We boarded the Mont St Michel eager to survey, however on greeting the reception we were informed that we could not go to the bridge as they had a major inspection. We therefore went and found an area on deck 8 that faced the bow, watching as per the protocol to enable the team to become accustomed to the logger.
As we started there was a large splash and a couple of incidental dolphins were sighted close to the Isle of Wight but the conditions and distance did not allow identification, but there were recorded as if they were on an actual survey thus helping the instruction.
This was a good way to learn the logger as the changes in weather and effort could be discussed as could distances without worrying about talking on the bridge and we could all learn together and discuss reasons for making the decisions that were recorded. It also gave me time to give some hints on spotting and identifying anything that might be spotted.
On returning to reception to ask if we could leave the equipment whilst we departed in Ouistreham we were informed that we would be able to access the bridge 30 minutes after sailing on the return trip.
On arriving on the bridge the Captain apologised for not being able to allow us access earlier, and as everyone now knew what to do we started the survey.
Unfortunately the sea conditions continued to deteriorate so with a heavy swell and a sea state eventually reaching 7 we abandoned the survey, unfortunately without any sightings. On thanking the bridge crew the first officer again apologised for the morning inspection.
However, everybody enjoyed the trip and all felt much more confident with the survey protocol especially the logger, so hopefully the team will be much luckier on future surveys. Many thanks to the team for their hard work and patience.
Grateful thanks also to Brittany Ferries for this opportunity, and to Captain Grimault and his crew, especially the wonderful reception staff, for their help.
2 incidental unidentified dolphins
Gannet, Greater Black backed gull, Herring Gull, Black headed gull, Auks (sp), Cormorant, Manx shearwater, Shearwater (sp), Fulmar, Great skua, Skua (possible Arctic), possible Kittiwake, Oystercatcher, Mute Swan, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Swallow, Martin (probable sand)
Survey team members
Mary Hill, Mary Ferry, Lynne Collinson, Christian Collison