Survey Reports

2019-08-16 - Poole–Cherbourg

Survey details

Survey route: Poole–Cherbourg

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2019-08-16

Number of nights: Day sailing

Survey sightings

Cetacean sightings: N/A

Bird sightings: N/A

Other animals: N/A


Many thanks to Jasmine for joining us at such short notice due to another surveyor being ill, your support at such short notice is very much appreciated.

The Captain and crew welcomed us onto the Bridge of the Barfleur at Poole Port and we were able to observe the navigation whilst sitting quietly in the red zone. We were soon on effort after passing Old Harry’s Rocks and the Studland Peninsula. We saw terns? Arctic/common, cormorants, oyster catchers and lesser black backed gulls on the way out of the harbour.

The weather was overcast with a Sea State 4 for most of the voyage and a moderate swell. We were expecting strong winds with precipitation.

Other birds that we encountered were greater black backed gulls, herring gulls, gannets both adult and juvenile, guillemots, kittiwake, cory’s shearwater, manx shearwater and a very weary looking wheatear approached the Bridge looking for some respite during the stronger winds en route to Poole. A surveyor also thought they spotted a Balearic shearwater.

We were able to stay on board during our lunch break at Cherbourg, which we were all ready for relaxing in the café.

Half way through the return journey we sailed into a fog bank, shortly before this our only mammal sighting was of grey seal fairly close to the ferry. 

The Sea State felt as though it increased on the return leg of the voyage but the pressure of the fog and hard rain seemed to prevent the occurrence of white caps and crests so that although we had the maximum recorded as 4 it was more likely to have been a 5 or 6 due to the strong winds and currents.

 The team members did a great job in what were becoming increasingly difficult conditions and we would like to thank the Captain and crew members for being so accommodating and including the ORCA survey team on the Bridge of the Barfleur.

Survey team members

Cait Cochrane, Liz Pedley, Liz McDonnell, Jasmine Rennards