Jul24

A busy Bay of Biscay!

Categories // Bay of Biscay Wildlife Officer

A busy Bay of Biscay!

Welcome Charlotte on board the Cap Finistère to start her 4 weeks on board as a Wildlife Officer Placement! 

Hey all, Louise here! It has been a few weeks since I have written anything between my time off and handing over the blogging reins to Laura! It was sad to say goodbye to Laura after all her hard work but I am fortunate to be joined by Charlotte all the way from Germany! Charlotte has got stuck in straight away, with her cheerful nature and stories of travels and home, entertaining everyone on board.

We have had a great week full of cetaceans and wonderful passengers of all ages! I have particularly enjoyed being surrounded by excitable, passionate kids full of extraordinary facts and questions! Their energy is completely infectious and we have had a great time playing games and watching out on deck. I was particularly heartened by sisters who wrote us a thoughtful poem, Olivia who (after dancing away with Pierre le Bear) spent hours with me fearlessly braving the winds, and Louis whose passion for the ocean kept him chatting and watching with us all afternoon! We have definitely met some future marine biologists!

Cap blog 240719 Charlotte Louis Louise

Charlotte, Louis and Louise out on deck! 

I will now leave you with Charlotte to tell you more about this week’s sightings!

Hello, this is Charlotte writing. I’ve just finished my first week as the new Wildlife Officer Placement on the Cap Finistère with Louise, taking over from Laura. Before coming to the ORCA headquarters and meeting everyone at the office last week I was really scared and did not know what to expect. That feeling changed into excitement as soon as I met the team.

I’ve had a wonderful first week on the Cap Finistère with some spectacular sightings and loads of friendly whales and dolphins! We were so lucky to have a large whale, probably a fin or sei whale, diving under the ship right below us on my second day. Louise and I were too amazed by the details of its fluke in the crystal-clear water of the Bay to grab our cameras. Fortunately, shortly after, a Cuvier’s beaked whale popped up right next to us – and we got some amazing photos of that to share with you!

It felt as if the Bay had something different prepared for us every day and we could never predict what the sea would throw at us on our next watch. Pods of common, striped and bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoises, fin and beaked whales, sunfish and blue sharks – we have seen it all in just a single week! It can get overwhelming for me sometimes, especially as I am not yet as good of a spotter as Louise. Counting the numbers of dolphins in pods is still very hard for me, but I’m hoping to improve on this in the next couple of weeks.

Cap blog 240719 Blue Shark

Blue Shark 

I cannot believe how fast the time of my first of four weeks went by. Although I’m sad that Louise will be leaving me tomorrow for a couple of weeks, I am looking forward to meeting Emma and seeing much more of the beautiful wildlife of the Bay of Biscay.  

Charlotte and Louise

ORCA Wildlife Officer Placement and Wildlife Officer – The Bay of Biscay