P&O Ferries (Pride of York) Hull to Zeebrugge (29th – 31st August 2015)

Vincent Green and John Perry; Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather
Good visibility and sea state.

Marine Mammals
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus 2
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 1

Seabirds
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 343
Common Gull Larus canus 7
Gannet Morus bassanus 9
Great Black-backed gull Larus marinus 12
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 290
Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus 35
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 2

We were escorted on to the bridge at about 18:30 to meet Captain Kevin Alcock and his crew, who gave us a friendly welcome.

The first leg of surveying went really well, as in the first thirty minutes we saw two Grey Seal not too far from the shore and just off the port side of the vessel. For the next couple of hours we saw a variety of gulls and we were pleased that both visibility and sea state were very good for surveying. As soon as the sun set we went to the restaurant where we enjoyed a lovely meal.

GreySeal-AdrianShephard04

Grey Seal (Archive photo: Adrian Shephard)

On the second leg of the survey, we woke early and headed to the bridge for a 05:30 start. We surveyed for two hours with sightings of Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull. Once in Zeebrugge I departed the ship and enjoyed visiting a maritime museum and a flower show in Blankenberg.

Gannet Peter Howlett 06

Gannets (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

The return crossing to Hull was clear and calm. We managed to see a good number of gull species, Gannet, a Sandwich Tern and a Harbour Porpoise which gracefully breached off the port side of the ship.

Harbour Porpoise Peter Howlett 17

Harbour Porpoise (Archive photo: Peter Howlett)

A big thank you to the wonderful crew of the Pride of York and to Captain Alcock for a very enjoyable survey.

Vincent Green and John Perry; Research Surveyors for MARINElife