Today was a perfect start to spring, with not a breath of air out on the water. We launched our tour at 11 and head out towards Black Sophies rock, finding our first Southern Right Whales within minutes. These whales were travelling very close to shore and on arrival we realised that this was a cow, calf pair. Most of the calves that we’re seeing at the moment are already pretty big, and this guy was no exception. One can already see how the barnacles are growing on the callosities. We spent some time slowly cruising along with these whales, waiting in anticipation for mom and baby to surface. Whilst watching these whales, we spotted a few more in the distance, so we decided we might check out what they were up to.
As we approached, we spotted yet another awesome sight, this time, of the seabird variety. We had found a large raft of African Penguins in the water and, what’s more, they were taking a bath. Usually when we’re spotted penguins out at sea these little torpedoes in tuxedos are on the move, so it was awesome to have them just stick at the surface. We watched them preen for a couple of minutes before trying once again to approach the whales.
These whales were very obviously a mating group and even from a distance once could see flippers, tails, heads and other body parts periodically sticking out. when we arrived at the sight, we had no less than 5 Southern Right Whales around and these ones had clearly heard the story of the birds and the bees. The males were all trying their very best to get cosy with the female, and we got to see just how tactile this species is, with them rolling over each other. We got to see the whales laying on their side with their flippers over one another. We had the whales sticking their heads out the water in unison, it was truly a remarkable sighting. Towards the end, we also had what we presume to be the female laying on her back right next to us in crystal clear water, whilst the males were still trying their luck.
After a while we decided to give them some privacy and move on, so we head on over towards Geyser Rock to see what our pinnipeds were up to. They seemed to be having the time of their lives in shark alley, playing and following us around whilst others choose to indulge in an afternoon nap.
We also stopped at Slashfin on this tour and cruised past the Uilenkraalsmond Estuary which has just opened.