27 September 2013
During this time of year the close inshore waters off Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, abound with humpback whales on their return to Antarctic feeding grounds after they spend the winter months birthing and mating in the Mozambique Channel and north of Madagascar. This population has been the subject of population growth studies and is recovering steadily after its decimation by whaling which continued till the early 1960’s
We set out with high hopes of sighting these mammoths, especially mothers and calves, and were not disappointed. Clearing the port entrance before midday we headed north along the beach front past the Moses Madiba Soccer Stadium.
A light south-westerly and calm seas allowed our young skippers to practice! This is Lea.
Our whale-spotters aloft! Sarah and Acacia.
Whales on the port bow!
Great to hear the shout “Thar she blows!” , without the threat of a harpoon following. Especially here, so close to the historical Bluff Whaling Station and nearby Blood Reef, named for the blood seeped from slaughtered whales being cut up.
We were treated to a mother and calf “tail-slapping” session for about half an hour. We were convinced the calf was trying to copy the mother, albeit clumsily!
Just before sunset we turned around – back to port. Lovely to have Nina and Ruth aboard – all the way from Australia.
It’s one of the best feelings heading back into port at sunset after day an eventful day at sea … good for the soul!