Is the monotony of the 9 to 5 is getting you down? Feel like you need to escape but kn
ow that if you’re not back at your desk tomorrow morning your manager will be hunting you down with the ferocity of a pack of wild dogs? Gazing out to sea from your favourite beach after work not quite cutting it?
Jersey Seafaris is a brand new business run by local guy Richard Stevens, an experienced boatman with a love of the coastline and waters around our island who, in conjunction with local expert and marine biologist Gareth Jeffreys have formed the perfect team to take people away exploring anything and everything from sea and bird life to even the smallest of our Channel Islands. Or to France for lunch or dinner, if that’s more your kind of thing.
Whether a short blast around the coastlands, a half an hour tour to Corbiere with complimentary drinks, a two or three hour trip to the Minquiers to the south or Ecrehous to the north east, an evening trip to the French island of Chausey or the French mainland for dinner or a whole day out exploring, they’re able to cater for it all so don’t be scared to ask. Why spend time queueing and checking in for the ferry when you could be sitting in a French restaurant enjoying your meal and a glass or two of wine less than an hour from when you finish work? Their boat seats up to 12, so there’s plenty of room for a friend or eleven to tag along.
Setting off from either the Albert Pier, St Catherines or St Brelade’s Bay depending on tides and intended destinations, we travelled from the Albert Pier out to the islets of the Minquiers – a mere 25 minute ride south of Jersey when you’re in a 400hp RIB! If you’re after an exhilarating, edging toward white knuckle ride I’m sure Richard and Gareth would be willing to endulge, but on the other hand if a more sedate ride works better for you that can be catered for too. They’re nice like that.
It almost goes without saying that safety is of the utmost importance and not only is Richard’s seamanship second to none but all passengers are provided with compulsory lifejackets and offered nice warm, waterproof sailing jackets if they don’t have their own so that any potential cold wind or water splashes don’t dampen your spirits. That’s another part of the joy of a trip with these guys – you don’t even have to be particularly prepared for the potential rigours sea, they’ve got that covered for you.
A pleasantly warm day, we were surprised to see a Royal Navy vessel steaming past operating just out of St Helier before Jersey had passed over the horizon in the distance which is something you wouldn’t usually notice let alone have the opportunity to see so closely. Within moments we were slowing to arrive at our first stop of the morning, a sandbank that forms part of the Minquiers only accessible when the tide is low enough. Twenty minutes of exploration upon this fast disappearing spit of sand later we were boarding the boat once again to make the move onto more solid ground over on the main island that forms the southern most point of the British Isles, and believe it or not, part of Grouville! On the short journey to land alongside the pier we spotted a pair of grey seals playing before making our way to have a look at the small houses and outbuildings and even a helipad that seemed quite popular with the Greater Black Backed Gulls protecting their nests. Gareth was very clear to indicate and make sure that nobody interfered with any of their habitat and also that nobody was hurt as a result. These gulls are huge, but soon quietened down when they realised we meant no harm.
Returning home a couple of hours after our departure we passed by the seals from before and even spotted a pair of dolphins, a frequent (although not guaranteed) sight out there. The sandbank that we had once walked on was now but a barely visible submerged patch of contrasting water and closer to St Helier Richard even gave us a quick demonstration fo the boat’s handling capabilities which was an exciting end to the morning. We were back in time for lunch, but couldn’t help thinking that taking a picnic to enjoy whilst we were out there seemed like a missed opportunity so learn from our mistakes and pack something to enjoy!
Visit www.jerseyseafaris.com for more inspiration or to book. Also, check out some of their reviews on Trip Advisor – the comments and reviews speak for themselves!