Sardine Run 2017 (Day 1)
We are back in South Africa for natures greatest shoal on earth, the Sardine Run 2017.
We can hardly wait to get in the water, we are getting reports on the Wild Coast of large schools of sardines and plenty of Apex predator action. The water needs to be less the 20 degrees for the sardines to run and currently the water is 18 degrees which is absolutely perfect. From our base at Mboyti on the Wild Coast we are expecting the sardine run 2017 to be the best yet.
Divers will be witnessing one of natures natural phenomenon’s. Expect to see Humpback, Southern Right and Brydes Whales. Long beaked Common, Bottlenose, and Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphins. Bronze Whaler, Dusky, Silky, Blacktip and many other species of sharks will chase the sardines. As well as the ocean predators the sardines have to contend with the gannets dive from above and reaching depths of 10m to reach the sardines.
Day 1 report.
Sardine Run 2017.
Divers were met with huge Ocean swells and massive breaking waves. This didn’t phase our experienced skipper who expertly guided us safely out into the open ocean. After a short check dive we begun our search for the sardines. The signs were there, diving birds passing dolphins but no bait balls. Then we got a call on the radio the 5 Humpback whales were a few kilometres from our position. A 10 minute fast ride with the waves and we were there,5 Large Humpbacks whales migrating north to their feeding and breeding grounds in Mozambique. The swell was huge, too big to jump in with the whales, well we tried and failed as they turned away from our direction. Humpback whales are a bonus sighting on the sardine run as they do not part take in any feeding frenzy’s unlike some of the other whales we will encounter. A short time later 2 more Humpback whales surfaced right next to the boat for the best photo opportunity of your life. Someone on our boat then shouts dolphins and we scan our eager eyes in search of every divers best friend, thats not dolphins as a small pod of Pilot whales pass right next to our position. Our Guests also enjoyed seeing a very large lone Great Hammerhead scavenging at the surface. By now we had been at sea for over 4 hours and the wind was increasing which meant the swells were getting incredibly big. A decision was made to head back to base, this took another 1hr and 20 min against the waves, although we did bump into 2 more Humpback Whales on route which made the whole bumpy journey worth it. Great start to the Sardine Run 2017, looking forward to doing it all again tomorrow.
See Below for customer report by Jamie Orr.