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Island Sea Safari

Mark and Susie Groves of Island Sea Safaris invited us on a trip to see some puffins before they all leave the islands at the end of July!

Climbing aboard the large RIB as it picks you up from the quay the excitement begins! There are 9 of us in the party but the boat can take 10 people as well as the captain, Mark, and his most glamorous ships mate, Susie.

We climb onto our jockey seats and get fitted with lightweight and comfortable life jackets and start our nautical adventure. As we gently head up the Tresco channel towards Cromwell’s Castle we manoeuvre through the moored yachts and have a sneaky close up look at the variety of vessels. Once clear of the channel, with no jolts just smooth acceleration, the engines were thrust up a notch and we were swiftly off around the north end of Tresco past Piper’s Hole and over to Men-A-Vaur.

Mark and Susie know the waters around Scilly incredibly well and they use their knowledge and expertise to find you the best route for the day taking into consideration, tides, weather and wildlife. As you travel you can follow your progress on the chart plotter screen in front of you or simply breathe in and thoroughly enjoy the amazing views.

Unruffled and with confidence  Mark took us right in between the towering rock formations while a Peregrine Falcon flew overhead; throughout the entire trip you have complete faith in your guides.

As we explored the rocks and dabbled around on the water we spotted a wide selection of sea birds including gannets, guillemots, cormorants, razor bills, fulmars and of course puffins. Binoculars are provided on board but don’t forget to take your camera.

This boat trip offers you an education too; at one stage we had a jellyfish onboard and with guidance were able to handle it carefully (they really do feel like jelly!) and as we passed over shipwrecks we were given a history lesson and visual aids with fascinating photographs of the wild seas and the vessels that sank.

During the two hour journey we spent a lot of time shrieking with excitement and a chorus of “ooohs and aaahs” could probably be heard all the way to the Bishop Rock Lighthouse! We spotted a sunfish, followed dolphins and saw an abundance of seals in and out of the water that were enjoying their Sunday afternoon as much as we were. All in all this is a fabulous trip not to be missed which we can highly recommend; it’s a chance to explore the islands from a different perspective and an experience to remember.

Not really suitable for infants or those with mobility issues preventing boarding the RIB or mounting the jockey seat.

Such a perfect day out! Extremely informative and a pleasure to explore the vast amount of sealife around the Scilly Isles.

Fran Dudley

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Supported by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas

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