Since last Saturday when I returned to the King Seaways we have had continuously calm sailing. Sometimes there has been a bit of swell, but only up to about 2 metres, and the worst sea state can’t have been more than a 4! This has meant that we have had very good spotting conditions, and have had a number of sightings of harbour porpoises, and a few dolphins that were possibly common dolphins. It has also been a very good few days for birds, especially sailing into Newcastle in the mornings. I saw my first sooty shearwater two days ago, which was fantastic, and even managed to take a few pictures.
That morning I saw 12 different species of seabirds, including great and arctic skuas, sandwich and common terns, as well as the usual gannets, guillemots and other species that we spot regularly. Watching a great skua trying to mob a gannet was especially interesting!
During our last three trips leaving Newcastle, passengers have told me that they have spotted a minke whale not long after leaving the port, so, I am going to experiment by changing the deck watch time to see if I can spot it too. So watch this space for news of another minke sighting (hopefully!)
ORCA Wildlife Officer, DFDS King Seaways