IT'S SHOW TIME: the Whales arrive at Grootbos

Posted under Marine Life Blog by Grootbos on 29th June 2011

IT'S SHOW TIME: the Whales arrive at Grootbos

Primera, the whale First Lady and her calf, are back in Walker Bay after a brief curtain raiser performance two months ago, accompanied by an entourage of at least six other Southern Right Whales. The mother and baby were the first to arrive this season and were already spotted as early as 19 April behind the breakers at Die Plaat - hence earning herself the whale name for First Lady. Primera and her calf kept a low profile since - either to do some private bonding or to rehearse? But since last Sunday they are back with reinforcements and taking the lead in this season's show biz programme guaranteed to be another Whale Of A Show! And not a moment too soon. Impatient residents and visitors in Gansbaai have been scanning the horizon since April in anticipation of the first telltale signs of the arrival of these friendly giants of the ocean - their lob tailing and breaching is a sight that nobody tires of. They are probably also the only species whose tail-part is the most grandiose and evokes the most ooh's and aah's!

The good news is that they are slowly arriving in dribs and drabs. In the past week at least seven have been spotted in the Walker Bay area and a few have chosen the more remote Pearly Beach region for their summer vacation. In the next few weeks several pods are expected to join Primera and her calf for another 6 month long Live Performance not to be missed on the Gansbaai water stage!

Grand stand tickets for the best views from land, boat or plane are available at Grootbos!

The annual influx of hundreds of these fascinating creatures to the Cape Atlantic Coast is a long-awaited and joyous highlight on the Overberg’s social calendar - reminiscent of a festive reunion between soldiers and their loved ones. Approximately 300-350 Southern Right Whales annually brave the long journey from the icy Antarctic waters to come and make love and babies in the sheltered bays between Cape Town and the greater Gansbaai area. This is their undisputed summer holiday home and they pay their taxes willingly by giving 24/7 spectacular performances to who-ever want to watch. To see these massive mammals of up to 60 tonne sail and frolic in the water with their young and come to within metres of the coast or boats, is a, um, whale of an experience!

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