Friday 12 June 2015

Dog Friendly wildlife cruise - Ilfracombe

The Ilfracombe Princess @ Ilfracombe Harbour.        We went for a day trip to Ilfracombe recently  and thought we would check out the wildlife cruises they have on offer. We had to telephone in advance to check if/when they would be running due to recent bad weather. We called up in the morning and were told that they were in fact running today and so we set off with our bags for a day in North Devon. The drive there was uneventful and it didn't take long at all to reach our destination. We stopped for lunch on the way to the boat but there are lots of lovely shops, pubs and cafes where we can grab some lunch or a snack in Ilfracombe itself. There is plenty of parking in Ilfracombe, both short and long stay, we decided to go for long stay and park a little bit further away from the harbour itself which tells us it's a short stay car park, so we had to walk 5 - 10 mins through part of the town to reach the harbour where we spoke to one the men running the boat cruises and paid for our pre-booked tickets (The cruise lasts 1.5 hours although it
was closer to 2 hours by time we got back and costs 12 pounds for adult hoomans, 6 pounds for hooman puppies and under 4's and dogs go free). We had to meet at a designated point on the pier around 15 mins before sailing off time and then we walked down to the boat all together where we lined up beside Verity (she's a huge pregnant lady statue with no skin on one side) , Access on to the princess is via several steps  and a small hop to land on board although they do say that they welcome disabled visitors and wheelchair users and were going to help me get off the boat but hooman girl said it was OK and she hoiked me in the air by my coat so I didn't fall between the boat and the wall (which wouldn't of been good at all!). We got on and took our seats , it took me a little while to settle 1) coz I was excited and 2) coz I wasn't sure where to lie down but everyone was very nice and after my hoomans swapped seats with each other so I could lie down easier I settled down to enjoy the ride (on a mans foot - sorry to him if my cool coat got you wet, it was very nice of you not to complain about me sitting on you for 2 hours). We went around the coast and looked at lots of
building, rocks and beaches and a man spoke to us all about what we were looking at and then we went a bit further to look for some wildlife, we spotted some seals on the rocks and some in the water but they get a bit scared of the boat engines and so some were hiding. We didn't see dolphin or porpoise this time but rumour has it that these are also spottable on trips. After we had seen everything and heard all the history the boat went out further away from the rocks and we had a faster more splashy ride back to the harbour. It was a lovely sunny day and the breeze on the boat was nice and refreshing although we took on some water at times and a few hoomans had wet feet everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The boat has a covered area if you need get out of the sun or if rain appears, a toilet for the hoomans and I do believe "refreshments" were mentioned. Oh and life jackets for the hoomans are available too. I took my own on board incase of emergency  too though luckily we didn't need to wear it.                                                                

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