Well it has been over a week since I have come back aboard the King seaways and it has been an exciting week indeed. With the weather changing on an almost daily basis, the arrival of a number of dolphins pods and an almost constant supply of very entertaining Gannets and Guillemots there has been plenty to keep the passengers and I busy.
When I first arrived on board we left North Shields with great spotting conditions and were rewarded with some very pleasant sightings of Harbour Porpoises surfacing close to the ship. It would also become apparent the Guillemot parents had managed to urge their chicks to make the brave the tumbling leaps off of the cliffs that had been their only known home, to begin their swimming journey across the waters of theNorth Sea. This seemingly harsh behaviour actually helps protect the growing chick from the high risk of predation along the coast.
The good conditions unfortunately were not to last and my nice flat and calm seas were soon replaced with the broiling turbulent waters I have come to know so well here in the North Sea. Although we managed to escape the worse of the weather that hit the North East of England this last week, it still made for pretty dire spotting conditions. In fact I had just got through explaining to a group of passengers why the waves and the wind would mean that we would be unlikely to see anything when the a group of 5 Whitebeaked Dolphins turned up followed shortly by a very lively seal jumping out of the waves. This has only confirmed what I have previously suspect, dolphins are contrary animals, that relish the opportunity to prove me wrong!
The rest of the week would bring a constant switching between flat calm and choppy seas and a healthy mix of Whitebeaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises.
So with another 10 days of spotting to go I am hoping to get some more opportunities to see these fantastic animals and who knows maybe, just maybe there might be another Minke Whale sometime soon!