Survey Reports

2018-07-27 - Poole–Cherbourg

Survey details

Survey route: Poole–Cherbourg

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2018-07-27

Number of nights: Day sailing

The crew on the MV Barfleur were really welcoming.  We knew we were in for a bumpy ride because after days of flat calm seas the winds came, along with a moderate swell, cross current, some precipitation and a sea state 5 we knew it would be a challenge to see any animals.

As soon as we were on the bridge we were shown video of the Barfleur being accompanied by bow riding dolphins which can be seen on: http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/16373042.WATCH__Dolphins_ride_bow_of_the_Barfleur.

In spite of the team being really vigilant we didn’t get to see any marine life other than a few birds listed below. 

At one point I thought I saw something close to the bow, moved across to where we could view below the bridge wings only to hear children behind on deck shout ‘dolphins’. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get there in time to see them.

However, the bridge crew again presented me with their sightings log, which they are collecting especially for ORCA.  On 13th, 14th and 15th July at 50 degrees 04 N and 001 degrees 43 W they spotted, in the same place on all three days, what they described as a possible pilot whale sighting. This is incredible research they are carrying out for us, the fact that the crew have initiated this is fantastic and really exciting. The log under each period of time between surveys is signed off and dated saying, “All checked by ORCA”.

Another member of the bridge crew told me that another large animal had been spotted off Le Havre from one of the other ferries recently.

We had a pleasant trip ashore at Cherbourg where there were celebrations for a multihull race, the likes of which I could only have imagined in Star Wars, they were incredible vessels.

The leg home was not as promising as we had wished but I would like to thank the crew of the MV Barfleur for the privilege of accommodating us on the bridge and thank the surveyors for their commitment to ORCA.

Birds seen were: 

Sandwich Tern, Arctic/common Tern, cormorant, herring gull, black headed gull, oyster catchers, gannet and fulmar.