Saturday, 13 July 2013

Outing report- Boat trip 13th July 2013

The lucky participants on the 13th July charter
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Passengers: Roz & Clive Addison, Eileen Brannigan, Doug Butcher, Renate Deveden, John Irven, Stacy Jones, Andy Ruffle,  Alida Stofberg, Penny Taylor.

We were fortunate to have lovely conditions for this morning’s boat trip. Calm wind, blue skies and a relatively calm sea, the 2m swells being bouncy rather than rough.
Formalities completed, we boarded our vessel ‘Mama Mia’ (I feel a song coming on) and headed out to the great blue yonder. Negotiating the breakers was a bit more challenging today, but our skipper did a great job of getting us to the calmer waters passed the back line.
It wasn’t too long before we were seeing signs of whale activity. 6kms out and abeam Margate someone called ‘bird’, drawing our eyes to what we were expecting to be a gannet flying directly towards us. As the large bird banked around the boat, we couldn’t believe our eyes when it revealed itself as an albatross.

The albatross flies in
(Photo Doug Butcher)
juvenile (immature) Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

The relaxed atmosphere on the boat immediately turned to excitement as the skipper scrambled for a box of sardines and the passengers rooted for their cameras and binoculars.
The bird was very obliging, making itself comfortable on the water close to the boat and devouring the sardines being offered. Our unexpected visitor was soon identified as a juvenile Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross.

The yellow top to the bill can be seen developing
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

According to Roberts Online the world population of Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross is estimated at 140,000 birds. Of these, some 20,000 spend winter over the southern African continental shelf and shelf-break (where the shelf plummets down to the ocean floor). This could explain why we saw the bird so close to shore.

Narrow continental shelf along our coast
(Image: Google Earth)
family of Humpback Whales
(Photo John Irven)

(Photo Doug Butcher)

(Photo Doug Butcher)
What a ride!!!!!!!
(Photo Mama Mia Boat Cruises)

To see more pics from the trip click here.
So, yet another enthralling trip. The question is, what will we see next time?

1 comment:

  1. “Wonderful experience, but I’m not so envious. Just back from super Mauritius trip where I got 5 of the 8 endemics, watched the kids diving with dolphins and picked up Common Noddy and a Booby or two at sea.” Sandy Olver