Survey Reports

2019-10-11 - Poole–Cherbourg

Survey details

Survey route: Poole–Cherbourg

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2019-10-11

Number of nights: Day sailing

Survey sightings

Cetacean sightings: N/A

Bird sightings: N/A

Other animals: N/A


The ORCA team were invited onto the bridge 45 minutes after leaving Poole Port, the second largest natural harbour in the world, Sydney being the first.


We were prepared for challenging weather with SSW winds of up to 30 mph along with precipitation. Limited visibility due to squalls and fog accompanied by 3-meter wave height made survey conditions more difficult with a maximum of 2k visibility in a sea state 6 much of the way. This was the case on both legs of the voyage. Squalls and fluctuating fog made visibility poor so observing was difficult. Perhaps the most surprising sighting was a little auk on the water just off Port side. The only other bird life we saw along the way were lesser black backed gulls, cormorant, gannets and guillemot.There were no marine mammal sightings on this trip.


Fortunately the rain held off whilst we were on shore exploring Cherbourg.  However, due to being invited onto the bridge 40 minutes after leaving Cherbourg Port at 6pm departure time, dusk meant that we spent 35 minutes on effort before calling it a day due to failing light.


Huge thanks to the Captains and Crew of the Barfleur as well as much appreciation for the volunteer surveyors for committing their time and energy to ORCA.


Survey team members

Cait Cochrane, Mark Evans, Sarah Evans, Chris Wardle