The colder weather hasn’t stopped wildlife in the North Sea putting on a show for everyone on board the KING Seaways!
Well folks it’s been a whale-y wonderful week with some celestial goings on. Our week started off slow with choppy seas and a few harbour porpoises. However, on Wednesday the planets aligned, the seas calmed and it all kicked off!
Our Wednesday deck watch, as we left Newcastle, started with a pod of 6 common dolphins followed by a pod of 7 more common dolphins followed by a pod of 6 white-beaked dolphins! My, oh my, we barely had a moment to get over this excitement when along came a pod of large bottlenose dolphins! Passengers could not believe their eyes. A small lull ensued but the atmosphere on the deck was palatable, within minutes 2 more pods of white- beaked dolphins graced us with their presences, a dolphin bonanza of over 30!
But that wasn’t all the North Sea had planned for us that evening, as word spread of the dolphins the deck became fuller with excited passengers. That’s when the big boys came out, almost as if they waited for a full and anticipating audience. Sighting! A minke whale right at the front portside. 30 seconds later again, a minke starboard side, then again this time sticking its pointy ‘pike-like’ head out and showing us its blow another 2 minkes. Well I have never heard some many joyous passengers. Finally, just as our deck watch was coming to an end, 3 harbour porpoises showed themselves followed by 2 grey seal both slowly milling watching us, unfazed by our large vessel. What a truly wonderful Wednesday!
Friday was also a sight to behold not because of sighting numbers but because of the quality of our sightings. On this nights deck watch the moon was out in full and a beautiful minke decided to come out in the moonlight glow right beside the ship. It was an almost celestial event. Sunday ended our great week on a high with a total of 14 common and white beaked dolphins in the morning and 2 breaching minke whales in the evening.
It’s been an atmospheric great week with excited and interesting passengers once again and boy did the wildlife give us a show! However, there is one thing which myself and Helen can confirm and that is that winter has arrived here in the North Sea. The bitter winter wind has reawakened and from such a fabulous warm summer we’ve had, it is not welcome. Let’s hope this is as cold as it gets, at least for a while.
Thanks for checking in on another week here in the North Sea.
Wildlife Officer North Sea