Introducing our Wildlife Officers who will be on board the Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven this summer!
Last week all our 2020 Wildlife Officer recruits joined members of the ORCA team in the North Sea for a fin filled week of training! A brilliant week was had by all, learning about ORCA's work, inspiring passengers about amazing whales and dolphins and enjoying deck watches with harbour porpoise sightings!
Meet Peter, Kate and Zoe, our Wildlife Officers who will be joining the Brittany Pont-Aven in March to spend the summer sailing across the Bay of Biscay!
A Southerner in the North Sea
Deck Watch 1 Log and Notes:
Name: Peter (the beardy one in the group pictures)
Location: North Sea
Date: 28th February 2020
Activity: Practice deck watch
Temperature: Numb toes
Sea state: Wind swept and interesting
Swell: a bit upy downy and wibbly wobbly (Anna: ‘you can’t put that’) correction: 3
Speed: Knot 15mph
Hi all cetacean enthusiasts! My name is Peter and I am one of the new ORCA Wildlife Officers for the 2020 season. I will be based on the Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven, being ferried (wahey!) between the UK, Spain, France and Ireland.
I have just finished my training with all the other Wildlife Officers in the North Sea. I thought I’d let you know how it’s gone and if you stick around to the end I will give you a pro tip on the number one way to see whales and dolphins when you’re out at sea!
The training has included a huge amount of information and although a lot of it may have gone in one ear and out the other, like a fin whale catching krill in its baleen plates, I think I might have been able to keep hold of some of it (pause for whale joke chuckle).
We’ve gained loads of knowledge like Cetacean ID, Seabird ID, ORCA’s aims and success’s, presentation skills, how to combat seasickness, how to eat your own weight in food at a buffet, a wave is not a whale no matter how hard you stare at it and much much more.
My favourite part of the whole experience though has been meeting all the other passionate Wildlife Officers. They will all be travelling far and wide on different ferries from the UK, imparting their knowledge and stories to the passengers with engaging presentations and gripping deck watches. I am excited to hear about the things they see and the people they meet over the coming months. All I’d like to say to them for now is good luck!
....And the first one to see an orca wins!
Thank you for reading my waffle, you’ve made it to the end and therefore I shall impart some of my new found knowledge so please read carefully.
Whales and dolphins live in the water. Its good to know this so you don’t waste time looking for them in the sky…
Once you’ve got this skill down its really just a case of doing some good old staring at the sea…
Peter Selway – ORCA Wildlife Officer
Kate here, the new Wildlife Officer for the Bay of Biscay! We have had a great week training for our new roles with ORCA and meeting our other fellow Wildlife Officers. What a lovely bunch! We spent this morning practising our deck watch skills and bird identification in the beautiful setting of the North Sea. Unfortunately, we had no cetaceans today but we saw lots of guillemots, gannets, eider ducks and gulls!
The week so far has been jam-packed full of training. Super excited to share all of this with future customers at Brittany Ferries, whether that’s during presentations, children’s activities or deck watches. I’m not sure what I’m looking forward to the most!?! Deck watches are definitely going to be fun for spotting wildlife. My favourite animal is the orca, so send me some good luck for the next six months, please!
I will be based on the Pont-Aven, which is Brittany Ferries flagship ferry with Zoe and Peter. We’ve all been having so much fun already with the other Wildlife Officers, the next six months is going to be great. Can’t wait to hear what the others will all be getting up to on their blogs. Stay tuned!
A photographer, a seal nurse and a research assistant walk onto a boat…
…to learn how to be ORCA Wildlife Officers!
I’m Zoe and I’m thrilled to joining ORCA’s 2020 team along with Peter and Kate as Wildlife Officers aboard Brittany Ferries’ Pont Aven.
This week we packed our bags and headed up North to sunny Newcastle to meet all of the other new Wildlife Officer teams and head aboard the KING Seaways. Lead by the wonderful Anna and Emily from the office, we spent a jampacked week learning all about what this coming season has in store for us. From discussing presentation techniques and brushing up on our marine mammal (and seabird) ID skills, to comparing seasickness tablets’ effectiveness and working out how to best juggle a pair of binoculars and a logger tablet at the same time, we have covered all of this ins and outs of what life at sea will throw at us.
Favourite part of the week: Meeting all of the lovely and insanely enthusiastic new Wildlife Officers.
Lesson of the week: My gloves are NOT warm enough. I will need to acquire an upgrade before I start spending long periods deck watching.
Most looking forward to: Spending an incredible season spotting whales and dolphins!