Our Wildlife Officer season on the Cap Finistère has come to an end! Find out about Lauras fianl week on board.
Alas the time has come, the sun is rising later, the nights are drawing in, and colder winds have begun to join us on deck watch. Winter is coming, and with it marks the end of our 2018 Orca Wildlife Officer season in the Bay of Biscay.
I’ve had an assortment of Emily’s join me on board for this final week. First our Supporter Development Officer, Emily, came aboard for a quick round trip to Bilbao and back and she was treated to some cracking sightings of Cuviers’ beaked whales and striped dolphins as a reward for her efforts. Then our former Wildlife Officer Placement, also Emily, popped back onto the Cap Finistère to see out the final days of the season with me. Our final days have granted us a spattering of dolphins, and even some unexpected large rorqual whales in the shallow waters near the Brittany Islands. So whilst my final weeks haven’t reached the sightings heights of Heather and Laurens humpback a few weeks ago, I have been treated to a steady stream of whales and dolphins to keep me enthralled.
I’ve also had to make peace with the idea that I will have to set aside my sea-faring life and return to the terrestrial world, although I’ve certainly racked up the mileage this summer on board. I calculated that since embarking on 27th March I have made thirty-two round trips to Bilbao, and sixteen round trips to Santander, a total of ninety-six individual sailings across the Bay of Biscay. This equates to roughly 51,520 nautical miles- quite some distance really.
But it’s not just about the miles I’ve racked up, and the animals I’ve seen. This summer I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to interact with 1000’s of travellers, all of which held their own individual passions and interests within the realm of conservation and undoubtedly helped me broaden and expand upon my understanding of the issues that face our oceans.
Then there’s the Brittany Ferries crew whom we’ve shared our time with on board. They’ve helped us spot numerous whales and dolphins, and joined in our excitement on deck! Not only that, they’ve become our companions on board and have kept us entertained at mealtimes, during our downtime, and even in the gym!
And then finally, there’s the girls I’ve spent my summer with; Heather, Sam, Alex, Emily, and Lauren, without whom I’m sure my time on board would have been very different. Hopefully each of us were able to use our own enthusiasm and approach to marine conservation to inspire and engage as many people as possible.
So thank you to ORCA, for choosing me to be a Wildlife Officer this summer, and all that’s left for me to do now is sign off, and wish you all a fin-tastic winter (sorry I could resist).
Wildlife Officer Bay of Biscay