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First Humpback whales arrive in Algoa Bay - Raggy Charters

May 13, 2019
First Humpback whales arrive in Algoa Bay - Raggy Charters

Raggy Charters cruise provided was a treat on Mother's Day

Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth-based marine tours operator, Raggy Charters, says the first whales of the whale-watching season were spotted off Algoa Bay over the weekend. 

"We decided to run a Mother’s Day special for the 'sardine run' cruise and headed off into the bay with a full load of passengers," explained Lloyd Edwards, owner of Raggy Charters and The Baywatch Project.

"The weather was perfect, a flat sea and no wind predicted.

"We headed south past Cape Recife for around 5 miles and then headed east towards Bird Island."

Edwards said that there, they saw plenty of pelagic seabirds like Indian Yellow-nosed albatross, White-chinned petrels, Wilson’s storm petrels, Sooty shearwaters and Cory’s shearwaters.

"We must have seen over 20 Bryde’s whales on the way to Bird Island. They, like us, were looking for the Long-nosed common dolphins, which would lead us to the bait balls," he described.

"Jake managed to get us up close to quite a few of them so I could photograph the dorsal fin. We have 22 years of photos these whales and as each one is unique, it will help us build up a population estimate for these elusive creatures."

First whale sighting of the season off Algoa Bay

Edwards said that just before Bird Island, one of the lookouts shouted that there were some huge splashes towards the shore.

"We raced off towards the area in 'My China', the big V6 outboards growling away.

"We arrived at the breaching whale just in time to observe another eight magnificent breaches," he explained.

"Wow what a treat. It was a sub adult humpback whale and our first of the season. This is the earliest we have ever encountered them in Algoa Bay.

"It seems like global warming may be having an effect on the seasonality of their prey. This still needs to be researched in order to find out exactly what is happening."

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