Guide Summary and Photographs
We were super lucky out at sea again today, with most of our whale watching happening just in front of our tiny little Harbour.
With 4 trips planned for the day, we set out early this morning with our first group of clients in search of nature’s finest. Well, when I say “in search”…we actually had to do very little searching all throughout the day.
We came across our first Southern Right Whales just a little while out the harbour, with single whales popping up in all directions. Southern Right Whales are generally travelling alone, only forming groups in their mating grounds in the hopes of creating some beautiful baby whales. After watching a few singles move about early in the trip, we got to watch a bit of magic unfold. We had a mating group come together right in front of our eyes, quite literally right under our noses. The whales had been down for a bit only to re-emerge only meters away from the boat, with 4 of these curious creatures surfacing to our absolute awe.
On this trip, we went on to see a Sunfish – also known as a Moonfish or Mola Mola-, our adorable Cape fur Seals and the teeny tiniest member of our marine big 5, the African Penguin. We happened upon some fluffy, juvenile birds just as we were heading towards Gansbaai harbour, which is always a delightful sight.
We launched our second trip out of Gansbaai due to spring tide, and caught up with the Southern Rights just in front of Black Sophie’s Rock. Black Sophie’s rock marks the harbour from a distance and has quite a scandalous tale attached. Sophie was a mistress from Cape Town who used to place a lantern on this large outcrop when she had women “available” to the guano harvesters of Dyer Island. Lucky, the only flirtation we now see in this area is that of the whales, which we thoroughly enjoyed watching on this trip. Some African Penguins, a Bronze Whaler Shark and 60 000 Cape Fur Seals later; we made our way back to port to fetch our next group.
This trip had a tremendous approach from some curious Southern Right whales only 5 minutes into their tour. The whales came over not once but twice, checking us out for a bit before heading back down under the water. There is nothing quite as exciting as having these gentle giants stick their heads out of the water only an arm’s length away from the boat as this is when one really gets a sense of the size of these 60 tonne Baleen beauties.
On the very last trip of the day, we had a truly exceptional time with our whales, who were incredibly lively. We watched these guys frolic and flirt around in the breakers for a bit before they came a little closer. Though some might argue that a full on approach by 5 Right Whales was the highlight of this trip, for me, it was one playful guy who really stole the show. After the whales had approached the boat, they dispersed a bit with one staying pretty close at around 3 O’clock. This playful star picked up a large Kelp Plant with its bonnet callosity (the thing that looks like the nose) and proceeded to come a bit closer, almost like a puppy showing off its new toy.
As if all of the above had not been enough, a few lucky clients got the experience of a lifetime, courtesy of a whale popping up and exhaling right next to them, creating just enough water vapour to give them a light spray.
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