When I saw there was an opportunity for boat-based whale watching while I was in Knysna, I was pretty excited. It’s been something we’ve been meaning to do at Grootbos, but the weather / whales have never been around at the right time.
I was a little nervous after my last boat experience – I knew there was a good chance I’d get sea sick, but decided to venture out regardless. On a morning that was filled with overcast skies and drizzle, we met with Ocean Odyssey and went exploring. You know often when you are told to put on a life jacket, you do so grudgingly, knowing there’s no real need? Not on this morning. I have never been so grateful for an orange flotation device – as we headed out of the heads, the swell that greeted us seemed to be out of the perfect storm. With a little drizzle stinging your face for good measure.
The trip through the heads was gorgeous, though – thankfully the seasickness hadn’t kicked in by this stage, and I was able to appreciated the beauty of the Featherbed Nature Reserve as we headed out. A hike through this reserve will definitely be on my list, the next time I return to Knysna. After looking out for whale ‘footprints’, we soon saw a few ‘whale parts’. I don’t speak ocean. I’m not one of those people who can tell there’s a whale around simply by the bubbles on the water or the way the waves break. I need an actual part of the animal to be above the water long enough for my (aimlessly) wandering eyes to spot it.
And, they did. I saw whale parts. Two humpbacks were happily frolicking in the furious swell. Next mission – to get my camera finger to react as quickly as my eyes to. I admit, these images aren’t going to win me any National Geographic prizes, but they are proof that I saw whale parts.
We were at sea for close on an hour, before our boat made the unanimous decision to head back home. We were all various shades of green, but happy to have spotted these gracious animals in less-than-perfect weather. They didn’t seem to mind one bit.
I enjoyed this trip courtesy of Ocean Odyssey.