Posted by: orcaweb | May 5, 2016

Porpoises and pledges to help ORCA conserve North Sea Wildlife

The last week on board has been eventful as the stormy conditions Kerry encountered persisted. With snow and hail in the North East towards the end of April, it left ORCA unable to survey with passengers some evenings. obs deck

Our sightings started to show up with the lovely sunshine in Holland, meaning as many as seven harbour porpoises were spotted by eager passengers sailing from North Shields to Ijmuiden. The porpoises were seen individually and due to them being the second smallest cetacean (whales, dolphins & porpoises) in the world, at only 1.5m (on average) the 160m long DFDS King Seaways always means their behaviour is relativity shocked, resulting in a fleeting sightings and small splash as the dolphin rolls forward quickly grabbing a blowhole of air from the surface.IMG_8264 (2)

Departing Ijmuiden in the beautiful conditions with a sea state of only 2 meant that it was peaceful out on deck, with little wind and sightings were relatively easy for passengers.

pax out on deck

Passengers sailing are able to borrow opticron binoculars from the ORCA centre and take them out to the Observation deck at the front of the vessel.


Here is Finley  having a go at wildlife watching with ORCA.

Sunglasses and smiles are my uniform of choice currently, as the wind can sometimes come in from the coast and most recently it has been in a westerly direction veering South, so hopefully Kerry will surf on the King Seaways all the way to Holland as she departs for the next fortnight on board.


Here is passenger Aquafina whoes mum Leigh worked on whale watching vessels in Canada and has instilled a love of nature in her beautiful daughter!

Lots of fun continued in the ORCA centre this week, as Jarrow FC players showed their artistic skills as well as talent on the pitch!

Jarrow fc group

ORCA have recently launched their online ‘Make a Small Change‘ campaign; which I started on board King Seaways. ORCA’s Make a Small Change campaign is your chance to make a difference.  See how making just small changes to your behaviour can have a wider impact on the marine environment.  Select your pledges from our list or make your own personalised pledge.  You will receive your pledge certificate by email.

Omy pledge

Here is my pledge!

naomis pledge

Naomi was the first passenger to get involved and fill in her pledge and promise to the ‘Make a Small Change’ campaign on board DFDS King Seaways.


The keen younger generation who are always very excited to see marine animals have been helping me out on deck (and dressing up as Wildlife Officers, following their Introduction to North Sea Wildlife workshop in the ORCA Wildlife Centre on deck 9. ORCA are happy to announce that our first intern, who will be completing their wildlife experience at sea arrives on the 10th May to assist Kerry for 3 weeks onboard. Ellie Cooper will be with us on the 10th of May …and this will be her office 🙂

obv deck

I will be handing over to Kerry for the next 2 weeks and concentrating on shore watches at the local lighthouse along the North East coastline until I am back on board on the 18th.

If you are interested in getting involved with ORCA please visit our website

Happy Sailing Kerry

sign off


Rachael 🙂

Community Wildlife Officer

Your Seas – North East






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