Posted by: orcaweb | April 8, 2011


Brittany Ferries Wildlife Officers, Michael and Nathan

I’d like to start by thanking followers of Richard and Lisle during last years Wildlife Officer programs. Richard is still with ORCA, working with DFDS ferries in Newcastle so expect to hear updates from him and our new recruit Isabelle. Talking of new recruits I should introduce myself. I’m Mike and I have just started working with ORCA and one of our partners Brittany Ferries between Portsmouth and North Spain. I am joined by another new recruit Nathan. Our ship is the Cap Finistere where we work with the public giving presentations and showing them the beautiful life to be found in the English Channel and Bay of Biscay including whales and dolphins!

It has only been a week but every moment has been fantastic. The calm seas have given us superb whale-watching conditions. We have been lucky enough to view pods of silky black pilot whales, be surrounded by over 400 frantic common dolphins and witness the magic of a sperm whale tail-slapping for over 20 minutes. These have all been amazing sights.

A highlight for me was seeing the dorsal fin of a baleen whale appearing by the side of the ship yesterday morning outside Bilbao. This whale quietly slipped below the surface a few seconds later without even appearing to exhale. This sighting left me and a passenger chatting about the beauty of these magnificent animals. Nathan had gone to get his hat and missed the whole thing however not to be out-done he witnessed a pod of Risso’s Dolphin late one evening while I was in my cabin. Hopefully I will see some soon.

It was great to talk to members of the public that share the same passions about cetaceans and want to help these awesome creatures.

I’m back onshore now for two weeks but Nathan will be keeping you posted on all the sighting I miss and soon you will be hearing from our team in the North Sea as well.

Please check out ORCA’s new Twitter and Facebook pages where we will let you know of any wonderful sightings straight away. We also hope to have some fantastic photos on this blog and on Facebook soon.

I’m now back off home but can’t wait until I’m back onboard the ship for Easter.

Kind regards


Voluntary Wildlife Officer


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