Ferry & cruise survey update & reminders


Dear all,

With the ferry survey season now underway, after a 2-year break, we are really excited to be seeing the data coming into the ORCA Portal and to be getting our wonderful volunteers back out to sea! Please see below an update on the survey team allocations and a few reminders regarding the ferry surveys.

Ferry Surveys

The survey teams for April have all been confirmed and we are now starting to work through the May survey applications. All successful applicants will receive an email from ORCA with details of the survey they have been allocated.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, unfortunately, we are unable to individually email all unsuccessful applicants each month, but we will keep everyone updated on the progress of surveys via the Surveyor Network News page.

Further surveying opportunities will become available over the upcoming weeks and all Surveyor Network members will be informed by email when these become available for application.

Saga Cruises

The Saga cruise teams for the 2022 season have now been confirmed and we cannot wait to hear all about their sightings! We will be posting updates from the teams on our social media channels so please keep an eye out for what they are seeing.

Surveying Reminders

As it has been 2-years since we have been on the bridge of the ferries collecting data, we thought we could all benefit from a few reminders to refresh our memories.

  • Bridge etiquette - the bridge is a highly pressurized, professional workspace and it is a privilege to be permitted access to the bridge. Therefore, please ensure you are respectful of this at ALL times. Keep noise to a minimum, speak in hushed tones, keep out the way of crew, keep the bridge tidy (for day sailings pack light and only bring essential items), be guided by your Team Leader on when to access and vacate the bridge.
  • ORCA polo shirts – you will only be permitted to the bridge if you are wearing your ORCA polo shirt. If you do not have one, then these can be purchased via the ORCA shop; you need to be logged into the Surveyor Network for these to be visible on the shop. Please purchase these in advance of your survey to ensure they are delivered to you on time.
  • Dress appropriately for the bridge - sturdy shoes, full-length trousers, no rips or tears in clothing, or inappropriate slogans/logos etc. This is all detailed in your ORCA Survey Protocol.
  • Eligibility to travel – it is your responsibility to ensure you check and comply with the Covid-19 regulations for the country you are visiting and that you have the required documentation when you arrive at the ports. You will not be permitted to travel if you fail to produce the required documentation for your journey and this can impact your whole survey team and the data collection. Do your research in advance.
  • Don’t forget your passport or appropriate ID to travel.
  • Face masks – these are mandatory on some routes and recommended on others, but face masks MUST be worn on the bridge at all times, so please ensure you bring one with you.
  • Please ensure you share your mobile number with your Team Leader so contact can be made on the survey day if required.
  • Data collection - this year the data collection on the ferry surveys will be via paper data sheets, whilst we develop the ORCA App for distance-sampling surveys – exciting! Team Leaders, please take the completed data sheets home with you and type up the data onto the Excel sheet located on the Team Leader Resources page of the Surveyor Network and email it to [email protected] within 1 week of the survey date. The paper sheets can be posted to ORCA at the end of the season. There is no trip report to write after the survey.

I would advise everyone to refresh themselves by reading the ORCA Survey Protocol, any notes you took during your training course, and the ferry route documents on the Surveyor Network.

Happy surveying!

Lucy Babey

Head of Science & Conservation

Deputy Director