Winter has come to Walker Bay, and with the cold, so too comes the start of whale season 2019. With Southern Right Whale sightings rising over the last three years, and individual numbers rising drastically over the last year, this season is almost certain to deliver once again. The increase in these iconic cetaceans brings many benefits for the Overberg’s tourism industry, but why exactly are these whale numbers on the rise?
The low, bellowing call of a lone Southern Right Whale echoes through the waters of Walker Bay. He is one of the first arrivals, one of many Southern Rights returning from a summer spent feeding in the Antarctics, and who are now headed to the warmer waters of South Africa to mate. The first to arrive are the bulls, bright and early so as not to miss out when the females follow. And follow they will.
A long fin cuts the surface as a dark blur moves silently beneath the waves. Suddenly a mass of black and white leaps from the water in a dazzling display of acrobatics, before landing with a splash and disappearing. This apex predator has the strength to take down a great white shark, but also the tenderness and intelligence to perform complex social interactions. Found in almost every ocean in the world yet seldom seen, beloved in popular culture and yet as dangerous as it is beautiful: this is the orca.
September has arrived, bringing changes all around the natural world. As the cold slowly descends upon the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern reaches of the globe are being warmed by Spring, and above all, Spring heralds new beginnings; new life. The animal kingdom is profoundly affected by this change of seasons, and the marine life of Walker Bay is no exception. For many animals, Spring means reproduction, and in this post we will take a look at what this means for some of the well-known species seen from The Ivanhoe.