2019-03-29 - Portsmouth-Caen

Survey details

Survey route: Portsmouth-Caen

Company: Brittany Ferries

Sea region: English Channel

Survey start date: 2019-03-29

Number of nights: 1

sunset on return to Caen

Survey sightings

Cetacean sightings: N/A

Bird sightings: N/A

Other animals: N/A

An eager team boarded the Mont St Michel and having left the Solent, we were escorted to the bridge and greeted by the Captain and his friendly crew. 

There was a minimal swell which lasted for the entire day but the sea state of 2 changed to a 3 as we approached the Baie de Seine. This area is normally much calmer but the wind was coming from the north and obviously had an adverse effect on the bay. 

With the sun ahead and reduced visibility due to variable sea mist, we unfortunately had no sightings outbound. 

After a short break for lunch, we reboarded, managing to get back up to the bridge shortly after leaving the harbour. 

The sun was very bright to port and again the sea state was 3, making spotting harbour porpoise challenging. 

Due to the fact that the clocks did not spring forward until after we arrived back in Portsmouth, we would only reach the shipping lanes in the channel before darkest prevented further surveying.  

As we started to leave the bay, the sea state fell to a 2 and just before the sun was due to set, a call, a great sighting of 5 bottlenose dolphin starboard. Shortly after the sun disappeared and our survey was over, but what an ending. We all left the bridge happy after a great survey. 

Many thanks to the hardworking team and special thanks to Brittany Ferries, especially CaptainGrimault and his brilliant crew for this wonderful opportunity. 


5 Bottlenose dolphins 


Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Fulmar, Great skua, Common scoter, Greater black-backed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Tern sp. Starling and a handful of LBJ’s migrating to England. 

Survey team members

Mary Hill, Margaret Hamilton, Vanessa Setford, Robert Knott