Ever thought of taking a wildlife boat trip in Cornwall? With its fantastic coastline and range of diverse habitats, Cornwall is a great place to see some amazing wildlife – even in the autumn and winter months. In September and October migratory birds such as Ospreys, which have spent their summer in the UK, begin their journeys south to their warmer wintering grounds often passing over the South West as they go.
Many other birds head here to spend their winter too, enjoying the relatively mild temperatures and feeding on our nutrient rich estuaries. There is plenty of marine life off our coast all year round too and if you are keen to see some of the best wildlife Cornwall has to offer, then a boat trip with AK Wildlife Cruises could be just what you are looking for.
Operating out of Falmouth, AK Wildlife Cruises run a variety of trips every week throughout the year, looking out for the amazing birds and marine mammals which frequent our coast. Their boat Free Spirit is an Aquabell Sports Cruiser which is a comfortable, stable boat with a heated indoor seating area and plenty of open outdoor seating, plus toilet facilities with hot drinks and snacks available upon request. It is the ideal boat for these waters and can carry 12 plus 2 crew.
Keeping parties small in size gives everyone more space and enables Captain Keith Leeves (CK as he is known) to give his guests a more tailored personal experience. keith Both CK and his crew are immensely knowledgeable about marine wildlife and they are keen to share their enthusiasm to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience on board. With his finely tuned senses and local knowledge, if it’s out there CK is sure to spot it from the flybridge of Free Spirit.
This year has been a bumper year for spottings which have included Atlantic seals, Basking sharks, a number of species of dolphin – Common, Bottlenose and Risso’s, harbour porpoises and even record numbers of Minke Whale! Birdwatchers are also often rewarded with close up views of Peregrines, Cormorants, Shags and even Puffins – with special pelagic trips turning up rarities too.
The length of trip being offered and where they go depends on the forecast weather conditions but a typical half day trip might include Falmouth Bay or the estuaries of the Carrick Roads or, for the more dedicated wildlife enthusiast, an all day (7 hour) trip offshore past the Helford Estuary and on to the Lizard Peninsula or back east along the coast of the Roseland.
Bosinver’s wildlife enthusiast Elaine has been on several trips with CK and once encountered the most amazing sight – hundreds of dolphins joining together to herd together a huge shoal of fish.
As Elaine says: “To see these intelligent creatures working together, ‘baitballing’ as its called, was a sight I will never forget – and it is fantastic that this is a wildlife spectacle which can be seen just off our coast!”
A four hour excursion is £50pp for adults and £45pp for children (under 16) with free parking is available for AK Cruises customers at Falmouth Premier Marina on North Parade Falmouth.
To book or discuss the trips available call give CK and his team a call on 01326 753389 – and don’t forget to let us see your photos! All photos courtesy of AK Wildlife Cruises.