Welcoming the Whales 2021
By Karen Keeton

Wednesday, 16th June 2021

Welcoming of the whales 2021

The Southern Hemisphere Humpback Migration Route

According to the late legendary whale and dolphin researcher, Professor Peter Best, the “Northern migration of Humpback whales seems to reach the African coastline in the vicinity of Knysna”. It is obvious that this is the perfect place to start celebrating the arrival of these magnificent creatures.

The first event kicks off in Knysna on the 5th June 2021 and the ensuing 24 events carry on all the way to Swakopmund on the West coast and Kenya on the East coast. The longest migration of any mammal echoes the longest whale heritage route celebrated on the planet. The route is a joint venture between the World Cetacean Alliance and Raggy Charters and other whale enthusiasts, sponsors and environmental groups along the African coastline.

The Raggy Charters team, friends and assoicated gathered on the 16th June 2021 at Pine Lodge Resort and Conference Centre to Welcome these magnificent mammals to our Bay, Sadly due to new Covid-19 level 3 regulations we had to exclude visitors in person, but did our best to continue as best we could with a few live feeds on your Facebook page. 

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The Program - What you would have enjoyed on the day

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The day started with an early morning meet at the harbour for a Sunrise Cruise to Welcome the Whales, and they most certianly did not dissapoint, with our Guests being greeted by 4 humpback whales leisurely swimming through the Bay.

 

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For more beautiful photographs of the cruise and a few of the days events, pop over to Chase the Horizon Photography, if you would like high-res copies or prints. please contact Kristy:

 

At Pine Lodge the Presentation continued with a small audience in attendance and livestreamed on Face Book.

First up was Dr Julien Benoit, a French Paleontologist currently working at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng.. presenting on the Evolution of Whales at our 2021 Welcoming of the Whales Festival 2021.. thank you for joining us Julien.

We then continued to learn more and more as the day went by with Researcher Samuel Pillay and Dr Danica Marlin of Sustainable Seas Trust Port Elizabeth, chatting to us about "Ghost Gear"

Next up was Lloyd with his wonderful presentation on the Southern African Humpback Whale Migration Route and Whale Entanglements. 

   We hope to post a link in the near future on YouTube for you to enjoy.

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Then midday was the time to announce the wonderful news, Algoa Bay has been recognised as a Whale Heritage Site, 1 of 5 in the World.

This is a wonderful achievement, something for all to be proud of. 

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And for some Festival Fun: Jake with Lloyd's Humpback Whale Breach Photographic Sequence

And for more fun.. Listen to Joe van der Linden's composition of "I am a humpback whale"

Joe and 5 other artists; Claire Venn, Letters from Jane, Udaka Sounds, Big Man and Bear and Wayne Kallis, were all ready to entertain us on the day (take a look at the program) and were entered into a competition to create a 'whale themed' song.  Thank you to all Musoi's for their efforts and congratualations to Joe for the winning song! 

We would also like to thank Algoa FM who sponsored with airtime for Joe's song, interviews on air and telling all listeners in the Bay and surrounds about the event. We look forward to this fun addition to be part of the Festival in years to come.

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Thank you to all who were  to participate in this celebration on the 16th June 2021, your support is greatly appreciated.

Welcoming the Whales 2021

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A few photographs of the day to enjoy:

16.06.2021 Whale Festival

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