Survey Reports

2018-10-06 - Dover–Calais

Survey details

Survey route: Dover–Calais

Company: DFDS

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2018-10-06

Number of nights: Day sailing

Survey sightings

Cetacean sightings: N/A

Bird sightings: N/A

Other animals: N/A

The team met at Dover at 10:30, excited for what the day might bring, it being a first and second ever survey for two of the team. The shipping forecast had promised up to a sea state 9, so it was a pleasant surprise to get onto the bridge and find relatively calm, albeit foggy, conditions.

Sighting conditions were challenging, with average to poor visibility and seas increasing from a sea state 3 to a sea state 5. However, the team were rewarded with a very brief sighting of a harbour porpoise on the trip over to Calais, along with multiple gannets, herring gulls, blackheaded gulls and kittiwakes.

After a quick lunch break on the bridge wings, it was time to return to Dover. Sighting conditions were much the same, although the sea state had increased to a sea state 6 and it began to rain as we got closer to the UK. Despite the poor conditions, another harbour porpoise was seen porpoising almost completely out of the water and the team had a great view of three bottlenose dolphins close to the ship.

A very enjoyable survey, and shows that no matter the weather, sightings are still possible!

Many thanks to the Captain and crew of the Cote Des Flandres for making the ORCA team feel very welcome, and DFDS for their continued support in making these surveys possible.

Cetacean Sightings:

Harbour porpoise x 2

Bottlenose dolphins x 3

Seabird Sightings:

Black-headed gull

Herring gull

Lesser black-backed gull



Manx shearwater


Survey team members

Rebecca Walker, Walter Stuart Barnes, Mel Green