⚓ Stuart Line Cruises Monthly Newsletter ⚓ May 2020 ⚓

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Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ May Newsletter

For those of you who are new to this monthly sign-up, welcome! And for those who have been loyal readers for some time, welcome back to your favourite read of the month! 

First and foremost, I hope that you are keeping safe and well?

Thank you for allowing me to steal a few moments of your day to let you know what we have been up to and what we are most looking forward to as we prepare for the highly anticipated ‘unlock’.

I would like to say a huge thanks to Jedd Clay, who very kindly sent the above photo of Pride of Exmouth sat on her mooring, which he took recently whilst out walking. As well as being beautiful and bright, the photo is also incredibly poignant, depicting the current period of time which has been both surreal and overwhelming. Whilst the boats have been predominantly sat on their moorings like this for many weeks now, we have been steadily preparing to re-open, with unwavering optimism and we are incredibly proud to be in a position now where we are ready to ‘hit the ground running’ as soon as we are given the go-ahead and have the appropriate measures in place.

So, without further ado, I hope that you will find this month’s newsletter interesting and that gaining an insight into what we have been up to will suitably while away some time and insight some excitement for July!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

…and time apart merely strengthens the heart.

We are hoping to be back up and running from 4th July 2020.

Yippee! It feels oh-so good to write those words and even better to say them out-loud – and yes, I may have just actually said that out loud to myself in my seafront booking office (definitely remaining sane at all times during lock-down..)!

We are under no illusion; things are likely to be adapted and it is likely that operation will be different to usual – how? We haven’t yet been told but we are ready to embrace what is required of us in order to get back out on the water with you and can’t wait to recommence provision of extraordinary and fun experiences which so many of you know and love.

I have spoken before about the most overwhelming support which we have experienced since the start of this strange and unexpected chapter of life. The emails, the comments on social media, the phone calls and the most friendly and heart-felt conversations from people – familiar faces and complete strangers – passing by my office window whilst on their daily walks. So many people have taken the trouble to ask if we are OK and to let us know how much they are missing us and that they can’t wait to get back out on our boats.

We have, of course, been forced to cancel a number of Special Events, regular sailings and Private Charters which is heart-breaking on all accounts but made so much less devastating for us by people asking for credit notes and transferring to more suitable dates. As a small family-run business, this really does mean the world – we are incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful community surrounding us and in return, we have tried to offer as much flexibility for people to re-book as we possibly can. There has been a real sense of camaraderie and working together to achieve an outcome which is as good for everyone as it possibly can be.

We are currently taking bookings from 4th July and you can view our online timetable via the button below!

Timetable
No rest for the wicked! 

Following last month’s maintenance update which focused primarily on Pride of Exmouth’s exterior paintwork which we have been working on, I thought it was about time I updated you on some other aspects of general maintenance within our business – some of the behind the scenes stuff which goes largely unnoticed on a day-to-day basis but which keep things running smoothly and safely.

General maintenance is an ongoing process and we have used this time to ensure completion of jobs that we don’t usually get time for, most of which are non-essential but have really improved the way things look and run.

I refer largely to Pride of Exmouth’s departure point; we have serviced and repainted the crane which, although doesn’t get used very often, comes in handy for transferring life rafts onto the boats and various other essential jobs throughout the year. In addition, we have designed and installed a new fendering system for the ‘pier’ and although this will not really be visible to many people as it is down over the edge, is essential in order for us to land safely and without risk of damage to the boats (particularly handy when Jake is at the helm! Only joking, we all know he’s the best in the business)! We have crafted new wooden blocks with stainless steel runners so that they slide up and down with the tide – clever, eh?

Odd jobs on board have included fitting new ceiling panels on Pride of Exmouth to replace damaged ones and also fitting the newly varnished and extremely shiny wooden stern steps.

We hope you’ll agree that the boats and departure points are all looking really smart and we can’t wait for you to hop aboard to inspect it for yourselves!

The best is yet to come…

And finally, I just wanted to share with you this glorious sunset because if this situation has taught me one thing in particular, it is just how lucky I am to be able to admire stunning scenery like this every single day and how incredibly important it is to count your blessings and focus on the good things – there are always plenty, it’s just that sometimes you have to look slightly harder than others to find them.

July is set to be an exciting month for us, with two of our favourite Special Events, the Exeter Canal Cruise and the Countess Wear Evening Cruise due to take place – the first of the year for both. Incidentally, we do still have some space on the Exeter Canal Cruise on 28th July, which is most unusual but is due to coach firms sadly having to cancel their spaces.

So to conclude, my message to you is this: hang in there – the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to glimmer through the cracks and there is a real sense of optimism in the air. But don’t get ahead of yourselves; keep being sensible – the virus has not suddenly disappeared and we must all remain vigilant, behave responsibly and together, find a new ‘normal’.

Exeter Canal Cruise
Countess Wear Evening Cruise