Guide Summary and Photographs
We had two whale watching trips today and were blessed with gorgeous weather and amazing whale sightings on both!
On our first trip we headed out on our larger vessel Dream Catcher straight towards Danger Point to find some whales. Before finding the whales we had the unusual sight of a Cape Fur Seal eating an octopus. With such amazing visibility, we were able to watch it swim with the octopus and throw it about. We watched it for a while before returning to our search for whales.
It wasn’t long before we were successful! The species of whale we found, and are seeing mostly at the moment, is the Humpback Whale. This species doesn’t stay here, rather we are on their migration route to the warmer waters off Mozambique where they breed, feed, and calve. They are a confident species and the four individuals we had around us certainly were not afraid. They gave us plenty of close views and surfaced in synchronization many times! Interestingly Humpbacks do not live as long as some other species of whale, having a lifespan of 45-50 years. In contrast, the oldest Bowhead Whale found was over 200 years old!
After the enjoying whales, we moved to Dyer Island and Geyser rock to watch our colony of Cape Fur Seals. This playful bunch were enjoying the sunshine as much as we were! However their two layers of fur (hence the name “Fur Seal”) means that they can overheat easily, so many were in the water cooling off. They do this by sticking their flippers into the air, much the same way elephants do when they flap their ears, this is called thermoregulation.
After a quick stop at the cage diving site and a glimpse of the mighty Great White Shark it was time to head back to the harbour and enjoy some nice hot soup.
For the second trip we were on Whale Whisperer, our smaller vessel, and similarly headed to the deeper water nearing Danger Point to look for whales. Success again!!! This time we had a pair of Humpbacks who were incredibly playful. We had many flukes shown and one even waved his pectoral fin in the air! This behaviour is called “pectoral slapping” and is believed to be used as either a form of communication, fun, or courting. Humpback Whales pectoral fins are unique in their length as they are proportionally the longest of all whales, reaching up to 15 feet long.
We left the whales to their playing after a while and visited our seal colony again. As above, they were basking in the sun and regulating their temperature in the waters of Shark Alley. These seals are a type of eared seal, which is different to true seals (such as Grey Seals and Leopard Seals), in that they have external ears and a rotational pelvis. This rotational pelvis is what allows them to climb the rocks of Dyer Island and walk on land more easily than true seals.
Lastly we took a short stop at our cage diving boat where we had a good view of a couple of Great White Sharks as they swam past the cage. One was 4.3m and one was 2.5m.
Overall we had great trips out and hope everyone enjoyed our incredible species!!!
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