Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cruising to Seal Island in Hout Bay

Every morning hundreds of tourists head out on a tour of the Cape Peninsula with most of them making one of their first stops of the day at the Hout Bay harbour for a cruise around the Sentinel Mountain to Duiker Island, more commonly known as Seal Island.  Standing on quay side you have a choice of boats to make the 45 odd minute trip to the island and back with several operators offering tours.  Our choice for the day was the Calypso which was built locally and launched in 2001.  The Calypso is operated by Circle Launches who have been running Duiker Island cruises since 1972. 

The cruise out to the island takes about 10 or 15 minutes with seating available both inside or out on the deck.  We unfortunately chose a bit of a windy day to visit so the wind blew spray across the boat every time we went over a wave.  As soon as you arrive at the island, which is nothing more than a collection of big rocks sticking out the water, you see why its so popular.

Duiker Island is home to about 6,000 Cape Fur Seals of various shapes and sizes with cows weighing up to 115 kg and bulls tipping the scales on a whopping 350kg.  Most of the boats doing the trips also have underwater viewing areas where you can watch the seals swimming below the boat.

After about 15 minutes of seal viewing we headed back to Hout Bay and while my kidz where hiding under deck from the spray, these kids did the Titanic thing and stood on the bow enjoying the experience.


  1. You all really had an adventurous vacation. I missed this due to time constraints. Hope you saw the seals from underwater too.

  2. What a absolute 'pile up' of seals. That's a great shot.

  3. Interesting ! I agree with Tami.... a huge pile up of seals!