Saturday, September 24, 2011 Home

Sharks and Whales (But No Whale Sharks)

The Cape Peninsula has miles and miles of sandy beaches scattered among the coastal villages.

Those beaches make for both lovely scenery and (especially on the False Bay side) good swimming. Unfortunately, these waters are also frequented by great white sharks. Although the sharks mostly stay out in deeper waters, they do sometimes come in close enough to attack surfers and swimmers.

Shark spotters keep the beaches as safe as possible for human visitors. Periodically we see these spotters perched along the road (high above the bay), scanning the water with binoculars, ready to sound a warning should they see a shark approach. Along with the audible alarm, shark flags warn beach visitors to stay out of the water when sharks are near.

These waters are also home to whales, particularly southern right whales and humpback whales - both of which come right up to the shore, making this area one of the best places in the world for land-based whale watching.

As we’ve been traveling along today, we’ve regularly passed people along the roadside looking out to sea. They are probably searching for whales.

I’ve kept one eye on the scenery and one on the water, but it has been pretty quiet whale-wise today (it is early in the season). However, one duo gave us plenty of time to observe them.

While it isn’t the greatest photo, keep in mind that it was taken from inside the bus on the road above the bay! No need to head out to sea in search of these of whales here. I can’t wait to hang out and whale watch in Hermanus in a few days!

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