Guide Summary and Photographs
A bit of a different start to our morning today as first trip departed from Gansbaai harbour due to low tide in Kleinbaai. We welcomed on board a group from Gansbaai High School who were very much excited to see what we could show them. Just before we headed around Danger Point into the Dyer Island System, we managed to spot a variety of bird life ranging from the Cape Gannet, Cormorants, Terns and even a lone African Penguin. The African Penguin has a sad tale to tell in recent times. Since the harvesting of guano on Dyer Island, they have been without a place to nest and raise their chicks. Due to this, their eggs have been picked off by kelp gulls and other larger predatory birds have been feeding on the exposed penguin chicks. Even in some cases, the harsh African sun would become too much for the parent birds to bare, leaving the unprotected egg to fry in the heat to cool off in the water and avoid dehydration. Fortunately for the penguins, the Dyer Island Conservation trust has been placing artificial houses of the island for breeding pairs and also set up a rehabilitation sanctuary for injured or sick birds. We were also treated to beautiful Arctic Skua on our way to Dyer Island.
Lastly, we headed for the famous Shark Alley where we would find our stronghold of 60,000 Cape Fur Seals on Geyser Rock. Our playful little pinniped friends were in full swing today. The juveniles were playing and porpoising in the water, the newly born pups causing a commotion on the rock and even some bull seals were seen creating a ruckus in a small pool. Sexual dimorphism is prevalent in this particular seal species, males are significantly larger than the females and have a bushy mane of light fur. Cape Fur Seals are not true seals as their ears are external, true seals have internal ears. Upon this we headed back to Kleinbaai to depart on our second trip for the day.
On our second trip, we had barely left the harbour before spotting 4 Indian ocean humpback dolphins, these guys were very curious of our boat today which was very special as they are usually quite shy and elusive. The curious trio hung around us for a while allowing for some gorgeous photo opportunities even displaying some awesome behaviour such as tail slapping and even swimming on the backs. Our next sighting of the day was a lone African Penguin, just in front of Dyer Island. This little guy was not fazed by us at all and let us get very close to him, giving the clients a great opportunity to view the bird in its natural environment. We then headed towards Geyser Rock again to say hello to our seals, the rock seemed to be a bit busier than before. We spent some time with the stinky seals before heading towards Danger Point and then back into the harbour, a great day at sea with some awesome sightings on both trips.
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