The run up to the pelagic was characterized by gale force conditions through to Friday evening when the south easterly finally abated leaving behind a flat and fog shrouded sea in its wake. A southerly wind of around 20kms failed to materialize as forecast and we set off for the trawling grounds from Simon’s Town on board ‘Destiny’ skippered by Alan Blacklaw at 07.30 with six on board.

Apart from a Bryde’s Whale appearing unexpectedly for a brief moment only the usual list of coastal birds were in evidence inside of False Bay along with the ever present pod of Cape Fur Seals off Partridge Point. From a photographic point of view our brief stop to radio in our destination intentions to the radio officer on duty at Cape Point proved disappointing as the south peninsula was still shrouded in fog. This was no doubt largely due to the water temperature having dropped to 11 degrees as a result of the upwelling induced by the prevailing south easterly weather pattern.

Our bearing was set at 250 degrees south west of the point with the canyon area as our destination objective – this with a working trawler foremost in mind. On heading out to Bellow’s Rock a single Dusky Dolphin joined us for a brief moment of half-hearted surfing in the wake. Given the lack of sun and limited visibility due to the fog it was very much a case of ‘silhouette shooting’ as pelagic seabirds appeared at intermittent intervals out of the gloom for a subliminal glimpse before disappearing almost immediately.

Click here to read the full trip report by Patrick Cardwell

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