Guide Summary and Photographs
What an absolutely incredible day out on the water. It is really not every day that we experience the wealth of species that we did on today’s excursion and it is defiantly one for the books! 5 different mammal species, 6 different bird species and a Great White! Most of the above is due to the high number of schooling fish that we have moving through the area at the moment. Usually Pilchards or Anchovy, this is what our larger marine creatures live for.
Our First sighting was one 2 Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins. This coastal dwelling species does not move into water deeper than 20m so we found them pretty close to shore. We watched them for a couple of minutes before spotting a disturbance in the water 100m away. More dolphins! This time, a Beautiful pod of Bottlenose Dolphins, including a baby. Some of these majestic cetaceans were on the hunt and we got to watch as they pushed the fish towards the surface, hoping to get a bite to eat.
After this beautiful sighting of around 20 individuals, we went to go visit our favourite shark cage diving vessel, Slashfin. Here we had a Great White Shark circle our boat – presumably investigating the vibrations caused by our engines) before watching another go for Slashfin’s bait line. One of the sharks was pretty scratched up which could be caused by a number of different things, including other Great Whites and boats.
This is when the mist started to set in and, from there on out all the way to Dyer Island, we were surrounded by a shimmery grey blanket, adding an air of mystery to the trip. In between this layer, lay the silhouettes of hundreds of Cape Cormorants sitting on the water. Once we made it to the other side of the island, the mist cleared and we were able to get a better look before heading into Shark Alley.
Our seal colony’s odour was slightly pungent today but this did not deter us from enjoying their child like antics as they jumped and played in the waters just in front of Geyser Rock. We also got to see them run into the water in large groups (this usually happens when they’re a bit spooked) which is always an impressive sight.
Behind the island, we found a Sub Antarctic Skua badgering a Giant Petrel. The objective of this is to get the Petrel to regurgitate, delivering a tasty meal right into the mouth of this pesky, fellow scavenging bird. We found a Brydes Whale and her calf straight after this and watched them come up beautifully a couple of times before mommy decided that a deep dive was in order.
Whilst at this sighting, we spotted a white spot on the water 1km out. This could only ever be one thing so we set our sights on the area, bodies tense with anticipation for what we were about to witness.
A Bait Ball…with a mega pod (approximately 1 000) Common dolphins and hundreds of Diving Cape Gannets. It is difficult to put together the words to describe all of what we saw in a way that would do the experience justice, so I’m just going to quote the word of a client’s 13 year old granddaughter “Epic”.
After spending a good 20min within this feeding frenzy, we made our way to the harbour, spotting African Penguins and a couple more Brydes Whales along the way.
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