Posted by: orcaweb | September 13, 2016

Penultimate week for the 2016 Wildlife Officer season on board DFDS King Seaways

It’s our penultimate week on board the DFDS King Seaways for this season, we can’t believe how quickly it’s gone! Unfortunately the calm seas Kerry saw at the end of last week were not here to stay and both the weather and sea state were very temperamental throughout the week.

We had a great start to the week and left Newcastle on Monday we saw 2 white-beaked dolphins swimming right next to the boat making me very hopeful for sightings over the next few days. But the following deck watches of the week were unsuccessful in terms of marine mammal sightings, even on days where we had perfect conditions there were none to be seen. However we did see a wide array of sea birds including juvenile gannets, razorbills, cormorants and even a puffin!

Our luck seemed to change on Wednesday, that evening we saw 6 white beaked dolphins made up of a pair and then a group of 4, much to the delight of all the passengers who had joined me out on deck. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to spot anything else until the end of the week.

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White-beaked dolphin (stock photo)

On Friday the 9th we were very lucky to have an ORCA Marine Mammal Survey team join us for a few days, and the team included Ruth Coxon who was one of the Wildlife Officers on board the King Seaways last year. It was lovely to have her back on the ship, unfortunately they didn’t get perfect conditions but during their longer survey hours they did manage to see some marine wildlife on their trip. Especially on their return journey into Newcastle on Sunday when they say over 15 harbour porpoise, a Grey seal and a Minke Whale!!

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Minke whale (stock photo)

Even though we haven’t seen many marine mammals we have still been having lots of passengers joining us for our deck watches and have been having a great time in our ORCA Wildlife Centre on the boat doing presentations and lots of childrens activities such as making paper plate and origami sea creatures!

The week ended on a great note with calm waters and sunny skies as we were leaving Ijmuiden on Monday evening, and we managed to spot 4 harbour porpoise swimming right in front of the boat.

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Harbour porpoise (stock photo)

Hopefully the perfect waters and the luck we had at the end of the week will continue for me and Kerry for our last week of the season!!

Rebecca

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