Guide Summary and Photographs
It was a windy, sunshine filled day with all of our whale watching happening within our bay. We had 3 trips out there on Dream Catcher. All with a unique set of sightings.
If one had to look up at the night sky at the moment, you’d find that the stars seem extra bright due to the moon being in its least illuminated stage; New moon. Because we don’t do whale watching by starlight, our sightings are not really effected by the moon but our tides definitely are.
With the above in mind, we launched out of Gansbaai harbour for our first trip and head on down, around Danger Point, moving towards the shallows. Before spotting some of the oceans largest inhabitants we took a look at some of their avian friends, with White Chinned Petrels and Cape Cormorants gracing the skies. We found our whales in front of sleepy suburb of Franskraal and spent some time with a mother and calf pair who were slowly moving through the area.
We haven’t seen too many lone adults as of late, so most of them are probably on their way down to have their first meal in a few months. After watching mom and little one for a bit, we made our way over to Slashfin where we were able to catch sight of a Bronze Whaler Shark.
The second trip of the day also had their fair share of whale action, with a few Indian Ocean Humpback dolphins to compliment! We found the dolphins in front of the Uilenkraalsmond estuary, in the same vicinity as a really relaxed couple of whales. It was hard to decide what to keep an eye on, with the dolphins coming super close and the whales being wonderfully active. As far as dolphins go, these rare cetaceans are not the most social of the species, with the average group size in our area being 10 or less individuals.
The very last trip of the day had some active Southern Right Whales around, with one mom being very generous with her tail flukes. Tip to tip, it is said that the fluke can be around 5m in length and we don’t doubt that for a second. Southern Right Whales are not the largest whales in the ocean, but they’re certainly among the chunkiest with a blubber layer up to 36cm thick.
After our time with the whales, we moved over The Clyde Reef System into Shark Alley. As we cruised through the alley, we took some time to appreciate the magnificence that is 60 000 aquatic, dog-like creatures fumble around on a 3 hectare island. We also had some Cape Fur Seals in the water, showcasing their ability to move gracefully and with minimal effort through the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
We head back to the harbour following this stop to go and enjoy some tasty soup back in our “shark” room.
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