29th – 31st May, King of Scandinavia.
Chelsea might have won the FA Cup but the ORCA Wildlife Officers onboard the King of Scandinavia have achieved the triple. The dolphin triple that is. As of this morning we can now tick the box marked white-beaked dolphin.
In the North Sea the white-beaked dolphin would be the species that I would have expected to see more frequently than any other, especially as we cruise along the coast of North-East England. However we had seen bottlenose dolphins and after Rosie’s amazing common dolphin encounter on the previous trip it was the white-beaked dolphin that was eluding us, until now. The white-beaked dolphin is a robust but elegantly marked dolphin and I love seeing them and was surprised to be honest that we hadn’t encountered them during the season so far.
Now Rosie and I were both on this trip and even though it would have been nice to stand around and chat all morning we decided to divide and conquer. We also wanted to try our new walkie talkies so Rosie took the starboard side and I took port. Starboard is right and port is left, the easiest way I find to remember which is which is that port and left both have four letters and so go together! Boy was I glad for the radios. Things had been a little bit quiet although it was a beautiful morning, the type of morning when you wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere apart from out on deck on ship sailing across the North Sea, it was calm, bright and not windy.
I was about to announce to Rosie that oddly enough I had a couple of pigeons flying alongside me when I heard her little voice radiate out of the speaker ‘Beth its Rosie I have dolphins but you better get over here quick’. I had some ORCA passengers that were grateful that their early start was about to be rewarded. Bearing in mind health and safety rules about running on a potentially slippery deck we hurtled over to the other side of the ship and were greeted by a grinning Rosie and some close encounters of the white-beaked dolphin. With the dolphins, several harbour porpoises and a seal lolling about on the surface I sure am glad to be back at work.