Guide Summary and Photographs
Everything about today’s trip was absolutely perfect, we had an amazing time out on a flat sea with some awesome sightings. We launched at 11:00 with a relatively empty boat and head out towards Franskraal beach to go and do our daily YSI reading, spotting a mega flock of Cape Cormorants along the way. . After doing a little science, we moved towards Jouberts Dam, in the hopes of getting to check out some sharks.
On our stop today, the visibility was beautiful and we got to see a Bronze Whaler Shark come in for the bait. Although not as stocky as our White Sharks, the largest Copper Shark caught weighed just over 300kg so these guys do manage to grow to quite an impressive size! This species is also known to move along the coast, with one tagged individual travelling an impressive feat of 1 300km. Once we’d seen this beauty, we head off to see what else the ocean had in store for us.
We didn’t have to travel long to find our favourite coastal dwelling cetacean, the Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin. We had 3 dolphins fooling around in the Clyde and we had a lovely time observing them as they moved around the boat. At first, the animals were pretty shallow but, after a while they came in a little closer, giving us some great looks.
Fast forward a little, and we found ourselves on the Other side of Pearly Beach where we hit the jackpot and found 2 Southern Right Whale pairs in shallow water. The first were travelling slowly, coming up every few minutes and giving us some great photographic opportunities, the next where playing in between the kelp which was very special to be able to witness. Much like us terrestrial mammals, your marine mammals love to play, with this also serving the important purpose of teaching the little ones how to communicate and avoid predators. We watched as these two beauties rolled about, with us seeing the tips of the tail and mom popping her head out of the water every now and then. The journey down to the Sub Antarctics will be a long but rewarding one as they will be heading into the krill and copepod rich waters that we associate with the lower latitudes.
Once we’d had our share of this majestic species, we head a little deeper out into the ocean as it was a perfectly still day. We all really enjoyed the silence and the sea breeze until we spotted a second species of whale. The Brydes Whale is a shy, residential species of whale that follows the fish along the coast. This is the time of year that we begin to spend some more time with this mysterious species, which is really exciting for all of us on board. We watched this whale surface a few times, which is a little different from watching Southern Rights as these guys do have a dorsal fin. After this, we moved into world famous waters.
In Shark Alley, we did another YSI reading and cruised along past our seal colony, with the kids on board having an absolute ball to the sight of 60 000 seals. Our seals look a little like dogs, which is enough to make the hearts of most of us swell, and they’re just as playful. We really wanted to complete our Marine Big 5 experience after this, so we stopped at Sponge Bay to point out some African Penguins on Dyer Island.
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