Daily Blog 31 March 2018

Once again... The Marine Big 5...

Written by Will Gilmore, March 31 2018

Daily Blog 31 March 2018

Guide Summary and Photographs

Our day started with some fantastic Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins. We had two dolphins around the vessel and one of which we believe may be a new individual we haven’t seen before. The mangled fin does not match our records; however, it could be an old dolphin and sustained new injuries. We were very lucky to see these animals as they are South Africa’s rarest coastal cetacean, numbering around 500 individuals. Soon the dolphins grew tired of us and we moved towards the shark cage diving area. Firstly, it is important to note we do not feed the animals. There is chum pumped into the water and few fish heads on a line to attract the sharks. White Sharks are ambush predators and will rarely get the bait, but a few fish heads are not enough to keep the individual interested. We have seen no evidence of conditioning sharks and the fact that are sharks come and go as the please indicates they still stick to their migrations. That being said, we did manage to see a great white shark pass the cage a few times, ticking the second member of the Marine Big 5 off our list.

Once we had left the shark cage diving, the deep sea was calling us as we set off in search Bryde’s Whales. Our keen-eyed spotter had once again found us a number of spouts towards Pearly Beach. However, as we arrived the whales remained elusive, this did give us opportunity to watch a number of pelagic birds feeding, such as the Cape Gannet, Corey’s Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater and even a few White-Chinned Petrels. Out of nowhere, we then heard multiple Bryde’s Whale spouts all around as, at least three individuals surfacing around our vessel. A completely amazing experience. Unfortunately, the time came to head off back towards the island to complete the Marine Big 5. In shark alley, we were all too busy watching the gorgeous cape fur seals to notice a small little penguin amongst them. With the Marine Big 5 completed we headed back towards the harbour with great memories of some excellent sightings of our wildlife.

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Written by Will Gilmore

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