Jul03

WIND POWER!

Categories // English Channel Wildlife Officer

WIND POWER!

Hello again whale lovers! It has been a month since we started the ORCA program on-board DFDS Seaways.

Time is going so quickly! With summer starting, we were hoping for great weather, especially with the temperatures rising so high in France, but it seems mother nature decided on another path at sea. In fact, the weather conditions increased throughout the week, the decks were closed for safety reasons until Saturday with wind reaching a speed up to 70 knots! It comes with no surprises that the first deck watch of the week on Saturday felt absolutely wonderful with a sea state close to one and the sun irradiated our faces. To make it even better, a dorsal fin appeared on the beautiful panorama during the evening watch; it was very rapid, the animal only took 2 quick breaths before disappearing, and 15 minutes later another one appeared very briefly as well. As it was sunset, minutes before entering Dieppe harbour, it is quite difficult to confirm the species but from what we gathered, the first one looked like a common dolphin and the second one like a harbour porpoise! What we were hoping for finally arrived!!     

At the beginning of the week, we mainly focused on indoor activities and presentations as the weather wasn't looking great! Wednesday, a class of 40 French kids were present, and they were very keen to learn about whales and dolphins. Their hands were flying around the room followed by hundreds of questions “can blue whales eat us?”, “if I were to dive under the ferry, would I see the basking sharks?”, “can dolphins talk to each other?”. As I was answering their questions and showing them the true size of these animals, I noticed more than ever that having fun while learning is the best recipe for a successful educational program! After their 2-day trip, they were back on-board on Thursday evening and made a special request to visit the Bridge. I was kindly asked by the Chief Officer, on watch at the time, to join him in order to accompany the visit by including my own perspective, mapping the route and where to spot cetaceans, reviewing port and starboard with them etc. It was a wonderful initiative, if only the weather would have cooperated with us… Despite feeling slightly under the weather, some of them were still really keen and asking numerous questions, congratulations again for their ardent interests! While listening to the childrens questions, I could not restraint smiling thinking that maybe, maybe one of them will one day become a marine… After all, many of the Crew and Officers remember their young self being very sensitive at sea! One thing is sure, those kids will never forget the experience!         

As we are starting our second month, let’s hope for better weather and positive thinking for many more sightings! See you next week!

Maeva