It was a great start of the week for Wildlife Officer Kelly De Vries in the North Sea.
Let’s start by saying that my shift started off great, with a minke whale sighting just of the bow of the ship only 2 days after arriving back on the ship! The sighting happened just before starting the presentation to the passengers so the talk was delayed. Definitely not a bad reason to delay the talk!
So the last few weeks have been school holidays for the Dutch children, therefore we have been seeing lots of Dutch passengers in the ORCA wildlife lounge on board the DFDS King seaways, but also on deck during the deck watches. The lovely warm weather meant passengers could stay out for hours to try and spot wildlife, most often with harbour porpoise sightings. On one particular deck watch during the evening, we had very calm and quiet weather conditions; meaning I could hear the harbour porpoises take their breath right next to the ship!
On Friday the 4th of May, I was happy to welcome a group of university students from the University of Newcastle on board the ship while in Newcastle port. We began our afternoon together with a presentation about ORCA, and the North Sea and its wildlife. We then went out on the observation deck where I got the chance to show them how we spot animals out at sea and the equipment we use to collect our data. The students then got the chance to try it out for themselves by spotting sea birds using binoculars.
I’m also glad to report that I have signed on our second new ORCA member! Our members are very important to us, and therefore we are excited to have added another member! If you want to become a member of ORCA yourself, be sure to check out our different memberships by using the following link.
Something else worth mentioning is that Orcas have been seen by fisherman just above Newcastle last weekend! So fingers crossed we will be encountering them soon along our crossing!
All in all, it has been a good and productive week, and I am looking forward to welcoming many more passengers in the Wildlife lounge and out on deck!
Kelly de Vries – Wildlife Officer ORCA