Posted by: orcaweb | May 6, 2013

Porpoises, Porpoises, Porpoises

Greetings from the North Sea.

The last week has been packed full of porpoises.

Even when the weather wasn’t perfect we still managed to spot the small stubby nosed cetacean close to the ship… brave ones bow riding and others jumping out of our way.

BenJones©HP9ed

On Monday a pod of 5 porpoises appeared to greet the ship as we entered Ijmuiden harbour, rewarding the passengers that had skipped breakfast to deck watch with me.

Wednesday was rough weather again, but after being out on deck for an hour, just as I was about to turn and head back to the ORCA centre, I noticed two parallel bubble streaks on the surface of the water that didn’t seem to be caused by waves. A second later the leaping, streamlined bodies of 2 porpoises appeared, jumping away from the ship.

BenJones©HP4ed

Friday was the best day of the week.

On the way into Holland the weather was perfect and we managed to spot 6 porpoises. It was however the evening that boasted the most porpoise sightings so far, no fewer than 17!

I had explained during my welcome presentation that the conditions were ideal, as a result I had loads of help looking for any disturbance in the tranquil North Sea.

Within minutes passengers were pointing out animals left, right and centre. Soon we were spotting porpoises every 10-15 minutes (despite the glare).

 BenJones©HP8ed

BenJones©HP6ed

BenJones©HP10ed

The conditions stayed the same and on Sunday evening another 13 harbour porpoises were seen. School children from Hungary were with me and they managed to spot their first wild cetaceans. A memory that I am sure will stay with all of  them; I’m sure we can all remember the first wild whale, dolphin or porpoise we ever saw.

I also had some close encounters with some of my favourite North Sea birds…

BenJones©Cormorant1ed


…Cormorants and Gannets.

BenJones©Gannet2ed

I included this picture of a gull; I really like how the sun makes it look like he has a silver outline.

BenJones©Gull1ed

Plus I saw first hand what happens to the balloons you see drifting off to the horizon after they have slipped through their owners grasp…

BenJones©Balloons1ed

…They don’t float into space.

By the end of my 2 weeks the sightings board was pretty packed.

20130505_214828

Thanks for reading guys.

I now leave you with Sara for the next two weeks, fingers crossed for more calm conditions.

Chow for now.

 

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