The weekend brought majestic birds gliding in the wind for our Wildlife Officer in the North Sea
My first week back on the KING Seaways was a bit different to our usual overnight crossings. On Tuesday and Wednesday we were at sea for most of the day and had a slightly later arrival on Thursday. This meant we could delay our morning deck watches until the mist had lifted and we had greater visibility. We also conducted additional deck watches in the early afternoon of Tuesday and Wednesday in areas of our crossing not often surveyed. We were also able to open the ORCA Wildlife Lounge from mid-morning to arrival, generally we are only able to open the Lounge in the evening. Passengers could listen to presentations on the wildlife of the North Sea, watch various whale and dolphin documentaries or simply browse the displays available throughout the Lounge and enjoy the beautiful view.
By the weekend we were back on our usual schedule. On Saturday morning I was about to leave the Observation Deck as I had ended my scheduled Deck Watch when a sneaky seal popped up right in front of the boat. Spotting conditions have not been great as the swell may obscure any dorsal fins that breach the surface and a splash from a jump may be perceived as just another of many white caps which is the effect of the wind on the water. Yet these are the times when you appreciate the flying prowess of the gulls and gannets. There is something majestic watching a bird gliding on the wind. One evening we actually had a gannet flying along with us for over an hour, maintaining a position just above the bridge. It was great to look up every now and then to watch the bird surveying the waters for any tasty morsels down below. Thick mist came in very quickly and before I knew it I could barely see the front of the ship, so I am not sure when my feathered friend left the company of the ship.
I look forward to seeing many gannets (if not that particular one) and other masters of the sky during our crossings in the coming week. Check back again next week for an update on the wildlife of the North Sea.
ORCA Wildlife Officer - North Sea