Guide Summary and Photographs
What a stunning trip! We had around 30 people join us out on our tour today, and it was lovely to be able to share the trips awesome sights with such a lovely group of people. Today is the last new moon for the year, but, since it’s still pretty quiet we were able to launch from Kleinbaai and return to our tiny little harbour 2 hours later.
We didn’t get very far out the harbour today before spotting our first bit of wildlife. One of our little Cape Fur Seals had caught himself an early lunch in the form of a Cuttlefish! We happened upon this sight just as he had gobbled down the last bit of the meal, but, his prey of choice was easily identified by the cuttle fish bone left behind. Cuttle fish are a type of Mollusc belonging to the class cephalopoda. These fish use their cuttle bone to control their buoyancy by chopping and changing the gas to liquid ratio in the bone as they move from different depths in the water column. After we had watched both the seal and a Kelp Gull try their luck with the bone, which is often used by South Africans as a toy for domestic birds, we head off onwards, towards the shallows. On the way, we spotted a Sun Fish, which gave us a nice, close pass before we moved on.
At a depth of around 12m deep, this area is where we do the majority of our diving throughout the year. When we pulled up, a few of our clients caught sight of a Bronze Whaler (Copper Shark) at one of the cage diving vessels. These large, predatory sharks are best known for their love of sardines, which they trail along our coast during the annual sardine run. We moved off after this, making our way all the way to the other side of Pearly Beach, hoping to catch sight of a cetacean or 2.
As luck would have it, we found both our Southern Right Whales as well as a lone Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin. We spotted the whales first and slowly approached them, spending some time watching them move through the swell. These animals epitomise grace, moving effortlessly and surfacing occasionally for a breath. These guys are voluntary breathers who need to come up every so often, with them exhaling warm air, creating that famous “blow” that most mistake for water. Southern Rights have quite s distinctive V-shape blow that we’re going to miss in the months to come. Whilst taking this all in, we had a Humpback Dolphin join the party, travelling very shallow and giving us a good show before disappearing into slightly more shallow water. We moved on to a second pair of Southern Rights before making our way towards Shark Alley
Today was definitely one of those days where one could smell the seals before you could see them but, despite this, we had a wonderful time observing South Africa’s Only endemic seal species. Occasionally, we have an elephant seal or a Sub Antarctic fur seal in our waters but, for the most part, we share this little piece of paradise with only our Cape Fur Seals, who stay here all throughout the year.
Our last stop of the day was at Sponge bay, were we spotted some African Penguins sitting in their usual little valley, just above the water line.
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