2018-10-07 - Plymouth-Roscoff

Survey details

Survey route: Plymouth-Roscoff

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2018-10-07

Number of nights: 1

Common dolphins

Survey conditions

Highest Sea State: 3-Large Wavelets

Lowest Sea State: 1-Slight Ripple

Best Weather Conditions: 1-No precipitation

Best Weather Conditions: 1-No precipitation

Best Sea Swell State: 1-Absent

Worst Sea Swell State: 2-Light (<0-1m)

Glare present during the survey?: N/A

Survey sightings

Cetacean sightings: 48 Common Dolphins, 8 unidentified dolphins, 2 Harbour Porpoise

Bird sightings: Gannet, Cormorant, Fulmar, Great skua, Greater black-backed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Little egret, Rock pipit, Turnstone, Ringed plover, Oystercatcher, Brent geese, Comic tern, Probable Dunlin, Grey wagtail, Grey heron, Dunnock, House Sparrow, House martin, Robin, starling, Carrion crow, Magpie.

Other animals: Tuna

On waking aboard the Armorique we discovered Dan, another ORCA member was on his way to Brittany so after breakfast we explored Roscoff with him until he left for his meeting.

It was a beautiful warm day and after lunch we were suddenly joined by James from the ORCA office who was returning from his meeting in Brest, another ORCA surprise!

On boarding the ship we were escorted to the bridge, and greeted by the Captain. We starting the survey with a sea state of 1 and low swell lovely conditions which soon resulted in 2 harbour porpoise being spotted, closely followed by small pods of common dolphins attracted to the ship.

The sea state and swell gradually increased but over the first three and a half hours we had a total of 14 sightings with small groups of common dolphins, some unidentified dolphins, ending with a shoal of tuna and a final pod of common dolphins.

For the rest of the journey, although the sea state and swell decreased, there were no further sightings but some military maneuvers  were seen on approach to Plymouth.

Many thanks to the enthusiastic ORCA team and to the Captain and his team plus Brittany Ferries for allowing us to end the 2018 ferry surveys on such a high.

Surveying on the bridge

Survey team members

Team Leader: Mary Hill

Surveyors: Ali Couch- Jonathan Holt- Andy Anderson