Here at ORCA we love to see our volunteer Marine Mammal Surveyors becoming friends and keeping in touch after meeting on surveys and cruises, so were thrilled when we heard that Charlotte and Terry were getting married after meeting on an ORCA trip! Read on to find out their story.
I had booked as a birthday treat to myself the MMS (Marine Mammal Surveyors trip) Sea Safari in the early part of 2019, due to a fire aboard the Pont-Aven the trip was rescheduled to the October. I was really looking forward to the trip to reunite with old ORCA friends that I had met back in 2016 and to hopefully make some new ones whilst watching stunning marine life. What could possibly be better?
I boarded the ship in Plymouth and was thrilled to see so many old faces. Biscay delivered and we had great sightings. My bird knowledge at that point was still improving and Terry a keen birder had the ultimate moves when it came to showing how a Cory's Shearwater flies. I'm sure it wasn’t just me that noticed that these moves came out more than once. It was not just the moves but also the wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and general fun and laughter that we all shared.
I remember thinking the last time we all had a bite to eat and Terry picked up his binoculars and camera to leave the restaurant. I thought how much fun I had had with him and a pang of ooh I’m going to miss him.
Once home I settled myself back into work, I wondered whether I could try and get in touch with Terry as I knew he lived by the sea in Cornwall and whilst I was landlocked in Wiltshire thought at least we could exchange a message now and then to see what we both been up to.
Cliché but these days it is all about social media and I found him on Facebook.
Then began the occasional message which turned into phone calls becoming also more frequent and then he suggested why don’t I pop down to Cornwall for a few days.
I spent a few days before Christmas in 2019 with him and then a few more after and into the new year. New Year’s Day 2020 we were watching Bottlenose Dolphins and Terry said I wonder what the next New Year’s day we could be watching?
Terry then had a month-long Cruise for ORCA to the Caribbean. I briefly saw him after then I was away to Norway for ORCA in the February.
It then became apparent that all these weekend journeys up and down to each of our homes and work would not be sustainable long term.
Terry suggested I gave up my job, house and move in with him by the sea in Cornwall. So I did, the plan was to have some time off and see what the county had to offer. Sadly, not long after I arrived Terry was diagnosed with cancer, a small hiccup that we have now passed and have had the all-clear.
This New Year’s Day we were watching a Humpback Whale and on the 1st August surrounded by close family and friends, we tied the knot!
Thanks to ORCA I have found my soul mate.
A big congratulations to Charlotte and Terry and thank you for sharing your story with us, we are so happy for you to have found each other. From everyone at ORCA, best wishes for a ‘fin-filled’ future together.