Skippers’ Log: Hermanus Whale Season 2019
Since kicking off our whale season back in June, we have had one of the most spectacular and varied seasons on record. (Let’s not dwell on the abundance of long cold fronts and ‘no sea’ days)
Our Hermanus whale season begins in June, annually and this year the Humpback whales were ever present from the start, we probably had the most Humpback whale sightings during the months of June and July than any other year of operation.
The Southern right whales made a slower than usual arrival and we had our first sighting on the 14th June 2019. Since then we have been humbled daily, watching these gentle giants of the ocean. Although most articles of 2019 have spoken about low southern right whale numbers, what’s overlooked is the marine expo on offer right here on Hermanus’ doorstep – Brydes whales have been a staple for both the beginning and end parts of the season, going against the grain several times becoming curious and interacting with the vessel as guests onboard get an awesome experience and photographic opportunity.
The semi-resident Bottlenose dolphin pod has been witnessed regularly, a couple of sightings of humpback dolphins as well as some spectacular mega-pods of common dolphins in the bay, setting into motion a ‘boiling water’ effect around the boat.
In August, while watching one such mega-pods, we were then distracted by the arrival of a pod of Orca, setting crew and guests alike into a frenzy with excitement, no one onboard wanting the magnificent spectacle to end, guests of that trip became immediate “SRC” family, sharing with us one of the highlight sightings of the decade.
Great white sharks, Cape fur seals, birds and the African penguins were among other sightings of the 2019 season as well as Mola-mola sunfish. One sunfish, in particular we saw so regularly and could be easily distinguished by its noticeable scar tissue, the crew even named him Donald!
It is amazing how much nostalgia each season brings, how many memories and people from across the globe we meet but this year has been particularly special as we celebrate our 20 Year Anniversary! That said all good things must come to an end, yesterday’s 9h00 departure marked the end of our 2019 peak whale watching season. As after much thought, a week of mixed viewings in the bay and some strong westerly winds forecasted over the coming days, it was decided it’s time to call it a wrap!
During yesterdays trip, guests onboard chatted with crew about the season and, after a 2-hour search were lucky when we encountered a large Brydes whale and 10 minutes later, most fitting to see the season out – one of the last Southern Right Whales in the area. Perfect way to end the season.
We look forward to sun filled summer season offering our Marine Safari tours and wish all a Happy Festive Season!
Our Peak whale watching season has sadly come to an end for 2019.We look forward to sun filled summer season conducting our Marine Safari tours & wish all a Happy Festive Season! Music credit – 'Vacation' by Dirty Heads
Posted by Southern Right Charters on Friday, 29 November 2019