Having a Whale of a time!

Categories // Bay of Biscay

Having a Whale of a time!

Check out the amazing encounters our Wildlife Officer Emily's had on her first two weeks onboard!

Emily here, checking in after a busy two weeks! I can’t believe I am now half way through my time on-board Cap Finistere as a Wildlife Officer and what a two weeks it has been! I remember looking at a map of the ship and thinking I would never be able to find my way around but two weeks in I believe I’m starting to get the hang of life on-board. During my first week we came up against some bad weather which was a bit of a test however I think I can now say my sea legs are starting to develop and are seeing me through any rough sea states. I have seen some amazing cetacean species including Cuvier’s Beaked Whales, pilot Whales, risso’s dolphins and common dolphins. My personal highlight was seeing seventeen large rorqual whales in an hour including fin whales! There is something very special about being in the right place at the right time to spot these magnificent marine mammals in their natural environment.

I have also enjoyed having the opportunity to engage and enthuse passengers of all ages about the cetacean species we can find in European waters and some of the diverse range of species they could encounter during their crossing. We have been receiving some fantastic feedback from our presentations and it has been great to have so many passengers keen to learn more about whales, dolphins and porpoises. I don’t think there is a more rewarding feeling than to be told how inspiring your interaction with someone during their crossing has been. Judging by some of our feedback from younger passengers, Heather and I have encouraged some budding zoologists or marine biologists!

It has been heartening to interact with people who are just as passionate about marine mammals and conserving them as I am. I have discovered that particularly the younger generation are incredibly aware of the current threats facing marine animals, including marine litter, and have a strong desire to help anyway they can. Many of the passengers we have encountered have been keen to tell us about their efforts to reduce their plastic use, to make more sustainable seafood choices and to participate in regular beach cleans. It has been wonderful to see people so passionate about protecting cetaceans, other marine animals and their habitats. I am privileged to have met so many like-minded people on-board and the rest of the team at ORCA. Let’s see what the next two weeks bring!