Posted by: orcaweb | July 18, 2008

ORCA / DFDS Seaways Wildlife Officer Grethe Hillersøy talks about her first experiences onboard the Queen of Scandinavia

Grethe searches for dolphins off the coast of Newcastle

Grethe searches for dolphins off the coast of Newcastle




Hello and welcome to my blog!


Newcastle to Bergen (Friday 4th – Monday 7th July 2008)


Well, after Beth’s two weeks onboard, it’s time for me to take over the role of Wildlife Officer for the next fortnight – and I can’t wait to see what’s out there as the summer hots up! I have personally not had many sightings during this trip, but the great thing is that many of the crew and passengers have! Coming out from Newcastle a gentleman spotted a few porpoises and then I saw a couple of dolphins in the distance. Between Stavanger and Bergen, many of the crew and passengers spotted quite a few dolphins and/or porpoises. I managed to miss all of them, but the most important thing is that they spotted them and got excited! When we started this job, many of the crew onboard were a bit sceptical about us being onboard to spot wildlife, since they rarely saw any. But now they are looking out a bit more, quite a few of them have seen porpoises, minke whales and seabirds. And they get very excited, so that’s great! Athough I missed all the porpoises on this trip, I did spot a white-tailed sea eagle in the Bergen area!


  Also, I had a great activity hour for the kids. There are a lot of activities for kids onboard at the moment, and the ship has its own pirate! So I had to come up with something more than drawing and colouring for the kids to get excited. So I put together a powerpoint presentation for kids with lots of cool animals from the marine environment. I included some of the birds and cetaceans that they may see on this journey, but also other species from the ocean. So as I was showing them the pictures up on the big screen, I was telling them lots of cool facts about these animals and showing them the artefacts that I have brought with me from home.


When I showed them the picture of a squid I showed them the squid bone and squid beak that I had. Then I showed a picture of a nautilus and they could have a close look at my nautilus shell. Then I showed them pictures of a shark and explained about the shark/ray egg that I had brought with me. They all got very interested, and the best thing was when they could have a look at the different things. We then went on to play a great game that Beth has made. The kids all get a hair band around their head, on which I put a ‘species card’. No one knows what species they are getting, but based on the presentation that I did first they can all ask questions to the others about their species and then guess what they were? They all got very involved and one boy got especially amazed when we told him he was 11 meters long and had no teeth!


Both the kids and the parents loved it! So we all had a great time!




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