We were recently invited by Red Letter Days to choose an experience from the Red Letter Days site after they read my Forty before 40 post. I chose to help tick something off the list, by taking Si with me on a Dolphin and Whale watching boat trip.
They arranged for us to go on the trip from Falmouth with the Orca Sea Safari company, whose boats leave from right behind the Maritime Museum. The price for two people is £75 for around a two-hour trip with the chance to see all sorts of wildlife, dolphins, whales, basking sharks if you’re lucky, seals and more.
We glimpsed the boat before we headed to the hut where we had to meet the Skipper, it’s the one with all the seats in the photo above. The seats which are jockey seats. If you’ve never heard of a jockey seat, they are pretty cool. The part you sit on is actually a bit rounded and you have to lift your leg over it to sit down.
It sounds a bit odd I know, but it is so that when the boat goes over and through waves, you don’t end up with a very bruised bottom from being bounced up and down on a hard seat. It helps your legs to take a lot of the impact. A genius invention, which I wish Si’s friend Richard had in his boat for when we’ve been out fishing before.
When you go on the boat trip, you don’t have to worry about anything other than making sure you wear something warm as it get a bit nippy further out to sea. Before you get in to the boat, the really friendly guys working there will kit you out ready.
They give everyone waterproof suits to wear and life jackets. As you can see from the photo below, I could have fitted a friend in mine with me and could do with longer legs. It was so comfortable though and more importantly kept everything underneath it bone dry and warm.
Before we headed down to the boat, we were given a safety talk and were warned that when we got off the boat our legs would most likely be a bit wobbly. We were told where to sit in the boat and as there were two of us, we ended up in the second row from the front with a brilliant view. You can see well from all of the seats, but being at the front is handy for taking photographs.
We were off, slowly at first until we left the harbour area but pretty darn fast after that. I have to say there is really nothing quite like being in a fast boat with the beauty of Cornwall around you, your hair blowing in the wind and the smell of the sea all around you. I have actually added owning a boat to my mental bucket list in my memory banks.
The photo above is of St Anthony’s lighthouse, and it was brilliant to be able to see it from the water side. It looks amazing and apparently you can even rent the cottage there to sleep in, but our Skipper said not to do it in foggy weather as the siren will keep going off.
As we were going around, he kept telling us little bits of history and information about the area. He made me laugh as when he realised he had two locals aboard, he said he had better get all the information right then. He was great to listen to, and we actually learnt a few new things ourselves.
The weather was in a strange mood on the day we were out, as it has been for a while actually. It couldn’t decide whether to be hot and sunny or cold and grey, so it did a bit of both. We stayed warm in our suits though, and the breeze kept us cool when the sun did pop out occasionally.
I quite fancy moving in to the little place in the photo above. No matter how small it is, imagine only being able to hear the sea lapping against the rocks at night-time when you are drifting off to sleep. It sounds like heaven to me.
When we were out further in to the rougher sea, there was water flying over us which just added to the fun and broke the ice between the people on the boat. It was hilarious at times, my hair was a little messy and wet by the time we got back so remember a hair band if you want to be more sensible than me.
Unfortunately, the only wildlife we saw on our boat trip were some Cormorants on a big rock. They obviously can’t guarantee that you will see anything whilst you are out. In all honesty though to us, it really did not matter. The boat trip was so much fun that it was worth it just for that.
I think really you need to think of it as a fun boat trip and the wildlife side as just an added bonus, so then you won’t feel disappointed. I wasn’t anyway though. There is a good chance of seeing something usually. Si actually went on a similar boat trip several years ago and saw nine basking sharks and a seal.
I loved seeing Cornwall from the sea again, discovering little beaches and places that you can only get to by boat. I think everyone at some point should see the coastline from a boat, it really is a fantastic experience.
The sun decided to properly come back out as we headed back in to Falmouth and it made for a gorgeous view. We all got off the boat with huge grins.
Then we all discovered that they were right at the beginning, and that after two hours of sitting on a jockey seat, walking normally was pretty impossible at first. We soon recovered though.
As part of the experience, you can also head in to the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. Unfortunately though, we had to get back to the boys, so did no more than glance around as we walked through it back towards the car park. It did look good though, and I’m sure we will visit properly at some point.
I really do recommend trying out this experience, we had a great afternoon and I would definitely do it again at some point. If you like the sound of it, then pop to the Dolphin and Whale Watching for Two listing on the Red Letter Days site.
*We went on this experience trip for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinions as ever are my own and honest***To comment on this blog you do not need to leave your name, email address or website if you don't wish to. Any information entered will remain private and will not be shared with anyone other than the site owner.