Guide Summary and Photographs
One of the most incredible things about the ocean is that it is ever changing. From one day to the next, it is impossible to predict what one might find between the ever-present movement of the waves. Today, we were treated to the sighting of a lifetime by a pair of Southern Right Whales, who completely surpassed our expectations for the day.
We began our trip in shallow water, where we spent some time with our beloved Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins. We had a few individuals about and watched them for a bit as they surfaced between the swell, with Kira keeping his eyes open for any other wildlife that might be of interest.
It was then that he spotted a distinctive V-shaped blow, which is unique only to the Southern Right Whale. Excited at the prospect of watching one of the world’s most iconic cetaceans, we changed our course and slowly approached what looked like a lone adult.
We watched this gentle giant surface a few times, admiring her sheer size when something magical happened. Beside this female, a tiny little calf popped up for a breath of air, to the absolute delight of all aboard. Southern Right Whales come into our sheltered bays every year to have their little ones, but with peak calving season being in August, we were taken a back by the presence of such a gorgeous little baby in the bay.
At this moment, we seemed to have caught the attention of this new addition, with it slowly making its way towards our trusty boat, Whale Whisperer. When mom realized where baby was off to, she followed suit, putting herself between boat and baby whilst checking out the situation for herself, moving just below us. This movement alone was enough to leave us all speechless as we were given a bird’s eye view of her enormous tail.
With the whales being so close to our vessel, we put our engines in neutral and watched in amazement as mom allowed baby to inch ever closer, whilst keeping a watchful eye from a safe distance. Baby surfaced a few meters from the boat at first, before diving down and disappearing for a moment or two.
This was however short lived, when a dark shadow began to move directly below the surface of the boat. For the crew, this was a surreal moment. Despite having hundreds and hundreds of hours of experience out on the ocean, none of us where quite prepared for the prospect of this little whale surfacing only an arm’s length away.
As it became clear that that was exactly what he intended on doing, we waited, awestruck and desperate for him to come up. Moments later, our wildest dreams were surpassed when he broke through the water column and emerged directly below us, giving off a blow. Having been just above him at the time, as a guide I could not help but to be reduced to tears. There is nothing in this world more incredible than sharing a moment with a completely wild animal who feels comfortable enough to approach without any provocation, and it is a memory that will last a lifetime not only in my heart, but in the hearts all those who joined us aboard today. Watch the video Here.
After this extraordinary sighting, we went on to see a few very relaxed African Penguins, some Giant Petrels and even a Sun Fish before catching up with two adult Humpback Whales behind Dyer Island. We got to see these whales fluke and blow bubbles as they cruised along, taking advantage of their relaxed nature for some great photographic opportunities. Last but not least, we got to spend some time with our comedic Cape Fur Seal colony. There were hundreds of seals in the water as we pulled up, and we spent a few moments marveling at the playful nature of the pups, some of which had picked up sponges and feathers to be used as toys.
This was our final stop for the day and after this, we head back to the harbor with memories that will last a lifetime.
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