Guide Summary and Photographs
We had an exciting morning out at sea, with us heading out bright and early to beat the wind predicated for later in the afternoon. We set out on our old faithful, Whale Whisperer, and made our way towards The Shallows. The very first sighting of the day was visible as we excited the harbor, so we took a quick stop to take in the sight of thousands of little black birds making their way towards Danger Point.
These were none other than the Cape Cormorants, our most numerous seabird.With a little mist in the background and the mountains turning a shade of purple in the early morning sun, it was a picture perfect scene and we spent a couple of moments here, watching as they moved effortlessly above the waves in pursuit of something to eat. Once we had seen our fill of this endangered species, we moved on towards the Uilenkraalsmond estuary and soaked in the sight of several Box Jellyfish floating about.
A group of Jellyfish is called a smack, and our Box Jellies are known to swarm in large numbers off of our coast, providing a great feeding ground for the worlds largest bony fish, the Mola Mola. Although there were no Mola Molas in sight, the jellies are a treat in themselves as it is not everyday that we have these curious creatures around the boat.After moving through the swell and towards The Shallows, we took a quick stop at one of the shark cage diving boats where we had a Great White lurking below the surface of the water. These sharks are known to frequent the surface a little more than most species, which is pretty awesome for us as it means that there is always a chance to spot one of these incredible predators, later in the trip, a couple of lucky clients were also treated to the sight of another species out in the deep blue.
This came in the form of a Blue Shark which popped up as we were searching for the elusive Brydes Whale. These sharks are usually find a little further off the coast but, we’ve been very lucky to have a few sightings of them recently. These pelagic animals are a huge fan of foods such as squid and Cuttlefish and can grow to an impressive size of around 3m. Although not everyone got to see this beautiful creature, it’s certainly great to know that they’re out there!Our next stop was with our favorite pinnipeds over in Shark Alley, where most of our Cape Fur Seals seemed to be in the mood to play. As we arrived, we found hundreds of the little guys in the water, enjoying the cool Atlantic ocean. We also had one pesky seal try to assist with our water reading, grabbling the YSI and attempting to start a game of tug of war before realizing that the head of the instrument was not, in fact, a tasty fish. Whilst in the alley, we also spotted not 1 but 3 African Penguins on Geyser Rock!
As we were leaving the alley, we were alerted to a seabird in distress which saw us heading towards The Shallows once more. A Southern Giant Petrel had the unfortunate experience of having a Great White Shark attempt to sample him. As we moved towards the boats, we spotted the poor fellow and sprung in to action. Kira, who has over a decade of animal rescues behind his belt, gently scooped up the bird and brought him aboard, calming him down by wrapping him in a towel and allowing him to sit in the bathroom until he could be collected by Mervin, one of our rehabilitators from our Seabird sanctuary.
This was not the only good deed we managed today, with us having removed both a buoy line and a plastic balloon from the ocean with the help of some young up and coming conservationists, who we expect to be waging a war on plastic very soon.