Guide Summary and Photographs
It was a gorgeous day to be out on the Atlantic with blue skies and wispy cirrus clouds all around. Recent rains have caused the landscape surrounding us to erupt into vibrant shades of green, making for a stunning cruise along the pristine Uilenkraalsmond Beach. This is how we began all of our trips today.
After hugging the coastline all the way to Jouberts Dam and the Shark Cage Diving Vessels, we like to move over into Pearly Beach. Moving over The Clyde Reef System. The Clyde below is given away by the extensive forests of sea bamboo which grow towards the light of the fiery African sun, reaching heights of up to 12m in length. This fast growing kelp species provides shelter for many different fish species and invertebrates, including Abalone.
Once we’ve crossed over the reef, we begin looking for Southern Right Whales who migrate into our sheltered bays to mate and calve. On our first trip, we found the whales pretty early in the trip although they were a little shy to begin with, becoming slightly more confident as they realised that we were no threat to them.
On the second trip, we happened upon a mating group a little closer to the small holiday village of Pearly Beach, where we were able to watch them frolic for quite some time. We spotted the whale with the white spot on its back again and happened upon another whale that we have affectionately called “knuckles”, due to the fact that we are able to see his “tail” vertebrae sticking out a bit.
Other interesting sights today included the Cape Cormorants, who were flocking in the shallows. These blue-eyed birds are most often seeing flying in a v-shaped formation, which allows them to save energy by using the uplift from the bird in front of them. They are also known to fly only over the ocean, purposefully avoiding crossing over mainland’s when moving from bay to bay in search of fish.
We also got to see a few of our endangered African Penguins, who have quite the surprise coming their way. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust team are really excited to announce that we have a new and improved Penguin House design to share. The new houses, made from environmentally friendly materials, are purposely designed to keep things cool for these vulnerable birds with the temperature range inside being between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius. This means that, with the support of donors, the penguins will be getting swanky new pads with “air conditioning” installed, which we hope will allow for both the eggs and the new-born chicks to flourish.
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