Today was the perfect day out at sea, with sunshine, swell and spectacular sightings. Most days. The animals take our breath away but today’s Humpback Whale experience was one for the books. As one of our guests describes it “This was an encounter, not a sighting.”, and this could not have been truer.
We launched our tour at around 11 and made our way past Uilenkraalsmond estuary towards the shark cage diving boats. Once we reached the area, we took a quick stop at Slashfin, where we seemed to bring some luck. Almost as soon as we started we had the Bronze Whaler emerge from the depths, staying below the surface for a while before treating us to some lovely views. The shark showed off its dorsal fin and even some of its head before we decided to see what else the ocean had in store for us.
Our next sighting was one for the senses, when we found thousands of Cape Cormorants on their way out to do some fishing. We listened to the sound of their beating wings and got a whiff of their guano inspired aroma as they passed us by. We watched for a few minutes as the birds few in streams, moving one behind each other to save energy. After this spectacle, we had a closer look at the island itself also spotting some Night Light Jellyfish along the way.
We planned to visit our penguins next, but the ocean had another plan instore for us. As we made our way over The Clyde, we spotted a breach in the distance and decided to pick up speed. With this decision, we were rewarded again and again, as two young Humpback Whales gave us the show of our lives. Breaching, Flipper Slapping and Lobtailing, these gentle giants really pulled out all the stops to ensure that we would have memories to last a lifetime. They also seemed to be having a whale of a time, and as time moved on, they became increasingly curious about our boat.
Eventually, they decided that they would come a little closer. This was to the absolute elation of all aboard. The grace of their movements left us all in absolute awe. Moving effortlessly in the water column, turning and twirling below us like ballerinas, these whales were as enamored by us as we were them. They came back again and again, surfacing right next to us or travelling just below in the clear blue water. Scientists might attribute this to the inborn curiosity of mammals, but as I guide, I firmly believe that these sentient beings have chosen to share in a moment with us, fully aware and accepting of who and what we are. I have seen many incredible things in nature over the years, but animals choosing to engage with us people will always be my favourite.
These whales eventually allowed us to move off and out the area, so we left with our feelings of wonder and stopped by our seals to watch them do some tricks of their own. Our trip finished with the sighting of some African Penguins on Dyer Island, before we decided to head back to port.
Today's Best Snaps.