Guide Summary and Photographs
We could not have asked for a better start to South Africa’s most stunning season with an action packed tour and the Marine Big 5! There were a variety of species out and about in the bay and the weather could not have been any more perfect!
We started the tour with a cruise along the shallows, spotting a little African Penguin before taking a stop at our sister company, Marine Dynamics. When we arrived, we had an animal about to go for the bait which had us all really excited, what we did not expect was that it would be a Short tailed Sting Ray! This is the largest marine based Sting Ray in the world with a wingspan of up to 2.1m. These large creatures are also somewhat related to our White sharks as they both have skeletons composed of cartilage.
After watching the Sting Ray for a bit, we got to see two sharks swimming just below the surface of the water. Great Whites are said to be the largest predatory shark in the world, growing to lengths of over 6m! Although the sharks we saw today were not quite as large, they were impressive none the less and, after checking them off our list, we head over to Pearly Beach.
Here, we spotted the largest bony fish in the world, the Oceanic Sunfish or Mola Mola. Sunfish can lay up to 300 million eggs at a time which is the most of any vertebrate on earth! We observed this strange looking creature for some time before having it disappear under the boat.
In the same area, we also spotted an Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin. This sighting was really special for our crew, as we had stumbled across Summer, one of our catalogued animals. We’ve been seeing Summer for a while now and although one would usually use the dorsal fins of the dolphins to identify them, Summer has a very distinct tail which allows us to tell this noteworthy individual apart from the rest.
Not too long after this, we found a sub adult, brindle Southern Right Whale in front of the breakers and we got to share a few wonderful moments with this beauty. A highlight from our time here was watching this gorgeous guy play with some Kelp before it took a deeper dive. We also got to see a few more Southern Rights enjoying our waters.
Geyser Rock was our next stop and it looks as though the seals are equally as excited about the coming months as we are, jumping out the water for what we chose to interpret as joy. Although spring is not too significant a time in the lives of our favourite furry marine mammals, it does mean that summer is edging ever closer, which will bring all the big bulls to the island. This was our last stop for the day with us heading back to the harbour shortly after this, Sub Antarctic Skua in tow.
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