Our English Channel Wildlife Officer, Maeva, tells us about the fifth week of her inaugural season on the Dieppe - Newhaven route
I am back for a fifth week on-board the DFDS ferries from Dieppe to Newhaven and once again, it has been great!
Thanks to the nice weather, many passengers are willing to spend most of the crossing out on the open decks with me. The French couple that crossed on the Summer Solstice day were back on board on Wednesday. They recognized me and came to say “Hi”, and they spent most of the day on deck enjoying the sun and admiring the sea.
On Bastille’s Day, I had another French passenger thatspecifically booked the 5.30 pm crossing to attend my talk! She was passionate about marine biology, even though it was not her field of study, she had many questions and was being curious about everything. The talk was well-attended, as it has been throughout the entire week, and once I was finished, many went on deck to try to spot animals, while the French woman and a couple of other passengers stayed in the lounge with me asking numerous questions about ORCA, personal experiences and other options there were to get more involved. We were talking for quite a while when one of the young girl came back shouting “Miss, I just saw dolphins!!!”. I asked her if she could tell me what it was, when she took her phone out and said: “I don’t really know, it was far in the distance but look! There is a few of them! Can you tell what they are?”. I noticed the 2 dorsal fins on the surface appearing in the shadow of the sunset, “looking at their patterns and dorsal shape, it is most likely to be two common dolphins slowly swimming at the back of the ferry” I answered. When I saw the smile on her face and the joy in her eyes, I knew my mission for the day was complete!
Many passengers have shared their projects and ideas with me in the last few weeks, whether it has been about travelling Europe to be with family or experiencing isolated places, all their stories are worth listening to and I loved each one of them! They are all from different horizons; from former IT professor, English teacher, translator, oceanographer, BBC reporter, retired, passionate about medieval history, designers to artists, and yet despite those different pathways they all came to learn more about the marine world that surrounds us. I was amazed by how much some of them knew about cetaceans and the threats they are facing, and thrilled by the interest in wildlife. If you are reading this and happen to be taking this crossing in the next 2 weeks, do not hesitate to come see me, share your experience and learn fun facts about the marine world, I will be on-board until the beginning of August.
I look forward to seeing you!