Guide Summary and Photographs
On this side of the world, checking the weather forecast is often a pointless exercise as it is forever changing, we were reminded of this today when the rain hit 2 hours too late, just as we started the safety briefing for our first trip of the day. This entailed a slight change in plan, with us dressing all of our lovely clients in the fashionable combination of khaki and orange before heading down to the boat.
Luckily, we did not have to travel too far to find what we were looking for, with some Southern Right Whales just in front of the Uilenkraalsmond Estuary. At first, we spent some time with a mother and calf pair, cruising slowly with them as they moved effortlessly through the swells. Whilst watching them, we caught sight of a spy hopping individual, peeping at us just one swell over, so we decided to go and say hi.
This was a super friendly sub adult Southern Right and we spent the next 20 minutes watching the antics of this cool fellow, who seemed to be completely undeterred by the rain. It started off with some rolling around, the belly up, flipper-slapping kind of fun we love to see. At this point, it had started to rain pretty heavily which seemed to just enhance the sighting. In today’s society, we are often guilty of being so obsessed with capturing the moment that we don’t take the time to actually be present in it. It’s amazing how nature almost forces us to do the latter. After the rain had subsided, this curious creature gave us a spectacular sight when it spy hopped with a piece of kelp on its bonnet! We watched this dude for a little while longer before heading on down to Dyer Island.
We found the whales in a similar spot on our second trip, with 2 mother and calf pairs and another sub adult. Southern Right Whales are said to start breeding sometime around the age of 8 years old, but it is documented that some whales will make the journey north into our waters a couple of years before sexual maturity. A possible theory for this is that they arrive in our waters to learn the “tricks of the trade” before coming up to breed later on down the line.
The whales seemed especially playful today with us also getting to watch a little calf have an absolute ball with a piece of Kelp. Much like human children, little whales love to fool around and this little dude won all of our hearts by thoroughly enjoying himself. The kelp started off close to the head and eventually ended up on the tail of this gorgeous baby, much to the delight of many on board.
This trip also struck some luck with our little African Penguins, with us spotting 2 rafts and a lone juvenile during the trip. These were not the only cool birds around today, with the Cape Cormorants flying about by the hundred and the Bank Cormorants huddling up of the keel of the Prince Port.
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