‘The flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-gulls crying’ - John Masefield’s iconic Sea Fever poem gives a flavour of just how exciting being on a boat can be. But an RSPB Puffin and Gannet Cruise aboard the famous Yorkshire Belle pleasure cruiser is more exciting still, sailing as it does to the bubbling hub of an amazing wildlife spectacle involving around half a million seabirds.
Standing on the deck, swirling spirals of gannets drift above while puffins flick across the waves like skimming stones. Razorbills, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes are never far from the action. And even porpoises have been known to pop up unexpectedly. It’s the stuff that nature-lovers’ dreams are made of.
Cruise co-ordinator, Kim Smales, is thrilled that the cruises will be heading out once again:
“Now in their 29th year, these mini-adventures are definitely one of the highlights for visitors to this stretch of Yorkshire’s heritage coast, that has Bempton Cliffs at its heart. The skipper gently coaxes the boat as close as possible to the cliffs so you’re almost rubbing shoulders with the seabirds.”
From 12 May, sailings will set out from Bridlington Harbour every weekend until 5 August, with staff and volunteers from the RSPB East Riding Local Group on board to point out what’s happening and help identify the seabirds – so you don’t need to be David Attenborough to enjoy the sights.
Later sailings are a must-do for fans of the UK’s largest seabird, the gannet. Food is thrown overboard to encourage these magnificent giants to plunge into the waves for their favourite snack. Their table manners may leave a lot to be desired, but their 60 mile per hour dives are spot on.
And for the first time, tickets for these incredible voyages of discovery can be booked online.
“Teaming up with Eventbrite and using their tried and tested website has made getting a ticket much more convenient. It couldn’t be easier to make sure of a place on board now– just sit back on your sofa and log on.”
Cruises sail every weekend from 12 May – 5 Aug. Price: adult £27.50, child £13.25 (RSPB members: adult £22.50, child £11.25). Booking is now open at Eventbrite.co.uk, search Puffin Cruise.