I love being on ferries and small boats. It’s not something I do very often, so when my son Gabriel suggested a trip out on a wildlife cruise from Torquay, I jumped at the chance. The first thing I did was interfere with his plans by suggesting we travel from Brixham instead. Brixham is a wonderful, historic fishing port with a fascinating seafaring culture, old buildings and great walks along the harbourside. Torquay is Torquay.
Gabriel booked with www.funfishtrips.co.uk and we had a fabulous time. The boat looked a lot like this one:
The seafari (see what they did there) only takes an hour and leaves from the harbour. We see Sammy the seal, a Grey Seal, lounging as we head out inside the breakwater:
Don’t look for Sammy in the picture. Sammy’s portrait didn’t meet my exacting quality standards.
We head out past the gloriously named Shoalstone, with its seawater swimming pool:
There are Guillemots in groups on the water in beautiful breeding plumage:
There are Common Cormorants in, well, I’ll leave you to guess what kind of plumage they are in:
The cruise is relaxed, the commentary light-hearted and the weather is beautiful, so we’re having a great time. There are plenty of jetskiiers, who I dislike because of their disturbance of the wildlife. Their use should be severely limited:
The ship behind is the Mercury Ace which is 200 metres long and carries vehicles. I wonder if it travels across the sea empty half the time?
The jetskiiers never look as if they’re having as good a time as we are:
As we head back we begin to accept we won’t be seeing any of “Our grey friends” as they call dolphins and porpoises. There’s a scallop dredger to see, as we arrive back together. I wonder if it’s been out dragging the sea bed and disturbing everything it touches to collect scallops.
Having seen how much care hand-diving for scallops takes of the sea-bed, I’d rather pay the difference.
It’s been a great trip. Here’s me enjoying it (taken by Gabriel):
I look happier than the people on jetskis, don’t I?