This week we welcomed Denbigh Community Primary School on board the KING Seaways to learn about the wonderful world of cetaceans!
This week was a busy one aboard the KING Seaways in the North Sea - we have seen a minke whale on almost every crossing! Wednesday’s sighting was especially great as 82 pupils from Denbigh Community Primary School had boarded that afternoon for a 3 day return trip. We weren’t even half an hour out at sea when the whale was spotted, much to the amazement of many of the kids. Also joining me on Wednesday for 4 weeks was trainee wildlife officer Amelia. Thanks to her assistance and that of the staff accompanying the kids, our programme ran smoothly and the kids could just have fun whilst learning. They really excelled at the activities I had set up for them which included photo-identification and identifying the species from the description. All too soon their trip came to an end and we had to say goodbye. It was great to engage with the kids with their boundless enthusiasm and enquiring young minds.
That evening (Friday) an eagle-eyed ORCA marine mammal survey team boarded the KING for a 3 day return trip. The survey team spend daylight hours whilst we’re sailing on the bridge but I did manage to see them just before we set sail on their return voyage to compare notes. As it happened they had seen a sneaky minke whale the previous evening; it had popped up on the side of the ship already passed our field of view on the observation deck. Though we missed this individual yesterday evening we had an amazing sighting of a minke whale right next to the bow of the ship. The passengers that were on deck with us were absolutely delighted as they had already been astounded by the beauty and elegance of the many gannets accompanying the ship.
Summer holidays have started for many European kids and thus we have switched to our summer programme that includes an hour of kids’ activity. It’s wonderful to see children from various cultures and speaking different languages able to enjoy and learn from our activities. Many of them join us for our deck watches and it’s great to hear them identifying different bird and cetacean (whale, dolphin and porpoise) species.
What an incredible week we’ve had and I’m looking forward to another week of interesting queries and gems of information from inquisitive kids. Check in again next week to find out how Amelia gets on.
Chat again next week
Wildlife Officer North Sea