You've heard of 4 seasons in one day well the North Sea gave us all sea conditions in one week!
From big swells and strong wind, to extremely calm. In the worst of the weather the observation deck was actually sheltered from the wind so it was great to watch the beautiful, stormy sea in relative comfort. We did get to experience the full force of the wind when the ship turned into it. We even had one wave crash against the bow completely engulfing the front mooring deck. It seemed to happen in slow motion giving us time to move away from the railing and turn our backs on the coming shower. Luckily most passengers were wearing rain gear and afterward everyone was in good spirits though a bit shocked at the unexpected experience. Soon after the ship changed course again and we could watch the waves against the break water from relative shelter from the wind as the ship was expertly manoeuvred into port with the aid of a tugboat.
Astonishingly, two days later when returning to the same area the conditions were so calm with barely any swell and only a light breeze, I could actually hear the chatty sandwich terns from quite a distance. Though no feeding frenzies were observed on this occasion the patient passengers were rewarded with several sightings of white beaked dolphins and harbour porpoise, including a calf as well as 2 minke whales. The previous evening, conditions were similar and 15 minke whales were seen within half an hour!
This weekend our new Wildlife Officer, Sunita joined me aboard the KING Seaways to familiarise herself with the KING as she will be running the ORCA Wildlife Lounge for the next two weeks. Come back next week to check how her first week has been and what surprises the North Sea has to offer!
North Sea Wildlife Officer