Guide Summary and Photographs
With only 3 trips out today, our first launch was a little later, with us hitting the sea at around 10 to see what all was out there and the sightings certainly did not disappoint…
Our first stop of the day was with a pair of Southern Right Whales only about 5 minutes outside of the harbour. This mom and calf were simply relaxing in the area when we came in for a closer look, and we got to watch them cruise slowly before baby became a little more active. The motivation for the baby’s tomfoolery was the presence of a young Cape Fur Seal, who had decided to take a break from his morning’s fishing in favour of some much needed play time. Although we do not see it every day, it is not uncommon for our Cape Fur Seals to buddy up for some whales for a bit, with this serving as a bit of protection for them against our apex White Sharks who also frequent the shallow waters.
Like an oceanic Timon and Pumba, whale calf and seal had a ball of a time rolling around together, which was an incredibly special thing to witness. For what felt like hours, we watched as the little calf turned over onto its back with flippers in the air whilst seal also gave us some – minute- flipper action. After this special sight, we hugged the coast along to our sister company, Marine Dynamics, where we watched a Bronze Whaler move with curiosity around Slashfin. Following this, we took a stop at our Cape Fur Seal colony before making our way towards the mainland.
We started off the second trip of the day with a Humpback Dolphin sighting, with 2 of these shy cetaceans fooling around in front of the Uilenkraalsmond estuary. In their midst, we also had a Cape Fur Seal who was seemingly intent on stealing the show. This little seal kept us all guessing, coming up exactly like the dolphins to the amusement of all on-board. Our Southern Right Whales were simply stunning on this trip, with us being surrounded by mom and calf pairs at one stage in the trip. The animals were also in super shallow water, so it was awesome to see how they kicked up the sand as they moved around the bay, creating whale footprints with the sediment from below. We also had a Bronze Whaler on this trip.
The final tour of the day commenced around lunch time and man, did the whales give us a show. It started off with an active mom calf pair rolling around close to the estuary. After watching their flippers and flukes go crazy, we found a calf lob tailing, which is when they slap their tails against the water. Sound travels far faster under the water, so this is said to be a form of communication although this little one looked like he was simply enjoying life. This calf seemed to have a difficult time deciding whether he wanted to slap the water with his tail or his flippers, so he did both, sometimes at the same time, to our absolute delight. In the distance, we spotted another calf breaching and approached to see it breach again to one but 15 times! This was absolutely breath taking and something we will all treasure for a long time!
We got to see some huge Bronze Whalers next, with this species of shark getting to around 3.5m in length. After watching 4 of them circle, we moved on into the famous waters of Shark Alley. after getting our daily dose of sea dog in the form of our Cape Fur Seals, we cruised slowly back to port, hearts content.
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