On Sunday 12 April at around 06h30 we launched with Expert Tours from the Noordhoek Ski Boat Club in a heavy sea mist and motored slowly south-east for around 5 kilometres – just free of the Noordhoek headland and directly into the path of any Dolphins that may be making their way towards Bird Island or along the coast with the sardines to feast on their required 15 to 25 kilograms of nutrition a day.
With the mist all around and no landmarks to be seen the sense of being alone is heightened along with your other senses listening for splashes and boats which may come roaring towards you trailing tendrils of mist and headed for disaster. It was just after we realised that SOMEONE had not packed the lovely sarmies that I had prepared that we heard the unmistakable rush and splash of hundreds, if not thousands of commons dolphins on a mission across the ocean – the chase was on as we accelerated to keep up with these magnificent playful creatures, who gambolled in the bow wave and wake of the Expert Tours rubber duck at 22 knots and over.
One could almost see the playful glint in their eyes as each dolphin powered up to starboard or port of the duck, leaped out of the water to measure the speed and bow wave and then accelerated toward the front of the duck, felt the push of the bow wave, leapt away and made space for the next powerful pulsating dolphin eager to show us mere mortals that we would be completely out of our depth in the depths of the ocean.
This continued for 25 kilometres as we raced across the bay. At that point the pod made a sudden change in direction towards the open sea and raced away almost as if in terror – according to Rainer, Orca had been seen in the area and the behaviour of the dolphins was indicative of being spooked by marauding Orca. Soon the dolphins were back on their mission and winging their way across Algoa Bay again with Gannets, Gulls, Skua and even Albatross in hot pursuit of the gang.
Read more and see images here: http://mype.co.za/new/expertly-guided-to-dolphins/48036/2015/04
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