If you are lucky enough to be staying in or around Dartmouth and you like natural history and going out on the water,I cannot recommend strongly enough giving Monty Halls Great Escapes a try. For those who don't know, Monty Halls is a marine biologist who has presented a number of tv shows-usually on BBC2- accompanied by his lovely dog Reubs. He is based in Dartmouth and this year opened up a shop, out of which he runs boat trips,diving,shoreline walks and a trip called the ultimate taste of Devon.
We opted for the boat trip which cost us £30 each for a 90 minute adventure in his RIB. Before you even get onto the boat you get a full safety briefing and are kitted out with a life jacket.It is a working boat with a little bench seat at the back which holds 3 people; other passengers have to perch on the side,which is perfectly safe,you just have to hold on during the fast bits. I was a bit apprehensive at first because my balance is a bit dodgy due to Parkinson's, but sat on the bench seat I felt perfectly safe.We were lucky to have a beautiful day for our trip on the 19 June and after saying hello to the mermaid statue at the mouth of the river, went further out to sea. The highlight of the trip was that we were able to observe a colony of seals by the Mewstone Rock and it was just amazing. It was a real privilege to be able to see these creatures in such a tranquil setting. Throughout the trip Monty gave us all kinds of information about the marine life we were seeing and the area in general and was very open to any questions and came across as a really nice chap.
If you are thinking of giving the boat trip a try I would mention that it is weather permitting-which makes sense really and also they require a minimum number of passengers. .Another point to mention is that you might not always get Monty doing the trip;but if that is the case a local marine biologist with a thorough knowledge of the area will take his place. I can say without doubt this was the highlight of our holiday and worth every penny.
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