Caught on camera: Cape fur seals hitchin’ a ride.

Tales from the bay by Raggie Charters.

These playful marine mammals are often overshadowed by the dolphins and whales that frequent the coastline of Algoa Bay off Addo Elephant National Park. However, when they were spotted riding high and dry on the bow of a massive ship, they had all eyes on them!

The team from Raggie Charters caught us up on all the action: “We arrived at St Croix Island in our two catamarans and were discussing the route home. Jake smiled and told me to take a closer look at one of the ships waiting for refueling which he had passed on his way to the islands. We headed straight for the ship and were amazed at what we saw. Sometimes there were up to four seals sitting on the bulbous bow! This odd shape protrudes from the front of the ship just below the waterline when it is loaded. It modifies the water flow around the hull, reducing drag and thus increasing speed and stability. It saves plenty of fuel and thus increases the range. I guess little did the designers know that it created the perfect resting place for a tired seal!

One wonders how they managed to get up onto something that was so high out of the water. There was quite a big swell running that day and if you look at the third image you will see how low the ship can dip between swells. The last photo shows an old bull seal sitting on a ship’s rudder in front of the manganese ore birth.”

Browse the action sequence below

AMAZING ADDO

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