We had the most incredible time out on the water this afternoon, with great sightings and lots of sunshine. With an easterly wind blowing, we head out to sea at around 11am and set our course for Uilenkraalsmond. We hit the jackpot early on in our tour, spotting 3 Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins after having been out the harbour for only 5 minutes. These endangered cetaceans were doing some fishing, and we got to watch them surface in the swell for a few lovely moments before doing our daily water reading in front of our natural estuary. After checking the temperature and oxygen levels of the water, we set our sights on our sister company’s boat, Slashfin.
Slashfin has been having a lot of luck with their Bronze Whaler Shark sightings as of late, and today’s trip appeared to be no exception. We stopped to get a few views of these fascinating creatures and were fortunate to have a few of them swimming just below the surface of the water. We got to see their beautiful golden skin as they broke the surface and investigated our operation before we decided it was time to start searching for some whales. We then head on over to The Clyde reef System, stopping briefly to talk about our most abundant seaweed species, the Sea Bamboo, before heading to Pearly Beach where we hoped to spend some time watching some beautiful mother whales raising their little ones.
We found our first whales just before the town, and got a really close approach as mom and baby popped up right next to the boat, on the other side of where we were watching them. Sometimes the whales do check us out just as we do them, and it was lovely to have this curious pair come up and give us a good look at their gigantic selves. We then head on a little further into the bay, spending some time with a few more pairs. We got to see some stunning tails on this trip, including a mom and a baby who fluked together. Baby’s tail still had some wrinkles, and he’s definitely got a while to go before those flukes could compete with moms.
After watching and wondering at the whales, we moved on towards Geyser Rock so that we could let all the little seals steal our hearts. We’re seeing more and more babies and it is one of the most spectacular sights. Moms carrying babies is also quite the thing to watch, with the moms clumsily clambering over the rocks, knocking their babies against boulders and other seals a like as they find the perfect position for their pup. Our final member of the Marine Big 5 was the African Penguin, which we spotted on the way back into Kleinbaai harbor. This was a juvenile, which we call baby blues. Overall, we could not have asked for a better time at sea.