Guide Summary and Photographs
We’re still super busy on this side of the world with us running 4 trips a day! This is really easy for us to pull off due to the abundance of whales that we have in the area at the moment!!
We launched our very first trip at 8:00 out of Kleinbaai harbour and found our first Southern Right Whales only a few minutes out of the harbour. For whatever reasons, it seems as though the whales are thoroughly enjoying our bay at the moment, and we actually had no need to go to Pearly Beach at all today! Like yesterday, we had mostly moms and calves around and we got to see some beautiful interactions due to this. Next, we stopped at Slashfin where we were lucky to catch sight of a Bronze Whaler Shark. Bronze Whalers have become a welcome addition at the Shark Cage Diving Vessels this year, with their copper coloration brightening up trips when the White Sharks are a little more shy! A few thousand Cape Fur Seals and a couple of African Penguins later, we head around Danger Point to pick up our next group of clients from Gansbaai harbour.
This tour got to see 2 different species of whale, with us find a Brydes Whale whilst travelling towards Uilenkraalsmond. The Brydes are the smallest of the species of whale that we find here and also the most mysterious, as their shy nature makes them a little more tricky to study. What we do know is that they love a good school of fish when they get the munchies, with them following the shoals which occur along our coast. We also had beautiful Southern Right Whales around, with at last 3 pairs of moms and calves in the vicinity of Franskraal beach. This trip also got lucky at Slashfin, with a Bronze Whaler or two hanging around Slashfin when we took a stop here. We finished up this trip by taking a stop at our Cape Fur Seal colony.
Trip 3 saw us heading straight to where the action was, back into the turquoise waters of the shallows where we had a few more moms and calves around. On this trip, we had the appearance of a super cute little calf. This unique baby had white speckles on its back and a face that kind of looked like a paint palette, with a gorgeous mixture of black and grey pigmentation. This baby was also quite the performer, giving us a great show which included some slapping the water with its little flipper. We also had a lovely raft of African Penguins on this Trip, which we found as we were moving around Dyer Island back towards the harbour.
We caught up with the little calf below and its mom on the last trip of the day too, with them coming in for a closer look, much to the delight of all aboard. The wind also picked up slightly in the afternoon which meant that we got to see a few breaches from afar. Breaching is a skill that the little calves will learn in our waters before making the long migration down to the sub Antarctic’s. We went on to spot 3 other members of the Marin Big 5 on this tour with an active Bronze Whaler at Slashfin, our Cape Fur Seals at Geyser Rock and a nice raft of African Penguins moving through Shark Alley.
Follow up to a question about buoyancy:
Bony Fish – Bony Fish have a Swim Bladder, which is a gas filled chamber that is adjusted by a gland in order to reach neutral buoyancy whilst travelling from areas of different pressure levels in the ocean.
Great Whites – Great Whites and other shark species have oil rich livers which help them to achieve neutral buoyancy. The oil is not as dense as the water, whilst the shark itself is heavier than the surrounding water.
Cuttle Fish – Cuttle fish have a cuttle bone with gas filled chambers which assist in their buoyancy, the bones are said to implode in really deep water which is why most Cuttle Fish are found in relatively shallow areas only going down to several hundred metres.
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