September is a good time to go whale watching in Hermanus. Southern Right Whales are on average about 14m long, 41 tonnes heavy and can live up to 50 years. A pregnant one can reach a weight of 80 tonnes. They come to South Africa during the local winter time to mate, calve and nurse their baby which they carry for about 13months and only once in every 3 years. Impressingly they do not feed at all during this time. In fact, they fat up themselves between Jan-June down in Antartica and literally “starve” for the rest of the year. Human, try to feed a baby who sucks up 600 liters of milk (!) from you per day for 8 months long WITHOUT feeding! That is truly a nature wonder.
The tour often goes on like this: you go out there on big tourist boats searching around until you see any whale in sight. Then you turn off the engine and wait for them to approach you. Yes, otherwise they’d feel “disturbed” and dive away. The three-hour boat tour in such a stormy weather was a hard one on me that day. But we did see some whales and one of them even made a little dance for us, so it was all worth it I guess.
This is my first time in the continent and J’s third time in the country so I left all the planning for him. We spent the first 4 nights in Cape Town doing the normal tourist routes: hiking up Table Mountain, visiting Bo Kaap quarter, dinner in Camp Bay, seafoods at Hout Bay, penguin watching at Boulder Beach, whale watching in Hermanus (where I got seasick very badly), and reaching the Southern most part in Cape of Good Hope. Although we had heard many stories about security issues in Cape Town, nothing bad happened to us, we were neither robbed nor threatened but we wouldn’t say we felt completely at ease hanging around town either. While we did enjoy our time in the city, we were more than glad as we hit the road and headed up North.