OCEAN SAFARI ADVENTURE!: Enjoy unforgettable ocean encounters with Raggy Charters


A great way to experience the waters off Algoa Bay – and probably the best way to spend your Saturday, is to go on an ocean safari with Raggy Charters, which currently holds the only Boat-Based Dolphin & Whale Watching Permit for Algoa Bay.

I arrived early at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, in the PE Harbour, from where we departed at around 8.45am. Ellie Bottomley, Manageress at Raggy Charters, warmly received me and briefed us on what to expect out on the deep blue sea.

Afterwards, Lloyd Edwards, skipper and owner of Raggy Charters, and our guide joined us. I later discovered that nobody knows more about the Bay and its ocean wildlife than Lloyd. After a short briefing on safety, we sailed away.

Raggy Charters has two motorised catamarans which can carry up to 20 passengers. Their permit allows them to get as close as 50 metres to animals such as whales, dolphins, penguins, seals, sharks and seabirds, whilst other vessels are not permitted within 300 metres. They cover the longest distance of any ocean safari which lasts for about four hours and covers 50 kilometres – giving you a better chance of spotting Algoa Bay’s abundance of marine wildlife.

You will also be happy to note that proceeds from their cruises and safaris go towards furthering marine conservation in the Eastern Cape.

On this particular day, we spotted birds such as the Cape gannet, the endangered African penguin, Indian yellow-nosed and black-browed albatrosses, skuas, cormorants and terns.

Half way into the safari, the stars of the show, humpback whales and their calves, made their much-anticipated appearance. A little while later, we spotted a small pod of humpback dolphins frolicking in the waves off Pollock beach. This group even clustered around the boat - an unforgettable experience! I am sure they were just as curious about us as were about them.

We also came close to two Southern right whales. These graceful giants usually arrive in July and are often spotted very close inshore during mating season. Sadly, at around 12:00pm it was time to head back to shore.

The ocean safari had been fun, very educational and I can recommend it to families and groups wanting to try something different - nothing comes close to seeing animals in their natural environment! Raggy Charters also offers Beachfront, Bird Island, Pelagic Birding Cruises and Fishing Charters.

To find out more, call 073 152 2277 or visit www.raggycharters.co.za.


Photo courtesy of www.raggycharters.co.za