A decomposing whale weighing about three tons was towed to Fish Hoek beach this afternoon, Tues 12 Nov, from Danger beach where it had washed up earlier in the day.

 

Crowd gathering on Fish Hoek beach to watch a whale carcass being brought ashore. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Crowd gathering on Fish Hoek beach to watch a whale carcass being brought ashore. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

 

When I arrived at the beach at 5pm the small boat belonging to Shark Encounters was just behind the breaker line, the whale whitely in its wake.

The boat Shark Explorer with the whale carcass alongside. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

The boat Shark Explorer with the whale carcass alongside. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

 

Two brave crew members jumped overboard and swam the tow rope to shore. Fish Hoek beach was flying a shark warning flag and the beach had been closed to water-users, as had the beaches along the coast to Muizenberg.

Crew members from Shark Explorer bringing in the towing rope attached to the whale. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Crew members from Shark Explorer bringing in the towing rope attached to the whale. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

 

The rope was secured to the waiting bulldozer, while the crowds continued to gather to watch the unusual spectacle with interest. The water soaked carcass being very heavy and the tide being low, the rope broke twice.

Holding the rope attached to the whale carcass while the bulldozer draws up. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Holding the rope attached to the whale carcass while the bulldozer draws up. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

 

Holding onto the rope attached to the dead whale towed to Fish Hoek beach. Photo Viv of Scenic South

Holding onto the rope attached to the dead whale towed to Fish Hoek beach. Photo Viv of Scenic South

 

The whale carcass in shallow water at Fish Hoek beach. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

The whale carcass in shallow water at Fish Hoek beach. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

 

Tight lines as the bulldozer tries to draw the whale carcass onto Fish Hoek beach. Photo Viv of Scenic South

Tight lines as the bulldozer tries to draw the whale carcass onto Fish Hoek beach. Photo Viv of Scenic South

I unfortunately had to leave at 6pm before the whale was beached. The last impression I had of the scene was of the bulldozer’s wheels spinning in the wet sand.

Spinning wheels as the bulldozer tries once more to draw the whale carcass onto Fish Hoek beach. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Spinning wheels as the bulldozer tries once more to draw the whale carcass onto Fish Hoek beach. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

The whale was to be taken to the landfill by truck. I wondered why it had not been towed out to sea where Nature would have taken care of it. An ignominious end to a magnificent animal.

I prefer seeing whales frolicking like this.

A frolicking Southern Right whale. Photo: Dave Hurwitz

A frolicking Southern Right whale. Photo: Dave Hurwitz

 

Wed 13 Nov. I received the following pictures from Francois Rossouw this morning. The removal of the whale from Fish Hoek beach obviously was not an easy task as it was still going on after darkness fell.

Bulldozer drawing whale to beach. Clovelly in the background. Photo: Francois Rossouw

Bulldozer drawing whale to beach. Clovelly in the background. Photo: Francois Rossouw

 

 

Nighttime manouvres as the whale on Fish Hoek beach is finally able to be loaded onto the truck . Photo Francois Rossouw

Nighttime manouvres as the whale on Fish Hoek beach is finally able to be loaded onto the truck . Photo Francois Rossouw

 

Lifting whale onto truck. Photo: Francois Rossouw

Lifting whale onto truck. Photo: Francois Rossouw

 

Many thanks for your images, Francois!