Survey Reports

2018-03-24 - Poole–Cherbourg

Survey details

Survey route: Poole–Cherbourg

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2018-03-24

Number of nights: Day sailing

^ Harbour porpoises, like this pictured in this library image, are amongst the most common species on this route

We were all excited when we met at Poole terminal for the first ORCA survey of the year. After boarding the Barfleur on the bus via the car deck, we introduced ourselves to reception who managed to get us onto the Bridge shortly after sailing.

The crew greeted us warmly, the captain informing us he had seen common dolphins in Cherbourg harbour the day before, so we started the survey hopeful we could catch up with them.

For the whole crossing to Cherbourg the sea state was 3 but the swell steadily rose to heavy within the first hour and the mist rose to give us sunshine and with it glare ahead, so unfortunately we had no sightings on the crossing.

After enjoying lunch and a wander around Cherbourg, we departed, the captain allowing us onto the bridge before sailing, just incase the dolphins had come back. This was not the case unfortunately and as the evening darkened after an hour, we had to leave the bridge with no sightings.  The team however were all happy and confident with the protocol and looking forward to their next survey.

Many thanks to them for all their hard work and sincere thanks to Captain Jérôme Besson and his extremely helpful crew and Brittany Ferries for allowing us this opportunity.

Birds seen:-

Numerous small unidentified migrating birds travelling north (most, probably warblers) were seen all morning no doubt heading for RSPB Arne or the Isle of Wight.

Gannet, Fulmar, Cormorant, Herring Gull, Lesser & Greater Black backed Gull, Black headed gull, Oystercatcher, tern(sp), shearwater(sp).