On Good Friday the survey team handed in their passports at reception, putting their passes on ready to join the Bridge crew once the Barfleur had left Poole Bay, so we were well past the area around Old Harry Rocks. Where we were informed by the locals about recent sightings of dolphins.
The crew welcomed us on board and presented us with their special ORCA sightings log. The weather conditions were ideal with a sea state of a gentle 3 during most of the voyage with some glare.
We saw some migratory birds along the way, a flurry of swallows, some sand and house martins, a few razorbill and guillemots. A possible Goldfinch and some LBJ’s which may have been Pipits were also seen.
While we had crossed through the shipping lane, cruising closer to the French side, Richard one of the ORCA surveyors, spotted the fin and side of a possible Minke whale which, surfaced typically disappearing within the blink of an eye, observed as an incidental sighting. During the return journey, another incidental sighting of a possible bottlenose dolphin was spotted, again this was on the French side of the shipping lane. Not long after, Ali another one of our surveyors, spotted another possible bottlenose dolphin.This was all very quick spotting due to the movements of these marine mammals.
As we returned we had a beautiful view of the Studland Needles behind the ship as the sun was setting, we passed Old Harry’s Rocks on the Studland Peninsula.
I offer my huge gratitude to the amazing survey team and would also like to extend our thanks on behalf of ORCA to Captain Daniel Roignant and his crew on the outward voyage and to Captain Chauvigne and crew on the return crossing, for the privilege of accommodating our survey team on the Barfleur.
Marine Mammal Seen:
Minke whale (Possible)
Bottlenose dolphins (Possible)
Other birds Seen:
gannet, cormorant, shag, sandwich tern, bonxie, black-backed gull and possible sightings of either a skua or pomarine.
Survey team members
Krystie Hamilton, Alison Couch, Richard Allcorn