Saturday, January 14, 2012

South Africa, Whale Coast Route Near Gansbaai


Since my early morning drive to Gansbaai did not give me much time to stop and smell the roses, I decide that on my return to Hermanus I will do a little more sightseeing. Although lunch was provided by White Shark Eco Venture after our dive, I still make a stop at a local grocery store for a bit more local flavored lunch.

A yellow curry seasoned ground beef sandwich on a soft and warm white roll deliciously fits the bill along with an ice cold brew. I am now ready for a nice afternoon drive back to Hermanus.



JNB Trip 347This area is called the Whale Coast Route for many good reasons.

Although I am told there are many spots for whale watching even if there are no whales this is one of the most  beautiful coastlines you will ever experience.




JNB Trip 349Here, in some areas the coastline is less than a mile from the main road.

In some spots you will have to navigate through cute coastal communities to get to it.




My first stop only provides a gorgeous scenery with the relaxing sounds of rolling waves and a rather quiet colony of African penguins. At a beach area, the sand is cold beneath my feet but it is nice to feel it between my toes as frequent waves washes it away. On a wide grassy area a few beachgoers are soaking up the warm afternoon sun while keeping their distance from the frigid water.

Arriving at my next spot, I can tell I am in luck. A group has already gathered with cameras and binoculars and are steering at the ocean surface, a few hundred feet below.



JNB Trip 377At first what appears to be two huge rocks just below the surface, turns out to a pair of Southern Right whales. These animals are huge!

Apparently, they are feeding and seem to be moving at a snail's pace.






JNB Trip 376Southern Right Whales



From the earlier postings, I learned that they can grow up to 45 feet and this pair just might be approaching that range.



JNB Trip 361A whale breaching would be the highlight of any whale watching experience but today I am happy to see it's blow whole in action as a column of water sprays skyward.

Combined with the surrounding awesome scenery, what a treat.



As if to remind us that whales are not the only thing out there worth watching, pairs of black dorsal fins dance through the ocean's surface.



JNB Trip 374A school of Black dolphins moving faster than snails make us all take notice.









JNB Trip 382Beautiful Western Cape Coastline




JNB Trip 267Arriving back in Hermanus, at the city center overlooking the ocean is a tribute to the magnificent creature that makes it home off the coast here.




Maybe someday there will be a Southern Right cage dive but for now this is as close as I will get to one of them.



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