Heritage Day On The Atlantic Ocean, 24 September 2018

Celebrating South Africa's beautiful natural wonders...

Written by Jax Bath, September 25 2018

Heritage Day On The Atlantic Ocean, 24 September 2018

Guide Summary.

We had perfect weather today when we set out on the first tour of the day, launching from Gansbaai Harbour due to the full moon. The full moon causes the low tide to be a little lower than usual, so sometimes we have a change of scenery, heading over to Gansbaai and making our way around Danger Point.

Trip 1 started off with a Cow Calf pair of Southern Right Whales, who were slowly travelling along the shoreline.  After these whales took a deeper dive, we resumed our traveling and then to our delight, caught up with a Humpback Whale. We are seeing mostly Southern Right Whales at this point during the season, so we’re always excited to get to see another species. This Humpback was also moving along, so we were lucky to see the fluke twice as it went a little deeper down. We can identify whales using the back of their flukes, as each tail is unique.

We decided then to hang around the area for a bit, waiting a few minutes before a single adult Southern Right Whale popped up. This animal was very relaxed, moving closer and closer and doing some rolling around on the way. Once the whale was about 20m away, he started to show off a bit, picking up a piece and kelp and putting it on its head. This is one of the coolest things we get to see here, as the whale is just enjoying itself and fooling around. After watching him for a bit, we decided to slowly move the boat, but he was not quite done showing us his toy, so he followed.  We also got to see a Cape Fur Seal and 2 juvenile African Penguins hanging in the same vicinity. On the way back in the harbour, we passed by the sight of the sinking of the HMS Birkenhead. We also spotted a Shy Albatross and a Giant Petrel.

Our second tour started off with some incredible breaching whales, with 3 different animals launching themselves out the water. We got to spend some time with a remarkable calf who had an interesting blaze running from his chin down his belly. We had a fantastic time watching this baby breach again and again and he even came a bit closer to the boat to give us a nice look at him. We then began travelling towards Geyser Rock where our Cape Fur Seal colony were up to their usual mischief. We watched them for a while before heading back to port to pick up our final group of clients.

Trip 3 started off with a few pairs of Southern Right Whale moms and babies who were hanging around in the shallow waters close to the scenic white beaches of Franskraal. We had a mom with some white patches on her back, and she was super cool to watch as she moved slowly along with her baby. We got to see them come up in the swell and around the same time we also had a lovely approach from a mom and calf on the left hand side of the boat. This mom was also quite distinct with grey patches on her back, something we associate mostly with the female whales. We went on to see some large rafts of African Penguins and the seals of Geyser Rock.

 

 

 

Daily Snaps.

Seals seem to have very little sense of personal space.

Having an afternoon snooze.

Pups playing around.

On hot days, hundreds of seals will take to the water to cool down.

A Sub Antarctic Skua in flight.

A mother whale with some very pretty markings.

Mom and baby travelling together.

A beautiful approach on Trip 3.

A really close look at a curious calf.

A raft of African Penguins heading home.

A seal who looks like its in need of a sleep.

Happy faces.

Clients from a town close to Birkenhead, England.

The frog has travelled to 101 countries.

A Humpback Whale tail.

Juvenile African Penguins, which we call baby blues.

A Southern Right Whale sticking its head out the water.

The eyebrow callosite with the eye to the right.

A Playful single whale.

Kelping.

Kelp on the head.

That flipper could weigh 2 tons.

Showing off his toy.

Having a whale of a time.

This cool dude stayed with us for ages before saying goodbye with a fluke up.

Some tail over at the beach.

Breaching baby.

Look at baby’s beautiful white belly.

Breaking the surface.

A stunning and unusual white blaze.

A tail before a breach.

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Written by

Jax Bath Guide

Jax has been guiding for Dyer Island Cruises since 2015, quickly becoming famous for the excitable shouts coming from her direction every time we see incredible wildlife (which is often!).

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Jax Bath

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