Sea Life

Langebaan Lagoon: The Langebaan Lagoon is the most protected of our coast.  Sometimes when the Atlantic is heaving on one side of the peninsula, the lagoon can be even and smooth.  The lagoon was once home to millions of oysters, now the lagoon is believed to be the largest oyster graveyard in the world.  The lagoon bed of almost 14 kilometers long is covered with a sheet of roughly 30 million tons of oyster shells.  The lagoon has its healthy blue look because at the entrance to the lagoon the benthic fauna is very dense comprising of mainly filter feeders, bivalves and mollusks that filter a very high percentage of particulate matter out of the water and the end result is clear blue water.  The Southern parts of the Lagoon can get up to 10◦ warmer than the Atlantic Ocean.

Whales:
Every year many whales and dolphins are found in the cold water near our shores, because the Benguela current on the Southern African west coast supports an incredible biologically productive marine ecosystem. The IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) Board aims to introduce visitors to the most frequently sighted species with a particular importance on sightings from the shoreline of the West Coast National Park.

 

From June to November, whales, especially the Southern Right Whales come closer to our coast to mate and calve.  They conveniently enter the Bay of Saldanha and the calmer waters at the mouth of the Lagoon to calve, with the peak calving period overlapping our Langebaan wild flower season.  Our area was historically connected to immense whale activity.  Up till a century ago whale slaughtering was a saddened activity that drew many Europeans, and the historic memorial of Donkergat is a presence that sadly reminds locals of the earlier abundance of whale life.  We are thankful that our whales are returning and appreciate the work done by the Whale Institute of Pretoria under Dr Peter Best.  We attended the assembly of the IFAW Benguela Whaling Boards in the West Coast National Park with great excitement in 2007.  To really ensure that you experience the full magnitude of the whales in the enormous Lagoon (the mouth to the Atlantic Ocean is 6 km away, and the Lagoon is 17 km long) enjoy the opportunity to join us on one of our daily yacht cruises at 11h00:
whales@westcoastlife.co.za.