It might be the middle of August, but in the English Channel conditions have felt like it's the middle of November!
Hello to you all!
And we are back for our tenth week on-board DFDS Transmanche Ferries between Dieppe and Newhaven! It has been a bumpy road, or bumpy sea if I may say… Far from what you would expect to have for a first week of August, it resembled a November weather, true example of climate change!
Saturday, I personally experienced the worst weather yet on the route. I have been warned all week about this day by crews and Officers as we were expecting deep swell and very strong wind. Word around the ship was that it would be at its worst around 4pm French Time, with 4-metre-high waves and 45 knot winds! After an-hour delay for technical problems at departure, my presentation was given quite early on in the crossing and passengers were still very receptive at the time. By the end of it through, I was constantly moving while talking as it had got much worse. I am still very impressed by the number of passengers attending the talk especially the kids considering the conditions, and once again I applaud you all! The remaining two and half hours of crossing were epic… at once, all the fridge doors opened simultaneously at the bar at the back of the ship, thankfully nothing broke down but there was a lot of shaking around. Most kids ended up walking around the boat in underwear after ruining their clothes!
Many of you came to ask if there was a way to feel better, to which I recalled mentioning the five Fs; it is a statement of five French words announcing what you should avoid feeling before embarking on a boat to reduce chances of sea-sickness. Known in French as “la Faim, la Foif, la Fatigue, le Froid et la Fête”, it literally translates “Hunger, Thirst, Fatigue, Cold and Hungover”. From experience, I can guarantee you it works, it is important to avoid being hungry, thirsty, tired, cold or hungover. And if despite all these efforts you are still feeling under the weather, the only solution is to wait until it passes unfortunately. After an impressive swing manoeuvre in the Newhaven harbour, the crossing back was similar and passengers were feeling too uncomfortable to attend anything. And as you can imagine, it is impossible to spot animals in these conditions, but rest assure they are still there, underneath the waves! Thankfully, the journeys are not always this rough and it turned out to be much better the next and last day of the week.
Let’s hope we have a nicer weather for the four remaining weeks in the English Channel and for many more sightings!
ORCA Wildlife Officer – The English Channel