Magnificent humback whales

August 16, 2012 by dyertrust

southern right whaleThe humpback whales have been magnificent this July! By passing through the area as cargo trains they blew our minds in how precise and predicable they re-surface. It has been an absolutely pleasure to track them from the water tower!

Another great pleasure is that the southern right whales have been observed on each and every tracking trip from the end of July. So we can say for sure that they have returned to the area for the season.

At the end of the month Emma Fitzmaurice Vestergaard, 0ur new volunteer arrived from Denmark. She will be with us for 4 months. Emma is already a great part of the team and cracks data like a machine. Peet Botes left after spending his 3 weeks of his Uni-holiday with us. Peet was of great help particularly on the whale watching boat, where many guests benefitted from his passionately talks about the amazing wildlife in our area. Thank you Peet for your help.

Katja and her toiletOne of the big highlights of the month was the establishment of a rental toilet at the base of the water tower! Not onlyhave the days sometimes been long at the top of the tower but they have also been a bit extra nerve-wracking climbing down after a full tracking day of 8 hours with out access to a toilet.

The new level of comfort was celebrated with the favorite Danish tortoise chocolates Toms skildpadder. The little blue life-saviour was named space-craft due to its looks. Upon arrival it was equipped with a lock and it was safely moored to the ground, as the winds can be harsh at Pearly Beach. The space-craft is rented from Overberg Scaffold & Machine hire in Gansbaai.

The winter weather beat usup withone storm after the other, so the tracking team has also spend a few days on land getting the local public at Pearly Beach more involved in the project. Dedicated locals are now reporting sightings of dolphin species in the area.

Two days which had been long awaited for was when the Wilderness Wildlife Safari arrived with an exclusive team of photographers. Their goal was to get images of the whales after they had been spending dedicated time in False Bay with the sharks and in Botswana with everything from lions chasing leopards to well fed crocodiles.

TThe water tower at Pearly Beachhe Whale Whisperer set out on a marine-safari on two stunning weather days where the sea was as calm as on a summer day The photographers was challenged and entertained by acrobatic southern right whales breaching more than 10 times right next to the boat and a steamtrain of 3 humpback whales breaking the surface 4-5 times ending off with showing their huge flukes and disappearing before the next spectacular surfacing event just after 6 minutes -This ensured that the photo team achieved unique pictures of these impressive animals!

As part of the visit a special photoclub evening was held at Grootbos, where Chris McLennan and Dana Allen shared their experience and stunning pictures with the local photoclub from Gansbaai. (Seehttp://cmphoto.co.nz/and http://www.photosafari-africa.net/about.html)

The Wilderness Wildlife Trust is one of the main sponsors of our cetacean research project and their contribution is highly valued. Thank you!