This week our Wildlife Officer progmme in the English Channel has come to an end. Find out what Maeva has been up to during her last week on board.
I cannot believe I am spending my last days on board DFDS ferries from Dieppe to Newhaven. The programme is sadly coming to an end and I have had a lovely final week to close this chapter.
Both ferries have been full with more than 500 passengers at almost every crossing, and even once with 600, its maximum capacity! Therefore, I couldn’t get into my usual routine as all the lounges are requested. Most of the time, passengers that were already seated, were very keen to hear about cetaceans, allowing me to continue my presentations. In cases where some were resting and sleeping, I decided to respect their privacy and tranquillity and surveyed on the bridge instead. Once again, the presentations were a big success with over 40 people attending. Kids really impressed me by how much they knew, sometimes even more than the adults!
The weather had been great at the beginning of the week but on the day ORCA OceanWatch started, the wind rose at 30kn, with moderate swell heights and numerous whitecaps, many passengers were feeling a bit seasick. On our departure to Newhaven, the Captain executed a manoeuvre I had never seen before; only used when the wind is strong, it is called a “swing”. Rather than leaving the port backward and rotating once in open waters, the ferry was turned around 180degrees inside the port… with very limited space left at the front (< 5 meters)! It is risky in cases where there are gusts of wind as it could drift the boat from its original point of manoeuvre. I learnt there are very few places in the world where it is possible to achieve this and Newhaven is one of them! It was absolutely amazing to watch and I am thrilled to have seen it before the end of my time on board.
I am really going to miss the crews and the Officers. They have welcomed me into their world and I loved every second of it. To all of them, a huge thank you. Thank you for helping me run this programme successfully, whether it was for the organisation, the tannoy announcements or the final-touch for the designs. Thank you for showing me around the vessel, for letting me in the Engine Room, on the Bridge. Thank you for taking interest in what we do at ORCA, and for considering me like a crew member. I really hope I will get the chance to work again with them in the future.
And of course, many thanks to the passengers! Huge thanks for your donations, they have been amazing! Thanks for attending the talks and for all your wonderful comments, I had an incredible time sharing my passion and hearing about your amazing experiences.
Only a few days left and as it is ORCA OceanWatch week, fingers crossed for lots of sightings to make this the perfect end to the English Channel Wildlife Officer programme!
Wildlife Office English Channel