Daily Trip 01 December 2017
Nothing better than starting silly season off with a few pairs of Southern Right Whales…
Written by Jax, December 1 2017
Guide Summary and Photographs
On the 1st of December last year, we saw our very last Southern Right Whale just in front of Black Sophie’s Rock as we made our way out the harbour. Today, we counted at least 4 pairs still milling around in the shallows of Pearly Beach, which fills us with more joy than what you can imagine.
We had a really incredible first tour with the sightings starting off at Slashfin where the Bronze Whaler Sharks were out in full force. This schooling species really lived up to their names, with several of these “cutesy” cartilaginous fish in the chum slick. We got to watch the animals come up repeatedly, exposing their stunning dorsal fins before we moved on towards Pearly Beach.
On the way, we got the absolute best surprise when we happened upon 3 Bottlenose Dolphins. As if their presence was not enough, they began to jump. Most often, when we see dolphins, we find them travelling and consider ourselves lucky if we get to see half or their body as the come up for a breath. Today, we got to see these stunners launch themselves out the water completely, which made for a breath-taking sight. We spotted 3 African Penguins next, which bought our Big 5 count up to 3 species! 2 of the penguins were little blues, who will still have to moult into their black and white plumage.
We found our whales shortly after this, catching up with an active mom calf pair. Southern Right Whales are known for “sailing” which is when these gentle giants stick their humongous tails out of the water and keep them there, tall and proud. We don’t see sailing all too often but, mom was all too happy to oblige, giving us some awesome views of that iconic whale tail. We completed our Marine Big 5 tour with not 1 but 60 000 Cape Fur Seals by visiting their home, Geyser Rock. After all of this splendour, we went back to the harbour to collect the next group of clients.
The Bronze Whalers appeared to be on fore today with us having an awesome stop, yet again. we got to watch a few of these golden predators circle around the baitline, with the occasional head surfacing as they attempted to take advantage of the salmon heads in front of them, as if our bait handler Aaron would let them.
We also had an awesome whale sighting with us seeing 4 pairs of whales all in all. The highlights of this tour was an adorable calf who kept popping his head put the water. We call this spy hopping which is also a behaviour associated with Southern Rights, who are notoriously curious! We also had a whale have a bit of fun with some kelp, popping it on her nose and then wriggling it all the way down her back. We went on to see our Cape Fur Seals and had a gander at spotting some African Penguins on Dyer Island before heading home.
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