Posted by: orcaweb | September 19, 2017

It’s the final count down……

I find myself in my final full week working on-board the DFDS King Seaways. I can’t say it began with the greatest start, heavy sea states, sideways rain and icy cold winds made deck watches rather challenging this week. On a few occasions the deck was shut due to a heavy swell and high winds and the ‘white horses’ were consistent in their gallop.


Dramatic lighting of the autumnal North Sea

When the weather is less than desirable it is always the birds of the North Sea that keep our faith in its wildlife! The great skuas seemed to have increased in number, always a favourite addition to any deck watch, even in the constant rain these bulky birds pursue the meals of other unsuspecting sea birds.


A great skua

With all this rain it was inevitable that we would see rainbows and what a treat they were. One day we even sailed straight underneath the full arch of a brilliant bow! So bright one moment and then quickly fading away into the misty damp air. With the bad weather I’ve also had time to notice the wonderful colours of winter. The thick clouds and changing light cause amazing displays. Blues, violets and purples making the cold air feel even colder and then autumnal golden yellows and oranges warming the observation deck back up, if only visually. Cloud formation enthusiasts would also be having a real field day, sometimes being so low they feel close enough to touch.


A striking rainbow amongst the mist

Finally as the weekend came around the sea calmed enough for some brief sightings of harbour porpoise. The birds also seemed to come out in force taking advantage of the storms mixing powers on the sea. The clouds had even cleared enough for myself and passengers to enjoy a wonderful sunset.


A beautiful sunset

On Sunday, I took shore leave in Newcastle to visit Whitley Bay at take part in the annual Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean event. Here myself and almost 40 other volunteers from the local area came together, litter pickers in hand to remove any debris that we could find. The most common item we found were cigarette filters. It takes a cigarette filter approximately 200 years to degrade, that means every modern day cigarette filter every created still exists on this planet somewhere in some form! So not only is smoking incredibly bad for your health, it is also poisoning our marine wildlife as well. Other items found were cable ties and plastic bags. All of which are extremely detrimental to marine wildlife. Please remember if visiting your local coast line take only pictures and leave only memories, let’s all help to preserve the natural beauty of our shores.


Our data from the beach clean at Whitley Bay

By Monday morning the sideways rain had returned with a vengeance and I was happy to great Julia back on-board that evening. Julia will now be on-board for the final week of the season with myself joining her on several occasions to close the Wildlife Officer season. Please come back next week to see how Julia gets on and to see a summary of our sightings so this year.


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