Newcastle to Stavanger (Sunday 27th – Tuesday 29th July 2008)
Shortly after departing Newcastle this afternoon we sailed into an area of very dense fog off the coast. At some stages the fog was so dense that we could barely discern the water at the side of the boat. After my “Wildlife of the North Sea” presentation I went to the front of the boat and talked to some passengers.
I was saying that we were not likely to spot anything in the fog, and that the animals would have to be very close to the boat for us to be able to spot them. Just as I said this, 5-6 dolphins leaped right out of the water, all at once, right in front of the bow of the boat! Obviously they were a having some fun and doing some bow-riding. They only did this once, but it was great that we did see them despite the fog!
It is very fascinating to stand on the ship and look into a wall of white fog, when all of a sudden a gannet flies right through it! A bit spooky! Later on it cleared up again and we had mirror calm water surrounding us, and we spotted the fins of a few porpoises.
The next morning we again had a mirror calm sea and spotted a few porpoises, and some of them were feeding on a school of fish right next to the boat together with some birds. This journey went only to Stavanger, and the ship spent most of the day in Stavanger in brilliant sunshine and almost 30˚C!
As we came back into Newcastle the next morning, the fog was even worse than before! But we did still spot a couple of porpoises in a clear area, and also a seal that was having a look at us as we passed right by it! We now see quite a few guillemot chicks swimming along as small versions of the adult that is teaching them to feed and fly at the moment.
So even though we’ve had limited viewing on the Newcastle side of this trip due to the fog, we still have had some great sightings in the area, so we were very happy with our trip!