Durban harbour clean-up a huge success

Over 30 volunteers from around Durban joined thousands more around the world on Saturday 16 September (International Coastal Clean-up Day) to collect the waste that is infesting our oceans.

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Students having the *whale*time of their lives! 

Last month, WhaleTime and the Department of Environmental Affairs gave two marine biology students from the Ocean Stewards program the incredible opportunity of assisting in the tagging of humpback whales during their annual migration from their feeding to breeding grounds.

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WhaleTime Guides Take To The Water


WhaleTime has recently partnered with some of the boat-based whale watching operators here in Durban to provide our WhaleTime guides with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the whales they spend their day giving tours about. 

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A special message from our pilot (whale) 

Nikki Chapman, who spearheaded the WhaleTime project has stepped down to pursue other ventures. She has shared a special message about the project and her experience as project coordinator. Nikki has been responsible for WhaleTime's successes and we wish her the best of luck! 

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Do you remember? 

One of our talented WhaleTime guides moonlights as a poet... yes a poet! We are lucky enough to see what happens when these two unique talents mix. 

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Whales strike deep resonant chord with the past

As a hip hop enthusiast, environmental journalism is not Zamo Phungula’s first calling, but a recent visit to Port Natal Maritime Museum certainly struck a chord, inspiring her first Ocean Watch blog.


Setting out in this assignment, I’m an hour late. I haven’t quiet mastered the art of waking early. It’s scorching hot. I have three heavy bags on my shoulders. I’m sweating like a lunatic, my anxiety growing. My hands start dripping. I’m about to shake someone’s dry hand, sweat flooding off the top of my nose, my temples, my cheeks, maybe even my eyelids too. I wonder whether I will, like a snail, leave a trail of my essence on the palm of the person’s right hand.

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Tales of a whale guide 

Imagine being an entertainer, a teacher, and in an improv group all at once! That’s what it’s like to be a guide at a museum and that’s exactly what the wonderful WhaleTime tour guides have experienced during the past couple months.  

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WhaleTime Tours

 We started the school holidays in December 2016 with a visit to the Maritime Museum and were lucky enough to catch a tour with the WhaleTime guides as they had started putting all that they had learnt into practice.  It was great being able to take my children on this tour that taught them about these amazing creatures which we have been lucky enough to witness from the beach on numerous occasions but had little knowledge of. We learnt which whales graced our coastlines and how to tell the difference as to which one was which.

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The Science behind WhaleTime

What happens behind the scenes to the Humpback Whale Tail images that you send into WhaleTime?

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes to the images that you post onto WhaleTime? Who on earth sits and looks at them and lets you know at the end of the day which whale it was you spotted and where else it’s been spotted, and how they do this?

Well, it in fact a team of people who do this using a software which allows us to make matches between existing images and the ones that you post, based on the colouration and edge pattern of the tail. The colour pattern on a humpback whales tail, place it into 1 of 5 categories, ranging from mostly white to mostly black (see below).

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Community guides get going

The past few weeks of the Whale Time project have been both extremely busy as well as incredibly rewarding, as all worthwhile endeavours tend to be! We have officially launched the community guides element of the project, and have been engaging and working hard with our five wonderful guides-to-be. We have been introducing them on our twitter account (@WhaleTimeKZN), so make sure to check them out.


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