Guide Summary and Photographs
It was here that the fun really began, with us passing around the stipe and leaves of this fast-growing plant. Whilst doing this, we got an interesting question about why the seaweed is as slimy as it is! There are a few different theories for this, with the first being that it allows the pant to be nice and flexible so that it’s not damaged by the waves. This mucus layer is also said to help the carbon cycle take place within kelp forests. This mucus appears to have all the right nutrients to allow the bacteria to grow, which allows that bacteria to assist in the carbon cycle. Carbon is an essential part of life, with plants using carbon to produce food for themselves. Once we’d done playing with the kelp, we head in the direction of Pearly Beach in search of some whales.
Sure enough, we were lucky to happen upon 2 gorgeous Humpback Whales who were milling around in slightly deeper water. These whales were really relaxed and we got to spend some time with them, waiting in anticipation when they stayed down and snapping many photos when they surfaced. We got to see the beautiful flukes of these animals twice as they lifted their tails to make some depth. Interestingly, one of these whales was a little scratched up, which could be from rubbing against another Humpback Whale and all the barnacles that call that whale home.
After our time with the whales, we moved on towards Geyser Rock where our Cape Fur Seals were waiting patiently for their turn to shine. These playful pinnipeds are always a delight to watch, with every seal being on their own mission. We also had a juvenile African Penguin attempting to climb on to Geyser Rock, which was quite a cute sight to behold.
We found several more Penguins as we exited Shark Alley, and we were lucky to have these guys really close to the boat. When we find slightly larger groups, they tend to be ore relaxed and today was no exception. Once we’d seen our fair share of these beauties, we head back to the harbor with 3 of the Marine Big 5 ticked off.