Southern right whales arrive in bay

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THE weather was too bad to go hunting for humpback whales at Cape Recife so we took our guests to St Croix in the hope of finding something along the way.

Although we saw penguins and Cape gannets diving, and a small pod of bottlenose dolphins near the island, our guests were disappointed.

We ran along the shore as we headed back to the harbour, hoping we might be lucky enough to find the first southern right whales of the season. And lucky we were!

All of a sudden we were surrounded by whales. Close by were three adult males fighting for the attention of a female.

A grey juvenile (perhaps the white calf from last year!) was spotted swimming away from the action.

A little further south three more were seen breaching and playing.

If all of that wasn’t enough, about 15 minutes after we reluctantly left the first group, we were joined by two more who got so close to the boat they almost head-butted it.

We ended the tour when they seemingly waved goodbye and decided that was enough for us.

After having two years of seeing hardly any southern right whales in the bay, and when they are seen they only stay for a week or two, we are hit with 10 in one day. Let’s hope we continue to see more action this year.

Three were spotted two days later in the same area, near Coega, and we hope the others only moved further into the bay, towards Woody Cape, and will be seen again nearer to Port Elizabeth soon.

Ellie Bottomley, Raggy Charters, Port Elizabeth

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