Guide Summary and Photographs
Today was definitely no ordinary day with some weird and wacky experiences on both trips. We had a bit of an easterly wind blowing but nothing could dampen the overall spirit of the day, with everyone being in a joyous and festive mood.
Our first sighting on the early trip today was of none other than the iconic Great White Shark. After cruising through a mega flock of Cape Cormorants and passing the Uilenkraalsmond estuary, we found an awesome White Shark making its way through the bay. At this time of year, it’s very normal to find these guys cruising through the breakers. Something that is often a great surprise to our clients is just how slowly these guys actually move, with their average speed being a meagre 4.6km/h.
After this, the crew had a slight moment of embarrassment when we got super excited about a “Sting Ray” in the water. The visibility was stunning today so we were having a lot of fun checking out what goes on below and we may have gotten slightly…carried away. The “Sting Ray” later became a “Turtle” until we finally realised that all of the excitement was over a lone piece of sea bamboo, defying the odds and growing where no kelp has gone before. After a bit of a laugh. We went on to take a quick stop by Slashfin before spotting a few Humpback Dolphins.
The dolphins were following some fish quite close to shore, but we did manage to see them a couple of times before we decided to move on to some larger cetaceans of the baleen variety. We are still incredibly lucky to have around 6 pairs of Southern Rights around, so we spent some time moving between the pairs, watching them in awe as these gentle giants went about their day. These whales will soon head home to the copepod rich waters of Sub Antarctica, where the little ones have seen feeding as early as February!
After this, we moved on to our island systems where we spent a bit of time with our favourite fur seals before exiting through the washing machine and making a b line for Gansbaai Harbour. On the way, birds were a plenty with Cape Gannets, Cape Cormorants and a variety of Tern species taking advantage of the fish in the area.
The second trip of the day got off to an interesting start as some of our younger clients began to practice their boxing skills, just in case they would have the misfortune of running into some pirates, or a White Shark. Luckily, none of these things really pose a risk on the boat, or in our waters for that matter -one has more chance of being killed by a toaster than a shark- so, no one had to bring out their gloves today.
We started our trip off in Pearly Beach where we had Southern Right Whales galore. We had a few nice approaches, some babies rolling around and exposing their flippers and then, we were also treated to one of our favourite sights. A playful baby began to lob tail a short distance away from us, beating its tail against the water and having an absolute ball.
Following this, we stopped at the island next and enjoyed the lovely aroma of 60 000 Cape Fur Seals with a dash of stagnant water. We also spotted an African Penguin clambering up the rocky shores. Some of the more observant on board also got to see a little mating action between seals, we left shortly after this. On the way home, we stopped by the cage diving boats where we got to see a White Shark in the distance. We also had 3 little Penguins about.
The very last wacky tale of the day involved a terrestrial animal with a particularly long tail, when a large rat greeted us as we were being pulled up by our trailer. After braving the perilous area between the tractor and trailer tyres, the rat was unfortunately picked up by someone who put him in the water. We decided that we would come to its rescue and give him a second chance at life, something every species deserves, no matter how small.
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