Guide Summary and Photographs
On our first trip today, we launched out of Kleinbaai harbour and set out straight for the white, sandy dunes of Franskraal beach, eager to start our trip with a toothed whale or two in the shallows. Sure enough, after having done our daily YSI reading, we spotted a couple of Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins in the breakers. We watched these endangered cetaceans mess about in the surf for a while before heading over the Pearly Beach to try and find some whales of the baleen variety.
Although the whale sightings were a bit slow here, we did manage to find a couple of cool things to keep us all enthralled. The first was a Sunfish, a species we’ve been seeing somewhat regularly as of late. This was a slightly smaller specimen than what we’re used to, but it had some awesome spotty pigmentation which made it a delight to watch as it slowly made its way past the boat.
The second was a cuttlebone, which we mistook for plastic. Cuttlebones can often be seen floating around in our oceans, and come from Cuttlefish, who are related to octopuses and squids! Cuttlefish are exceptionally interesting creatures, with the cuttlebone being an internal shell which controls the buoyancy of these animals, much like the liver of a shark of the swim bladders of bony fish. We often find birds feeding on Cuttlefish but, these curious creatures are also predators within their own right, consuming things such as crabs and even participating in cannibalism.
Our last trip was a little luckier with the whales, with a mother and calf pair warming up to us close to Danger Point, allowing us to view them as they moved gently through the bay. We were also treated to the sight of a young Humpback whale, which we found just behind Geyser Rock. Humpback whales are always an experience to behold, coming up sporadically around the boat and arching their backs beautifully as they move through the water, sometimes exposing their unique tail flukes as they dive a little deeper.
A large Southern Right Whale was our last cetacean for the day, and we found this relaxed guy just outside of Sponge Bay, after having had a beautiful sighting of at least 10 African Penguins sitting on the guano covered rocks of Dyer Island. This whale came exceptionally close to us, checking us out from beneath the surface before we decided to head off to our sister company.
Here, we got to see a Great White Shark Behind our own boat and a bronze Whale at the bait line. Following this dose of our favourite fishy friends, we made our way back to the great White House where we had some nice warm soup awaiting us.
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