Guide Summary and Photographs
Once more it was perfect weather and calm seas as we left Kleinbaai harbour in search of our Marine Big 5. The unique Dyer Island ecosystem hosts an abundance of life due the clashing of the cool nutrient rich waters of the Benguela Current off the east coast and the warm waters of the Agulhas Current off the west coast. The mixing of these currents coupled with an estuary running into our bay, can support a huge variety of species, some of which we spotted today on our marine safari.
The first of these was our Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins, again seen patrolling just off De Clyde reef. The pair of cetaceans are known to us in our extensive data base, both seen frequently in recent weeks. The rarest cetacean species in south Africa is only around 2.5 – 3 meters in length and are generally shy around boats. This was not the case for these beautiful animals as the surfaced many times close to our vessel providing us with many great shots. We were incredibly lucky to see these two as the population as a whole is believed to be around 500 individuals.
Leaving our flippered friends behind, it was time to head off towards our sister company, Marine Dynamics, to see if we could catch a glimpse of any sharks. As you may know, we have not seen a Great White Shark 4 weeks but have been blessed with many large bronze whalers frequenting the cage sites. We did not see any today, but our last shark tour of the day did manage to spot a white shark, ending an exact 4-week white shark drought. Again, our elusive Bryde’s Whale lived up to its reputation, the deep seas seemed a bit empty of bird life as well, suggesting that the fishing grounds may be further off shore.
However, we can always count on our pinniped pals on Geyser rock to greet us. As we headed into Shark Alley it seemed slightly empty, most adults may have been fishing on such a calm day. The pups seemed to be incredibly playful on the rock but not many were seen in the alley itself, which may have been a precursor to what was to happen later today on the shark cage diving vessel.
Our last stop before heading back to the harbour was Dyer Island to see our endangered African Penguins. We managed to spot two of these very dapper little guys on the rocks amongst thousands of cape cormorants. These tiny birds have declined around 90% in last 20 years and the Dyer Island Conservation trust is working very hard to put new penguin homes on the island to protect them from the threats they face on a day to day basis. What a day out at sea and some beautiful sights of our wonderful wildlife. For our birders on the boat, we managed to spot a white-breasted cormorant in the harbour as well as two oystercatchers, ending an amazing trip.
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