We had perfect conditions today, with sunshine, warm temperatures and flat calm water that looked more like a lake than the Atlantic Ocean. To make the day even better, the Dyer Island ecosystem was full of life, so we had some really fantastic sightings on both our tours today.
The first tour started out with a sighting of a Cape fur seal that was feeding on an octopus, just outside the harbour. To break up their food the Cape fur seals have to use their mouth to toss and thrash their food, so we got to see this cool behaviour. Just a bit further along the coastline we joined up with our sister company’s shark cage diving boat and our research vessel that were with some sharks. In this area we got some really great sightings of Bronze whaler sharks on both trips, including 4 individuals on the second trip that we got to see feeding on some mullets. There were a lot of fish close to shore today and as a result we also got to see hundreds of Cape cormorants that were feeding on them.
As for the whales, today was an amazing day for sightings of them too. On the first tour we encountered an adult and calf pair of Southern right whales, but we wanted to give the young one some space, so we continued further to Pearly beach to search for more whales. We were in luck, as not far from the beach we encountered a female with a juvenile, and to our delight it was a brindle juvenile. Brindle Southern right whales are white individuals (with some dark spots) that are born this way due to their genetic make up. Only about 4% of Southern right whales are brindle whales and this was our first brindle sighting of the year, so we felt very lucky. We encountered this beautiful black and white pair on both of our tours today.
On both our trips we also had some fantastic sightings of sunfish (on the second trip we saw 3 in one area!) as well as Cape fur seals on Geyser rock and African penguins on Dyer Island. We could not have asked for a better day and better sightings today.