Guide Summary and Photographs
Due to the full moon, we have another spring tide which peaks tonight. Spring tide only occurs during full and new moon when the gravitational pull of the moon and sun cause the high tides to be higher and the low tides to be lower. This usually means that we need to launch at least one of or trips out of Gansbaai Harbour and today was no expectation.
So, on our first trip, we launched from our neighbouring town and made our way around Danger Point, spotting 2 Humpback Whales just a little further off the coast. We haven’t seen any Humpback whales in about a week so this was pretty exciting. Humpbacks are well known for being the songsters of the ocean with the males stringing together tunes that can last for hours. All males in one geographic area will sing the same song, with some of the notes changing as the years go by.
On this trip, we also got to see 3 other members of the marine big 5, namely the African Penguin, the Cape Fur Seal and very fortunately, a Great White Shark. The presence of sharks in the bay can definitely be seen by the behaviour of the seals at Geyser Rock, who are a little more skittish in the water as of late.
The second trip managed to have the same luck, spotting 4 of the Marine Big 5 but switching it up with their whale species of choice when they found 2 Southern Right Whales in the vicinity of Danger Point. These guys are easily identifiable due to the large white Callosities which can be found on the heads of these majestic giants. Sometimes referred to as the “rock garden” of the whale, these patches provide a great area for whale lice to attach. These little critters often transfer from the mothers just after the little ones are born, with different species of lice inhabiting different areas of the whale’s body.
The 3rd trip also got to see a couple of Southern Right Whales, with the animals moving slowly past us towards the shallows. Although a little windier than the first two, the 3rd trip took place in the golden hour. Some of the highlights of the trip include a very curious Sub Antarctic Skua who didn’t seem to want to leave one of the families on board alone. These birds are known to remember individual human faces so, perhaps, someone looked like an old friend. We also had a large raft of African Penguins who were returning home from a long day’s fishing and a Shy Albatross who made a couple of passes before soaring onwards, disappearing over the horizon.
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