Daily Trip 29 December 2017
Cape Cormorants by the thousands!
Written by Jax, December 30 2017
Guide Summary and Photographs
We had 2 trips out on Dream Catcher today, with a bit of an easterly blowing. Wind is a staple feature in our summer months here in the Western Cape, and is part of the reason we have such an abundance of life along this part of the coastline. Our summer winds cause a phenomenon known as upwelling, which is when the cold water from the bottom of the ocean moves to the surface due to the warm water being displaced by the wind. With that cold water, we see a lot of nutrients moving towards the top of the water column, bring a lot of fish into the area.
There was no shortage of fish around today, with us spotting numerous species of birds out there, including a mega flock of the endangered Cape Cormorant on both trips. An absolutely spectacular sight to behold, these birds leave their nesting grounds of Dyer Island by the thousands, flying over the ocean in formation on the lookout for schooling fish. Although they look quite plan from a distance, these guys are quite pretty as far as cormorants go, with blue eyes and an orange gape.
On the first trip of the day, we got to see 2 of the Marine Big 5, with our first sighting being of a little African Penguin. This little dude was trying his luck for some fish in the shallows, and was really relaxed when we stopped to have a look. The African Penguin was previously known as a jackass penguin due to them making a “braying” sound which sounds a lot like a donkey.
After this, we stopped by the cage diving boats which were a little slow so, we moved to Dyer Island where we spent some time with the Cape Fur Seals. We’re starting to see less of our big males around, with most of them now returning to the open ocean where they are likely to stay until the next breeding season.
Trip 2 started off with a sighting of a Copper Shark at Slashfin. The Coppers are a gorgeous species of requiem shark that we’ve only been seeing for the last few months are so. Although smaller than the White Sharks, these guys are by no means less impressive.
We then spotted some African Penguins on the way to Dyer island, and finished off our tour with some quality time with the seals.
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