Posted by: orcaweb | August 22, 2016

Changeable Weather, Seabirds and Cetaceans

This week the sightings on DFDS King Seaways started quite slowly. Despite lots of passengers taking part in all of our deck watches providing many more pairs of eyes we didn’t see anything on Tuesday (16th), and on Wednesday (17th) we only spotted one small cetacean as we left Ijmuiden, unfortunately it was such a fleeting glimpse and was so far away we were unable to identify it.

However, over the following days our luck started to change, as we sailed into Newcastle on Thursday morning Weng spotted a group of 4 white-beaked dolphins, and that evening as we sailed out of Newcastle we saw 2 harbour porpoises and another 2 white-beaked dolphins right next to the boat!! The next morning we managed to spot a spy-hopping grey seal.

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white-beaked dolphin surfacing

On Friday evening as we were leaving Ijmuiden, the water was almost mirror flat, and even though the fog meant poor visibility, we managed to see 7 harbour porpoise and 1 grey seal during our deck watch. Just proving how calm the water was, during the rest of the evening we also spotted another 6 harbour porpoise and another grey seal from the window of the ORCA centre!!

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Female grey seal

Unfortunately for the remainder of the week the sea was very rough so we didn’t have any other sightings of cetaceans but we did spot lots of seabirds including fulmars, guillemots, kittiwakes and lots of diving gannets as well as a little stowaway catching a ride across the choppy seas.

As some days we couldn’t do our deck watches because of the weather conditions it meant we spent a lot of time in the ORCA centre doing loads of activities, arts and crafts and presentations with passengers on board. This week, along with painting and poster making, our chalk board has been very popular with everyone drawing what they would most like to see in the North Sea.

And to end the week a few lucky passengers managed to succeed at our lemon challenge winning themselves a whale and dolphin poster.

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Hopefully next week will bring calm seas and lots of  sightings for us and everyone on board DFDS King Seaways.

Rebecca

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