15 April 2017

During the winter months, we have some really cool...

Written by Jax, April 15 2017

15 April 2017

Guide Summary and Photographs

During the winter months, we have some really cool bird species coming up from the Sub Antarctic’s to feed off of our coastline. The Sub Antarctic Skua is probably the most famous. These Large gulls are pretty well known for pestering the fishing boats in search of food and often fly with us for a bit to check if we’ve got a bite to eat. This is how today’s trip began, with two of these inquisitive little fellows close enough to touch. They lost interest after a while and so we continued on our way before spotting the rarest marine mammal on our coast, the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin.

This species gets its name from the accumulated fat hump on its back and there is believed to be less than 500 of this beautiful dolphins left. We found them playing in the breakers but, unfortunately, they disappeared as quickly as what they had appeared, living up to their reputation as the shyest dolphin species in the area.

After this we stopped in Jouberts Dam hoping to spot our favourite cartilaginous fish species, the iconic Great White Shark. The best way to spot a White Shark on our trips is to keep your eye on the bait line. Not designed to feed the sharks, it is simply fish heads used to attract the sharks a little closer to the boat for our viewing pleasure.  We had a great sighting of a shark, seeing not only the dorsal fin but also the entire top half of its streamlined body.

Following this, we stopped at Dyer Island where we had a few endangered African Penguins sitting on the boulders in their usual hang out spot, with less than 1000 breeding pairs on the island, we always feel privileged when we are able to spot these little flightless birds out and about. The Cape Fur Seals are however, plentiful in numbers as could be seen by our stop at Geyser Rock. It seems as though no one was out fishing this morning with the seals packed tightly – almost on top of each other- on this 3 hectare island.

Behind Dyer Island, we had an awesome sighting in which we had several Giant Petrels as well as a few Storm Petrels in the same area. Today, we saw the Northern Giant Petrels whose only real difference from their southern counterparts is the tip of their bill. These large scavenging birds have a red tip to the bill whilst the Southern Giant Petrels boast a green tip.

Due to a very low tide, we head around Danger Point to Gansbaai Harbour where we attached the boat to the jetty before returning to the Great White House. It was a little chilly out their today so the soup definitely made for a fine finish.

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