The humpback whales are here! We have had some wonderful sightings of whales this month and have even heard them singing during dives. Towards the end of the month the Valgimigli and Meues families had a truly memorable experience. It was a hot, sunny day and the sea was calm and as they travelled they saw a whale breaching. This was just the beginning of a spectacular show. They watched whales breaching, slapping their tails, rolling from side to side – there were whales everywhere! One group of whales was joined by a huge group of spinner dolphins, these dolphins are quite small and very fast and as they travel they race along just under the water and then jump right out, performing the most amazing spins in the air before diving back down again. Thanks to Stefano for these amazing photographs!
Tim and Lynne Hepplestone spent ten wonderful days with us and also had some great sightings. They dived at Gogo’s where they saw the white tip reef shark that seems to have become a resident on the reef; at Solitude they saw giant kingfish (caranx ignoblis), huge honeycomb eels, a basket starfish and two small longnose hawkfish; at Elusive they saw seven different green turtles on a single dive, one of whom was a huge and seemingly very old male; they snorkelled with a 7m long whaleshark and with bottlenose dolphins and they had the most amazing time with a manta ray. We were busy kitting up when Darryl saw the manta ray at the surface, Tim was ready and jumped in with his camera, Lynne was not far behind him and the two of them spent about 5 minutes with the manta and got some lovely photographs – thanks for the photographs and look forward to diving with you again.
White tip reef shark – Tim Hepplestone Longnose hawkfish – Tim Hepplestone
Manta Rays – Tim Hepplestone
Another great manta sighting was had by the Fourie family, we were diving at Elusive and as we descended Darryl pointed frantically across the reef, there were two manta rays gliding out to sea. We followed them for a while and then lost sight of them. We continued our dive and saw two honeycomb stingrays, two green turtles and a hawksbill turtle and then saw the manta rays again, circling above the sand at the edge of the reef, a really magical dive.
An ocean experience trip with the Nevin family gave them all an opportunity to see a whaleshark for the first time, and what an amazing experience it was. The whaleshark was about nine metres long and was swimming slowly along with it’s entourage of remora’s and also a beautiful queenfish (scomberoides tol) which was shadowing the whaleshark, swimming directly under it along the sand. Everyone snorkelled with it for ages as we could keep up easily, we nearly snorkelled all the way back to Island Rock before jumping back on the boat and watching it from the boat for a bit longer before we headed back to shore.
Congratulations to the following divers:
Derek & Justine Lotter
Katrien & Elmien De Kock
For completing their PADI Discover Scuba Diving Course
Charles & Micheal De Kock
For completing their PADI Discover Scuba Pool sessions
Well done Michael and Charles, thanks for being such a good buddy Charles, look forward to diving with you next time!
Yours in diving
Darryl, Clive, Michelle
The Rocktail Dive Team