Guide Summary and Photographs
It was a chilly day out at sea with moody skies and some unpredicted rain on the second trip of the day. Lucky, our 60 tonne friends don’t seem to be too bothered about a little water from above, so we managed to have 4 successful trips.
On the first trip of the day, it was almost as if the whales were coming to us, with 3 just as we had exited the harbour. We’re getting to the stage where all the adults without calves are slowly beginning their migration back down south, so we got to see a few mother and calf pairs on this trip. We also got to see some rolling about from a few Southern Rights in the shallows whilst a Cape Fur Seal enjoyed munching on a small sting ray. Seals cannot grasp with their flippers so we watched as this little dude dismantle his breakfast by shaking it violently, breaking off some bite sized chunks.
The second trip of the day went on to launch from Gansbaai harbour due to a very low tide, caused by the gorgeous full moon. After a light drizzle leaving the harbour, the water works stopped before we found our first Southern Rights around the corner from Danger point. We went on to see a couple more a little deeper out at sea before heading towards our Cape Fur Seal colony. Here, we’re starting to see a couple more of the big bulls hauling out in preparation for their mating season. The absolute highlight of this trip was on the way back into port when we found a large pod of Bottlenose Dolphins hunting fish in the shallows. These iconic tooth whales use echolocation to find their food and are said to have a really varied diet which could include up to 70 different species.
We had a lovely 3rd trip, finding some Southern Right Whales close to Geyser Rock after heading towards the islands straight from the harbour. This was a mother and calf pair with a single whale tagging along and we got to see some spy hopping and a tail of two from these majestic specimens. This was a pretty large calf although it is probably only still a few months old. Some large whale species, such as the Right whales are said to have an incredible growth rate after birth, growing around 2.5cm a day!
The very last trip of the day had some spectacular sights, with a mother and calf pair approaching us outside the harbour and things just getting better from there on out! In the shallows, we found 2 mother and calf pairs taking it easy in the swell, with the whales playing around and exposing all the bits and bobs that we love to see, like portions of the tail flukes and those large side flippers. We also had this curious group do a close approach, showcasing the massive size difference between mom and baby. 2 Humpback dolphins also popped up at this sighting, going about their business in close proximity to the whales. We went on to see a Bronze Whaler really briefly at Slashfin before finding an awesome surprise behind Dyer Island.
We had a large Southern Right Whale breaching repeatedly as we approached and throughout our time with the Cape Fur Seals, which made for an epic end to a marvellous day at sea.
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