Hello everyone, welcome back to the North Sea. I am happy to announce that ORCA is back onboard DFDS King Seaways from the 27th of March until the 7th of October, sailing between North Shields and IJmuiden (in the Netherlands).
First of all, I would like to re-introduce myself. I am Mathilde from the Netherlands, and I will be one of two Ocean Conservationists onboard this season. I have been working with ORCA for a year now, and last year I loved running the on board wildlife centre, conducting deck watches from the observation deck and, of course, meeting all the passengers interested in the whales and dolphins of the North Sea. I also really enjoyed having lots of different conversations and discussions with various passengers on board. I am delighted to be returning to the North Sea for another year, where I will continue to share my passion for the marine wildlife we can find here with everyone on board. I am really looking forward to once again meeting lots of new people, maybe seeing some familiar faces and, of course, seeing our favourite cetaceans. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been preparing for the season, thinking of new activities for the wildlife centre, updating lectures and doing lots of work behind the scenes so we can make the 2023 season another success.
Every year we look forward to finding out what the North Sea will surprise us with. How is the population of bottlenose dolphins off the North East of England doing? Will the white-beaked dolphins come and show their faces again? Late summer is generally a good season for the small minke whales on the British coast, but will they return? And what other cetacean species will surprise us? Construction is set to begin on new wind farms off the Dutch coast - what will this mean for the Dutch harbour porpoises? We’re intrigued to find out.
I am one of two Ocean Conservationists on board the King Seaways, so now let’s welcome Eilidh to the team!
Hello! As Mathilde said, my name is Eilidh, and I am the new Ocean Conservationist on board the DFDS King Seaways. Originally from Glasgow, I studied in St Andrews and now live in Aberdeen; so I know the North Sea quite well. I am lucky enough to often see bottlenose dolphins around Aberdeen Harbour, who are known to travel up and down the east coast of the UK. Perhaps I will see some familiar dorsal fins as the ferry departs from North Shields!
Species-wise, I am most looking forward to (hopefully) spotting white-beaked dolphins, as they would be a new sighting for me. Who knows, by the end of this season, I might have a new favourite species of cetacean! I am also very excited to be working with Mathilde and meeting some fellow marine wildlife enthusiasts. I can’t wait to share both ORCA’s core message that anyone can help look out for whales and dolphins, as well as my lifelong admiration for these incredible animals.
We will be rotating our time on board the King Seaways, with occasional crossings together.
Together we want to make this season lots of fun and very educational. So if you’re travelling on the King Seaways this summer, we really hope that you will come and join us and be inspired by the wonderful world of the North Sea’s cetaceans!
Ocean Conservationists Mathilde & Eilidh