The 2019 ORCA Wildlife Officer programme in the English Channel has begun!
I am thrilled to announce that I am back on board the DFDS Seaways travelling from Dieppe to Newhaven as an ORCA Wildlife Officer! I am honoured to run it again this summer, and I cannot believe a whole year has passed by since we first launched this programme. I have to admit I have been waiting for this day for weeks; when I was walking to the pier the first morning and was faced with the 145 meters-long ferry looking at me, I was so enthusiastic and trembling with excitement! When I stepped on board and saw the crews, the Officers, it felt like I never left.
We started off the week with some lovely weather and calm seas. I got back into my routine really quickly running the programme like I used to; once passengers have embarked and settled down, I introduce myself to them personally announcing the talk I am giving about the marine wildlife of the English Channel and how they can get involved with the charity and our conservation work. Finishing off the crossing with a watch on Deck 8 hoping for some sightings. On the second day, right before entering Newhaven harbour, a sunfish appeared on starboard a few meters away from the boat. It is the largest bony fish on earth and could reach a size of 3 meters and they often look like they are “floating” right below the surface.
Mid-week, storm Miguel came in and made it impossible to go out on decks. The crossings were quite rough and it was certainly an experience being with 500 passengers in those conditions. Some still got the courage to attend the presentations and I want to thank them again, I know it was a true effort to focus on what I was saying with the ferry rocking so much! Thankfully, storm Miguel was gone by the end of the week.
Keep your fingers crossed for this new season! Let’s hope to have a fin-tastic weather combined with loads of sightings! Not to forget that I also have a lot of fun and interactive activities planned passengers over the summer, including our younger audience ;)! So, if you happen to be taking the 12:30 from Dieppe and/or the 17:30 from Newhaven crossings in the next 3 months, don’t be shy, come say hi! I will be delighted to see you!
ORCA Wildlife Officer - The English Channel