I don’t know how they always do it, but the porpoise always seem to give me a spectacular ending to my shift – and today was no exception! Guests and I had 24 harbour porpoise sightings upon arriving and leaving Amsterdam today. The water was calm and the wind was low, giving great conditions to be on the lookout for wildlife. In addition to this, I had the experienced eyes of the wildlife watching group “Delta Safari”, from the Netherlands, with me this weekend who had chosen to come on board the King Seaways because of our ORCA centre.
The first day of their trip wasn’t looking as promising as we had hoped – our evening deck watch was the wettest I have experienced of the season! (My shoes are still drying in my cabin). Then the next morning was so foggy and rainy we couldn’t even see the sea from the front of the ship. However, overnight the weather cleared and both this morning and this evening’s deck watches were very eventful for the guests with porpoise sightings every few minutes (with the gannets flying overhead of course). Other sightings included gulls, sandwich terns and guillemots.
The most unusual sighting of the week was a lone tree pipit, which landed on the front of the ship one misty morning looking a little lost. After sampling several different parts of the anchor for a suitable perch (perhaps in hope that it was a novel type of tree) it gave up and sat on the bow of the ship looking a little perplexed. Tree pipits are usually seen in woodlands and, after pecking half-heartedly at some tiny pieces of seaweed, it decided it had better try and find its way back to one!
I’m now off the ship for 2 weeks shore leave where I’ll be heading over to Oban to hopefully see two old friends of mine – a pair of minke whales (siblings) that I saw every day last year.
See you in two weeks!