Guide Summary and Photographs
It was a perfect morning in Kleinbaai today as we set of on our Marine Big 5 adventure. We started today in the calm waters of The Shallows in search of the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin. These elusive cetaceans lived up to their reputation and were only spotted as we approached the shark cage diving site. At this time, we were also treated to a Cape Fur Seal munching on an octopus just off the port side. Our whale spotted Kira, kept an eye on the dolphins for us while we watched for Sharks at our Sister Company, Marine Dynamics. Unfortunately, no sharks were seen, so we moved in search of the dolphins.
The two dolphins were hunting for fish very close to the shore at De Clyde reef, this reef runs from the mainland all the way to the island, and is covered by a kelp forest. Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins get their name from the fatty hump on their back, and our bay is the furthest west these animals are seen on the African Coast. They are only around 500 of these beautiful creatures left, and often come in close contact with human activities as they tend to reside in less than 20 meters of water. Amazingly, while watching the dolphins we were greeted by an amazing flock of Cape Cormorants fishing in the area.
Deciding to leave our dolphin friends behind, we headed into deeper water behind Dyer Island in search of our only resident whale species, the Bryde’s Whale, named a Norwegian man Johan Bryde, who set up some of the first modern whaling stations in South Africa. Before reaching deeper waters, two young African Penguins were sighted of the starboard side of the vessel. The two juveniles, known as blues, have a tough life, often swimming up to 60km a day in search of food.
Again, we were unsuccessful in spotting a whale, and headed off back to the island into Shark Alley, to say hello to the 60,000 strong Cape Fur Seal Colony on Geyser Rock. The pups were especially cute today, most playing in the pools on the edge of the rock, amongst them was a gorgeous Oyster Catcher with bright red eyes and beak. Despite the name, Oyster Catcher, these birds mainly feed on mussels, limpets and mussels worms found in the intertidal zone at low tide.
Once more, we made the journey over to shark cage diving vessel, for one last attempt for a shark. and were a bit unlucky that we couldn’t get a glimpse of these stunning animals. However, what a great day on the water, managing 3 out the Marine Big 5.
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