Newcastle to Stavanger (Tuesday 29th July – Friday 1st August 2008)
This was a fantastic trip for birds! There were lots of gannets and fulmars around, and as we approached Stavanger we spotted five great skuas together and then I spotted my first black guillemot since starting this job! I did also spot a porpoise, but it only surfaced twice, so it was difficult to point it out to anyone else.
There are now a lot more kids onboard, and we have a lot of fun during the activity times. I do the kids presentations and show them the shark eggs and nautilus shells etc., and they are really enjoying it. We now have a whole art gallery with beautiful pictures of sea creatures that the kids have made for us! It is really starting to look great in our conference room! It is always so much fun seeing the awe on some children’s faces when I tell them that there are whales, dolphins and sharks in these waters, “even” up in Norway.
On the way back from Bergen to Newcastle we had quite a few sightings of marine mammals. The weather was stunning with sunshine and mirror calm sea. Just before arriving in Haugesund we spotted a common seal playing around in the water, and at the same time people spotted two porpoises. Then we spotted three more a little while before Stavanger. The beautiful weather continued all night and about two hours after departing Stavanger we spotted a group of four porpoises crossing not far in front of the boat. A few minutes later another four porpoises were going in the same direction in front of the boat. Five more minutes, and another three appeared in front of the boat. And then another single porpoise. So many, and they were all heading north along the coast!
Later on in the evening, about ten o’clock, quite a few people were having dinner in the restaurant when they spotted four more dolphins or porpoises swimming across in front of the boat. What a great view while having dinner!