Posted by: orcaweb | June 29, 2015

Swarms on Jellyfish, Minke whales and lots of happy passengers :)

The last week has been a hive of activity on board DFDS King Seaways. The activity in the ORCA Centre has been through the roof and our sightings have been great the past few days. Below are a group of 48 polish students who came into the ORCA Centre and out on deck watch, my limited Polish went down well (‘Shemma’) means Hi in a cool way, so that got some laughs coming from an English girl 🙂

polish class

I managed to capture photos of breaching white-beaked dolphins as I left on my first sail for a few weeks.  Conditions were great with a low sea state and no longer was I wearing my thermal gloves (hooray, it must be summer!)

A pod of 6 were spotted making quite a splash for passengers on- board

Breaching White Beaked Dolphin

A pod of six were spotted making quite a splash for passengers on board, notice the distinctive white saddle behind the dorsal fin.

notice the distinctive white saddle behind the dorsal fin

A particularly great day was Thursday 25th June, where we spotted four harbour porpoises and a pod of four white beaked dolphins with a calf in the morning as we approached North Shields.  On our departure we were surveying continuously from 5pm through until 10pm as conditions were so good and managed to spot an additional 12 porpoises in the evening, another pod of four white beaked dolphins and two minke whales later on as we approached around 21:30-22:00 CET time, just as the sun was going down
Minke whale taken by Roef Mulder

We were visited by another group from Delta Safari (a dutch ornithological wildlife group) who were heading up to the Farne Islands on a field trip, they used the ORCA Centre to give a presentation to guests on the logistics and particular species they were interested in seeing.

delta saf

Delta Safari members out on observation deck, were kept entertained by diving gannets and formations of flying razorbills.

Our new ORCA intern Jacob has started over the last week, he spotted many jellyfish on his first trip out of North Shields which certainly had an impact on the number of cetaceans we saw. He is adjusting to life on board a ship, and will introduce himself next week.

internAs our sightings are improving Jacob is helping out vastly; in particular since the North East Your Seas programme has been shortlisted as one of the Best Environmental projects by the National Lottery. To vote please follow this link.

spot the difference

Here I am again, educating young passengers on board, after a successful deck watch.

Until next time


until next


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