It’s actually turning out to be a pretty good year in terms of experiencing new things – seriously, if I’m not flying a plane then I’m on a boat watching whales! :)
Gordon’s Beach Lodge has a work relationship with Ivanhoe Sea Safaris and often send their guests off via shuttle to go and experience whale watching in Gansbaai. As things go, Ivanhoe Sea Safaris then often invite guest house staff members out on the boat, so that they can better inform guests as to what to expect.
Luckily for me, Chantelle opted to let me with on just one such ‘educational’ ride!
So on a sunny Wednesday morning, we dropped the kids off at their respective little schools and made the scenic drive through to Gansbaai, a place that neither Chantelle nor I can really remember ever visiting as adults.
We arrived just in time for boarding, and pretty soon we were seated on The Ivanhoe, a 42 ft. custom built catamaran, specifically designed for watching whales.
A good selection of both tourists and locals made up the spectators for the day, and after a brief instructional by a very amicable and knowledgeable crew, we were out of the harbour and hunting for whales!
The water was calm, the weather sunny, and no wind to speak of, making conditions perfect for whale watching.
It’s quite exciting as you zoom across the water, and then suddenly have the engines cut as you stop because of a possible sighting in the distance. Then it’s everyone to the front of the boat, and seriously, it is so quiet that you can hear a pin drop – everyone is scouring the water, looking for that telltale ‘footprint’ of a whale nearby.
(Though when a whale does come up, then its an instant cacophony of camera shutters clicking – sadly, cellphone cameras like mine are pretty useless at this sort of thing!)
Of course, half of the fun is this expectation (similar to when you are out in a game reserve, scouring the brush for a sighting of something special), but when a whale does finally break surface and comes right up to you, then it really becomes extraordinary.
Massive, gentle, and interesting giants without a doubt! (We spotted plenty of birdlife, seals, a couple of fast moving Bryde’s whales in the distance, and of course the slow moving Southern Right whales who came right up close to the boat).
So needless to say, this 2+ hour long experience is definitely one well worth a recommendation!
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Related Link: http://whaleviewing.co.za/