Guests at our affordable self-catering cottages and cabanas during the Cape Town “secret season” look forward to the opportunity to view the annual visit to our shores of the whales from the Antarctic. There have been many sightings in False Bay during the past week between Muizenberg and Fish Hoek. Friends who live close to the sea in Simonstown have reported whales coming very close to the shore near their place. The pretty coastal road that hugs the shore all the way through the coastal suburbs from Muizenberg to Simonstown presents wonderful opportunities to view the whales basking or frolicking in the bay. Although it is winter in Cape Town, by comparison with their home waters, the whales enjoys our sunshine and relatively warm waters. One will often spot them lying half submerged lazily sunbathing.
One does not need a whale spotter to know that there are whales to be seen in the Bay- if you see traffic backed up ahead of you and cars pulling onto the pavement you can be sure that they are watching these magnificent mammals and perhaps have taken the opportunity to snap some pictures, aiming their cameras and hoping to catch a special picture of a whale sounding, or slapping his tail above the water.
News spreads fast these days with Internet media and social networks. On 20 July the first report came of an incident where two people from Cape Town stated that they believed that they were lucky to be alive after a breaching whale landed on the yacht in Table Bay. The yachtsman are both instructors at Cape Town sailing Academy and had been sailing Day 32 foot yacht between Robben Island and Blouberg strand, where they had been watching the whale flipping its tail for some time. Apparently just as they were ready to head to shore up the whale breached some distance away and then finally against their boat causing considerable damage to the yacht and some loss of skin and blubber to the whale which was a young Southern Right of between 12- 15 metres long, but fortunately the pair were unharmed and the whale, too, is reported to be OK. Since then, this report has been carried on innumerable websites, news broadcasts and blogs ad made front page of msn.com and cnn.com; with the result that the whole world indeed knows that the whales are back in Cape Town .
South Africa has strict rules regarding for whale watching which include a restriction zone of 300 metres to be kept between vessels and the giant friendly mammals. One report said that Richard Smith, who manages the Waterfront Boat Company, was told by his staff that the couple had been harassing the whale, sailing their yacht close to her whale and annoying it. Anyone who decides to watch the whales from a boat should take note, not only of the restriction, but also the possible danger of getting too close to the giants.
For information about where to see whales or to record your own sighting on the False Bay coast go to this informative and interesting website :
Whilst Hermanus seems to have given itself the title of the whale capital of South Africa, False Bay , Cape Town seems to attract greater numbers of whales and presents many varied opportunities for whale watching. Visitors who wish to enjoy this never to be forgotten experience are sure to be pleasantly surprised that accommodation rates during the winter and spring months in Cape Town are lower than at any other time of the year making this a wonderful opportunity for an affordable Cape Town holiday experience.