lob tailing, which we were privileged enough the witness today. One of the whales also rolled onto its back, exposing its pectoral fins as it frolicked in the icy blue water.

After this gorgeous sight, we paid a visit to the most abundant marine mammal in our area, the ever spirited Cape Fur Seals. We watched their tomfoolery for a while before heading back into the harbour.

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