What a difference a day makes! With challenging conditions at the start once in the Estuary the visibility improved and the visitors started to see plenty of birds on show. Curlews were in good numbers across the Estuary and the distinctive evocative calls were drifting around the estuary on a light breeze. Several Turnstones were seen on the mussel vessels off Dawlish Warren and on the shoreline at Starcross. The Slavonian Grebe was spotted with a Little Grebe in the normal place off Cockwood. Dark Bellied Brent Geese were in good numbers in this area with several flying near the boat. Cormorants and Shags were plenty along this stretch with comparisons between the two easy to see. Greenshank were seen towards the River Kenn confluence with Common Gull, Black Headed Gull, and Herring Gull bathing in fresh water. First of the 300+ Avocets were seen at this lower location and good numbers were seen close to the boat all the way to Topsham. A few Bar Tailed Godwit and plenty of Dunlin were off Lympstone and were numerous across the mudflats all the way to Topsham. 300+ Black Tailed Godwits were showing well along the waters edge for visitors to see along with Redshank and two small groups of Golden Plover either side of the main channel near Turf Lock. A raft of 20+ Great Crested Grebe were viewed near the River Clyst confluence this sighting was the most seen all together this winter and a real treat for the visitors. Red Breasted Mergansers stole the show today with at least 20+ on show close to the boat. On our return back to Exmouth 200+ Lapwing took off from Powderham Marsh and showed well from the boat. As we steamed past Dawlish Warren there were very close encounters of 8+ Sanderling were had by the visitors which was a real bonus this finished off a very productive cruise.

Derek Carter

This afternoon’s cruise benefitted from sunshine, admittedly mainly when it came from behind us! Exmouth was busy today, but there were still Shags feeding off the Marina. We had to do an about-turn soon after leaving, when someone spotted a Kingfisher on the rocks there. Our regular Slavonian Grebe was rather silhouetted off Cockwood, but at least it’s still around … in its 14th year with us! A least 4 Greenshanks were off Powderham and the first few Avocets nearby. A Harbour (Common) Seal played with a fish near Lympstone, where Pintails and Wigeon were feeding. Approaching Turf there were large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin, with fewer Grey Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits and Ringed Plovers. A large flock of Brent Geese flew up from fields just over the sea wall, mostly returning there soon afterwards. Beyond Turf the mudflats were crowded with feeding Avocets, Dunlins, Redshanks and a tight roosting flock of Golden Plovers. Equally impressive were thousands of gulls (all 5 of the regular species) flying in, bathing, preening and settling down to roost on the intertidal areas; Bull Hill sandbank was covered in them as we returned to Exmouth with Venus shining brightly after a lovely sunset.

Dave Smallshire

This afternoon’s birdwatching cruise was excellent, with a Great Northern Diver and a feeding group of 30 Shags near to the Exmouth Marina. The ‘resident’ Slavonian Grebe and the first of about a dozen Great Crested Grebes were off Cockwood, plus a the first of a meagre 30ish Red-breasted Mergansers. A Peregrine flew over the boat at Powderham, where there was a Greenshank (and 3 on the way back). Passing Lympstone we saw small groups of Pintail and there were mixed groups of both Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits. Approaching Turf, large flocks of Brent geese and Golden Plover were seen in flight and a few Ringed Plovers were found amongst the hordes of Dunlins and Black-tailed Godwits; also on the mud were hundreds of Avocets, c140 Knot and good numbers of Grey Plovers, while a few Sanderlings fed along the river channel. We had better views of Mergansers toward Topsham, were a few dozen Teal were feeding and a pair of Black Swans walked out onto the mud.

Pride of place, however, went to a brief sighting of the Long-billed Dowitcher that is spending the winter with us (usually at Bowling Green Marsh though). It was on its own on the river channel between Topsham and Turf – to be honest, it was a bit of a fluke actually finding it amongst the hordes of feeding waders and bathing gulls. Less exciting was a Snow Goose in fields with Canada Geese near Turf. Gull numbers were very impressive as we returned to Exmouth in late afternoon, with hundreds of Common and Great Black-backed, though only half-a-dozen Lesser Black-backed.

Dave Smallshire

Near perfect conditions, sunny mild and light winds the exe estuary looked stunning. Plenty of photo opportunities with good numbers of birds on show with Shags and Cormorants in the mouth of the estuary 200+ Pintail flying and feeding off Lympstone. 50+ Bar Tailed Godwits and a surprise group of Avocets feeding in the same area normally these birds are further up the estuary. Dunlin seen right across the the mudflats from Lympstone up to Topsham with a few Ringed Plover near Turf Lock. 500+ Black Tailed Godwits at the Clyst confluence along with 200+ Avocets further up the Clyst so just to far for the visitors to see these number but plenty of Avocets across the out to Topsham. 1300+ Golden Plover were on the mud off Turf Locks. Gull numbers have increased throughout the Estuary. To finish off the cruise a pair of Peregrines were seen with a kill off Shelly Beach.

Derek Carter

This afternoon’s cruise saw very large numbers of waders on the mudbanks in the upper part of the estuary. In particular, there were well over 1000 Black-tailed Godwits and maybe 750 Golden Plover, together with many hundreds of Lapwings, Curlews and Dunlins, over 300 Avocets and smaller numbers of Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Knot and Sanderling. 3 Greenshank were at Powderham, where the first 20 Avocets were feeding.

A Great Northern Diver flew out of the estuary past Warren Point. There were good numbers of Great Crested Grebes (around 20), Shags (around 30) and Brent Geese, and about 80 Pintail were off Lympstone Barracks.

Dave Smallshire

Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ December Newsletter!

December’s edition will include a round-up of the following highlights from this month’s festivities as well as details of what to look out for over Christmas and New Year! 

  • Christmas Extravaganza!
  • Festive Specials
  • Thank you

CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA!

Well folks, Christmas is in full-swing and it’s all mulled wine, mine pies and festive merriment here at Stuart Line HQ – what with numerous Christmas Boat Parties, Live Band Nights, Sail with Santa and the big day (aka Christmas Day Swim) fast approaching!

This year has seen a record-breaking number of Sail with Santa cruises, the first bookings for which were taken back in February 2019!  It is truly a joy to see the children having so much fun and we are delighted that people have been so thrilled with their presents this year – the high quality of which has been remarked numerous times. Our Christmas Boat Parties have been hugely fun, with delicious hog roasts, fabulous discos and impressive festive attire all-round! Our Live Band Nights have also been a real hit this month – our vessels providing a fun, unique and sophisticated venue for live gigs with a difference!

In summary, we have enjoyed a very busy and fun month of December and are hugely excited to see many of you on Christmas Day or over the coming week!

FESTIVE SPECIALS

‘Tis the season to be jolly aboard our festively decorated, modern vessels! What joy it brings to hop aboard this holiday season, for a warming River Exe cruise – get yourselves some fresh air and a change of scenery with your friends and family, aboard Pride of Exmouth for a Festive Special Cruise of the calm-assured waters of the River Exe. Homemade mulled wine and warm mince pies from the local bakery included!

These cruises will be running every day throughout the festive season up to and including New Year’s Day.

Sailing Dates and Times

Tuesday 24th December @ 11am and 12:30pm
Thursday 26th December @ 2:15pm
Friday 27th December @ 11am
Saturday 28th December @ 12:30pm and 2:15pm
Sunday 29th December @ 2pm
Monday 30th December @ 2pm
Tuesday 31st December @ 12:30pm and 2:15pm
Wednesday 1st January @ 12:30pm and 2:15pm 

Adults: £10.00
Children: £6.00

(Inclusive of mulled wine and mince pies)

Festive Special River Exe Cruise Dates
MERRY CHRISTMAS, ONE AND ALL!

Well folks, that leaves me with just one more thing to say; from myself and all at Stuart Line, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and an incredibly happy New Year! May 2020 bring health, happiness, new adventures and everything that you, your friends and families may wish for.

Thank you all so much for humoring me and reading my newsletters throughout the past year. I hope that I haven’t completely bored you to tears and hope that somewhere along the way you have read something which you have perhaps found amusing or have been able to relate to in some way. I try to keep it an interesting read and feedback is always very welcome and gratefully received!

On a serious note though, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for your continued loyalty and support over the past year, for our blossoming family-run business. There have been enormous ups and downs both personally and professionally, as of course is the case for us all but it is a privilege for us to meet so many wonderful people throughout the year and share with you the wonders of the outstandingly beautiful area of the world in which we live. To call this ‘work’ seems simply ridiculous but we’ll take it! We truly cannot believe how lucky we are and it simply wouldn’t be the same without you, so thank you.

Love and warm wishes,

From Lauren, Jake and all at Stuart Line Cruises xxxx

Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ November Newsletter!

November’s edition will include a round-up of the following highlights from this month as well as details of what to look out for in the next few weeks of festive fun:

  • Christmas Sell-Out!
  • It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
  • All I want for Christmas…

CHRISTMAS SELL-OUT!

With our very first Sail with Santa booking received in February 2019, we are delighted to announce that CHRISTMAS IS OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT! Yep, you heard it right, all of our yuletide Special Events including Sail with Santa, two Live Band Nights, our Shared Christmas Boat Party AND the Christmas Day Swim, are all fully booked and have been since 15th November! That’s a record-breaker right there, so three cheers to you if you are one of the lucky devils who will be joining us!

However, please do not feel you have missed your chance and do not be disheartened, we do still have numerous opportunities for you to join us for one of our ‘Festive Special’ River Exe Cruises – these will be running regularly throughout the festive season, including Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and include a complimentary homemade mulled wine and a warm, locally produced mince pie, alongside our award-winning guided tour of the exceptionally tranquil Exe Estuary. A match made in heaven!

Festive Special River Exe Cruise Dates

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS!

With the above in mind, we are starting to become extremely excited for festivities to commence and we have officially finished adorning our vessels in their usual festive garlands, baubles and enchanting fairy lights. We are hoping to all go down together to buy our Christmas trees tomorrow – and yes, we do love a Christmas Tree-choosing family tradition just as much as the next family!

We are so grateful to our fiercely loyal, returning customers for their repeat bookings over the festive period and look forward to offering a warm welcome to those who are about to experience Christmas with Stuart Line Cruises for the first time – this is our family tradition as well as yours and we hope to make it truly magical.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS…

As you are probably aware, we are a small, family-run business. I’m not sure about you but this week I have found myself utterly bombarded with so-called ‘Black Friday Bargains’ and that’s before Friday had even landed – my email inbox, social media and everywhere in between; promises of irresistible savings, introductory offers and money off when you spend x-amount. Discount marketing lures both suppliers and consumers in and is, of course, tempting – we have to compete to keep up, right?

Perhaps not. Our approach may appear revolutionary in the current climate but the reality is, someone has to pay for these bargains and for many businesses, this forces them to underpay their staff, inflate prices for existing customers and disregard supplier quality standards – a sacrifice we simply aren’t willing to associate with. Since starting our business in 1968, we have consistently offered value for money – we believe our product to be high-quality and we don’t charge more than we need to. Simple and fair.

You will notice that you won’t find any Black Friday discounts here at Stuart Line Cruises which may feel like we are being somewhat mean but we feel the reality is quite the opposite. Our focus has always been and will continue to be, providing an experience that is good enough in every way for people to want to return – looking after and therefore retaining our existing customers and absolutely never offering something to new customers that is not available to existing customers.

Happily, feedback has always been, on the whole, extremely positive – turns out, most people are willing to pay a fair price, comprised of running costs, efficient customer service and a memorable, unique experience, with respect for people and our precious environment within which we operate.

With all that in mind, I’m sure you’ll agree the build-up to Christmas can be overwhelming, expensive and totally stressful if, like myself in previous years, you fall into the trap. It has been predicted that over the ‘Black Friday Sales’, Britain is expected to spend billions – vast sums of money will be spent on things which people may not have planned to buy and may not even need, on presents for friends and family who may not even want or like their gift – perhaps they will even be returned or unused – a little something I like to call ‘The Christmas Present Pandemonium’. The fact is, there seems to be so much pressure and this is crazy, right?!

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Christmas – the food, the decorations, the preparations and the gorgeous aromas that fill the house but to me, Christmas is about love, laughter, family and friendships – spending precious time together and reminding your loved ones just how much they mean to you. Christmas, for me, is a time for close family who I don’t get to spend enough time with throughout the rest of the year and to catch up with cherished friends who, again, I simply don’t see often enough.

My family, for the first year ever, have decided that we will not be exchanging presents this year and I am really excited about it. If you proposed this to me 5 years ago, my sister and I would probably result to a childish grump for several days, thinking it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without presents. But this year is different. Instead, we will all be spending the day together; in the morning we are going to take part in the Exmouth Christmas Day Swim (and yes, I do think that those who have booked themselves onto our warm Christmas Day Swim Cruise with mulled wine and mince pies are FAR wiser and no doubt this will reinforce to me that next year I should volunteer to work on the boat but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, right?!) and in the afternoon, will each bring something to the Christmas dinner table – I’m on the turkey, mum is doing the red cabbage, my sister is bringing a board game, dad will no doubt oversee operations with a large whiskey and so on – we will all have our part to play. That is truly all I want for Christmas.

Simplicity at its’ finest and the older I get the more like heaven this sounds!

So here’s the thing, I’d be pretty rubbish at my role in marketing if I was promoting a zero spending approach this festive season but what I would like to do, from the bottom of my heart, is to encourage you to think carefully before spending your hard-earned cash on materialistic gifts, potentially losing sight of what it’s really all about. I’ve shared my plans with you, in the hope of reminding you that you do not need to spend unreasonable sums of money in order to have a good time. Go back to basics, use your precious down-time with your families and friends wisely and consider investing in quality time together, either now or over the coming year – have fun, relax and cherish each other’s company.

Incidentally, Stuart Line Cruises’ gift vouchers are financially inexpensive but enormously good value, offering the gift of time together. They do not have an expiration date and can be used towards any of our cruises – perhaps you’d use yours for a Cream Tea River Exe Cruise with that friend you haven’t seen for ages, a Countess Wear Evening Cruise with your lovely mum or a Live Band Night to boogie the night away with your partner!? Whatever you choose, I am sure you will have a truly memorable time.

I warmly wish you a very merry, happy and relaxed Christmas!

 
Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ October Newsletter!

October’s edition will include a round-up of the following highlights from this month as well as details of what to look out for in the next few weeks:

  • Devon Wins ‘Best UK Destination’ at the Group Leisure and Travel Awards
  • Winter Mode 
  • Upcoming Special Events 
 
 

Devon Wins ‘Best UK Destination’ at the Group Leisure and Travel Awards

It was a huge honour to be invited to attend this prestigious awards ceremony with Anne Blackham of Devon’s Top Attractions, in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 9th October. This was my first experience flying solo for an awards night, hotel stay and a Group Travel Trade Fair the following day – with a little (or rather a lot) of help and guidance from the very wonderful and highly experienced Ian and Philippa Stuart, I packed up my big red van, set the SAT NAV and trundled off up the M5.

A little apprehensive, I arrived at Stadium MK with plenty of time to spare after a little pit-stop in Oxford en route (and maybe a little nose around the shopping precinct!) and was promptly greeted by the very friendly and familiar faces of Anne (Devon’s Top Attractions), James and Debbie (World of Country Life) and Josh (Seaton Tramway). We set up our joint stand for the Trade Fair which would take the place the following day, alongside Buckfast Abbey, Kent’s Cavern, The Donkey Sanctuary and South Devon Railway – team Devon were ready for showcase! 

Donned in our finest frocks, Anne and I arrived at the pre-dinner networking drinks reception, where I bumped into an old university pal who has just landed himself a job at the Group Leisure and Travel Magazine – what a small world! Moving swiftly on, Anne and I were keen to see the seating plan before entering the Ballroom and when we saw that we were to be seated on Table 4 – rather close to the stage and in the company of some rather important people – we became somewhat excited and hopeful for a trophy! In a rational attempt to calm our child-like enthusiasm, we reminded each other that the seating location was likely to have no baring on our success. 

After a delicious three-course dinner, Martin Bayfield took to the stage as guest speaker and having delivered a very funny and engaging talk, it was time for the awards presentation to begin! We were absolutely over-the-mood to hear ‘DEVON!’ after the words ‘…and the UK’s best destination is…’ and after the hilarious delight of having our photographs taken next to the extremely tall Mr Bayfield (seriously, google him!), the serious reality of this award really hit home. The county of Devon was up against the likes of Belfast, Liverpool, Isle of White, Birmingham and London and the fact that we had managed to come top over such fantastic cities which all cater so well for group tourism, really signified what we had achieved. We felt incredibly proud. 

Anne is a great friend and long-standing colleague of the Stuart family and the work that she has put in to making Devon such a fantastic destination is second to none, undoubtedly offering an invaluable contribution to our success in gaining this recognition. Her enthusiasm and passion is infectious and truly inspiring, not to mention her modesty. So thank you, Anne. 

The following day our work was cut-out for us at the Trade Fair; we were gladly overwhelmed by the interest in our Devon Stand and it was wonderful to say hello to so many group travel and coach operators with whom we currently work alongside, as well as meeting many new faces. Selling Devon as the best destination is hardly a chore with or without official recognition but this award really substantiated our own feelings and made our job all the more pleasurable.

Furthermore, we are thrilled to learn this week that England has been named second best tourist destination in the world by Lonely Planet for 2020, largely owing to its glorious coastal landscapes and there is a real sense that despite a multitude of uncertainties for this country, there are exciting times ahead. 

 

Winter Mode

As half-term in the West Country draws to a close, we see our final coastal cruises of the year and say goodbye to what has been a most fantastic summer season. The East and South Devon coastlines have displayed some of the most magnificent sea conditions, landscapes and wildlife for our ever-spectacular coastal cruises and we are truly grateful to have been able to share this with so many passengers who may otherwise have never experienced such a beautiful hidden gem of England.

But for now, it’s on with the heating and into the calm and sheltered waters of the River Exe where, incidentally, the water is always calm! 

Don’t forget, our Winter River Exe Cruises promise a warming River Exe Cruise with a live commentary from the Skipper and complimentary tea or coffee, whilst our Festive Specials provide mince pies and mulled wine all round (well, not the Skipper of course)! This really is the season to be jolly, so hop aboard! 

Winter River Exe Cruise
Festive Specials
Upcoming Special Events
Firework Night

We are delighted to announce that our Firework Night Cruise has proven so popular over the years that we are using both boats again and both boats are now FULLY BOOKED! 

This promises to be a spectacular evening on the Exe Estuary – the reflections and sounds are always so impressive from the water and we will do our best to get some nice photos for you! 

Christmas Boat Party

Back by popular demand, our shared Christmas Boat party is the most perfect way to celebrate Christmas aboard a unique venue, without the cost of private charter! 

We are super excited to be having a fantastic local Hog Roast aboard this year with a glass of warming mulled wine on arrival, to warm the cockles and all included in the impressive price of just £20 per person. This is the perfect Christmas party for small businesses, work colleagues or just friends and family wanting to have a fun and festive evening! 

We do still have a small number of tickets remaining so make sure you get yours quickly before they are all sold out! 

Christmas Boat Party Tickets
 
Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ September  Newsletter!

September’s edition will include a round-up of the following highlights from this exceptionally speedy month as well as details of what to look out for in the next few weeks:

  • Dartmouth Regatta 
  • Wildlife Sightings 
  • Thank you! 
  • Christmas
 
 
Dartmouth Regatta

The Port of Dartmouth is located at the mouth of the River Dart on the English Channel. We set sail from Exmouth at 10am on Saturday 31st August. Admittedly, the weather conditions were less than desirable upon leaving Exmouth with a slight rolling swell but once round Berry Head, the skies cleared, seas calmed and it was glorious!

It was a real treat for the Skipper, Jake and his Crew to travel further along the South Devon coastline than usual and once into the mouth of the River Dart, the bustling and vibrant atmosphere both on and off the water was surely evident.

Our passengers spent approximately 3 hours ashore in Dartmouth and upon their return, excitedly described a hive of activity, both on the waterfront and through the multitude of winding cobbled side streets of this charming town.

Our return journey was tranquil with flat calm waters and a dazzling sunset to compliment the ever-changing silhouette of the dramatic South Devon coastline. The chatty atmosphere aboard was truly magical with a wonderful mixture of regular passengers and new faces – there was a real sense that this cruise was an extra special treat. 

We are already excited at the thought of running this cruise again next year, details of which will be released on our website, as and when they are revealed by the Dartmouth Harbour Authorities. 

 
 

Wildlife Sightings

We have enjoyed some fabulous wildlife sightings throughout the past month, including this jubilantly juvenile Dolphin as well as some exciting early bird sightings, as we approach the start of the bird watching season here on the River Exe.

Having shown these photographs to two of our regular passengers who are people of expert marine wildlife knowledge, we understand this Dolphin to have been a young male Bottlenose Dolphin, likely evicted from his pod due to competition with other males and on his pilgrimage to find a mate!  He was extremely playful and following us in the bow wake for our entire Mini Coastal Cruise! Huge thanks to one of our passengers who managed to get these fabulous shots and kindly sent them in to us. 

We are incredibly privileged to be able to see such a vast array of marine wildlife on a daily basis and are extremely excited for the commencement of the upcoming bird watching season, from November to March. The River Exe is a RAMSAR Site of Special Scientific Interest, owing to its prolific migratory bird life from the likes of Arctic Siberia, Greenland and Iceland. We are hugely excited to welcome local leading Ornithologists Derek and Dave back aboard for their expert guidance on species, habitats and behaviours, for our ever-popular Guided Bird Watching Cruises. 

Some of these are already full/filling up, so please don’t forget to book early in order to avoid disappointment. 

FIND DATES HERE
 

 
Thank you!

As we approach the end of our busy summer season, we are extremely thankful to the small but mighty team here at Stuart Line Cruises, who make everything possible. We are a close-knit family-run business and our staff really are like an extension of our family. From the office staff to the Boat Crew and the Skippers – your hard work, commitment, innovation and determination do not go unnoticed and we are truly grateful. 

 

Christmas!

Christmas Day is around 12 weeks away. I know, ridiculously soon, right? So, believe it or not, party season is fast approaching and it’s time to get planning your events! We absolutely love the festive season, what with numerous Sail with Santa Cruises, a Christmas Band Night and a Boat Party, so here’s the deal…

Sail with Santa 
This long-standing tradition is one of the most popular in the South West with plenty of entertainment for all of the family, a quality hand-picked present for every child and refreshments of mulled wine and warm mince pies for the adults! Some of these sailings are already full but please see our website for remaining availability and be sure to book soon to avoid disappointment!  
 

SAIL WITH SANTA
 
Christmas Band Night – Friday 6th December
This 80s tribute night is a 2-piece act and will have you dancing the night away! We do still have a small number of tickets remaining so get in there quick before it’s sold out! 
BAND NIGHT – FRIDAY 6th DECEMBER
 
Christmas Boat Party
Our Christmas Boat Party returns by popular demand – the perfect opportunity for a unique party with friends or colleagues without the expense of private charter! This year we have the added extra of a delicious Devon Hog Roast, as well as a glass of homemade mulled wine on arrival and an on-board disco so you can really let your hair down and party the night away! Limited spaces remaining, so click the button below to book before it’s too late! 
CHRISTMAS BOAT PARTY
 
Welcome to Stuart Line Cruises’ August Newsletter!

August’s edition will include a round-up of the following highlights from this rather damp but glorious month as well as details of what to look out for in the next few weeks:

  • The Jurassic Coast
  • Sidmouth Air Show
  • Hop Aboard!  
  • Upcoming Special Events 
 
 

Treasures of the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic Coast is England’s only Natural World Heritage Site, spanning 95 miles from the oldest section in Exmouth to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset and boasting an abundance of fascinating geology, history and wildlife. Furthermore, the coastline has been voted by UNESCO to be one of the most significant world heritage sites in the world for its history and geology, alongside The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canyon and The Great Wall of China – safe to say, it’s pretty special. We are so fortunate to be able to view the coastline from the unique perspective of the water on a regular basis during the summer and feel privileged to share this experience with our passengers. 

Like much of our precious world, sections of the Jurassic Coastline are capricious and the wildlife that inhabits them is at the mercy of its volatile nature. A recent landslide at Straight Point left us feeling concerned for the welfare of the magnificent pair of Peregrine Falcons and their nest which we had been lucky enough to spot on a few occasions, precariously balanced on the face of the cliffs, close to the thriving Kittiwake colony. For several days they were nowhere to be seen and we feared the worst. 

Peregrine Falcons are a powerful bird of prey, distinctly identifiable by their blueish, grey and white feathers, yellow legs and short, hooked, yellow and black beak. They aren’t easy to spot in the wild as they are often hidden in the trees and undergrowth and may be mistaken at a distance by the eye of a novice, for a pigeon or other medium-sized bird. They find nourishment in wading birds, pigeons and small ducks and it’s no wonder therefore, that they appear to be thriving along our East and South Devon coastlines. Perhaps most fascinating however, is the fact that the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest creature on the planet, reaching diving speeds of up to 200mph – that’s even faster than a Cheetah – how awesome to think that we are lucky enough to see these beautiful creatures in the wild, right on our doorstep!   

Despite routine, there are times in life when we experience something extra special and are reminded of the beauty of the earth and indeed, why we do what we do. We were overjoyed yesterday, when we spotted what we can only imagine must be the same pair of Peregrines, shading themselves from the heat of the midday sun, during one of our popular Mini Coastal Cruises. Although we believe their nest may have been perished by the landslide, we are relieved that these guys still find safety, nourishment and comfort here at Straight Point and hope that they will continue to thrive. 

 
 

Sidmouth Air Show

Flight details for this year’s airshow were released fairly last minute and with a long list of provisional ticket reservations accumulated over the months prior to the event, it was all hands to the pump once the decision had been made to go ahead with our cruise! 

With tickets rapidly sold out in the space of less than 24 hours, we set sail with a full boat from Exmouth Marina at 16:15, cruising along the stunning Jurassic Coastline of East Devon. Captain Jake delivered an informative and entertaining live commentary on the history, geology and wildlife of our surroundings whilst his Crew busily served drinks and snacks from the on-board fully licensed bar. The contentment in the atmosphere was infectious – this was one of those summer nights where the sun was shining and the sea conditions were flat calm – one we would all look back on and fondly cherish. 

We arrived into the heart of the bay at Sidmouth, dropped anchor and waited in eager anticipation of what was to follow. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the visibility was clear and there was barely a cloud in sight! Perfect.

Rather sadly, the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team team did not appear as scheduled to commence the display at 18:00 however, this did not appear to dampen the atmosphere, nor the excitement! First up, the Twirlybatics Pitts Special Aerobatic display soared over our heads, wooing the crowds with their impressively low paths and gorgeous reflections on their wings, owing to the slowly sinking sun. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire then hit the stage, closely followed by the Strikemaster Jet Display Team and finally the RAF Chinook Display Team – my personal favourite!  

Despite the absence of the ever-favoured Red Arrows this year (due to a commitment in North America – yeah, we’ll let them off!), the air display was spectacular from start to finish and we felt incredibly lucky to have what were undoubtedly the best seats in the house! 

Huge thanks to the organisers and to Sidmouth Lifeboat volunteers for policing the exclusion zone and ensuring the safety of everyone. 

 

 
Hop Aboard! 

Stuart Line Cruises are offering an exciting opportunity to work as part of a highly professional and efficient boat crew team. We are looking to recruit someone who will positively contribute to the success of the best passenger boat company in the South West (yes, we are a bit biased!) by adopting a helpful approach and a willingness to use own initiative, whilst working adaptively and collaboratively with others.

The vacant position is full time with the opportunity for career progression through the business, for the right candidate. 

For further information or to apply for this position, please email info@stuartlinecruises.co.uk or pop in to our office and say hi!  

 
Upcoming Special Events 
Evening Triassic Coast Cruise

We are delighted to be collaborating with the Jurassic Coast Trust once again this year, for our Evening Triassic Coast Cruise. 

The Jurassic Coast Trust is the independent charity responsible for managing England’s only Natural World Heritage Site. Their vision is for everyone to love, understand and value this natural phenomenon and their mission is to enable everyone to have the best possible experience of it – be it learn, enjoy, work or study. 

So, this is where Stuart Line Cruises come in; we offer the only opportunity along the oldest section of the World Heritage Site, for people to view The Jurassic Coast from the entirely unique perspective of the water. We feel that we play a significant role in the vision of the Jurassic Coast Trust in facilitating love, understanding, value and respect for the dramatic and volatile East Devon coastline and feel that it is our privilege to do so on a regular basis throughout the summer.  
 
We hold our partnership with the wonderful Jurassic Coast Trust in very high regard and are delighted to support the work that they do, by donating our largest vessel, Pride of Exmouth for this annual event. The Evening Triassic Coast Cruise will set sail from Exmouth Marina on Thursday 12th Septemberat 18:30, returning for approximately 21:30 and will feature an expert commentary from local Jurassic Coast ambassadors. Tickets are £10 per person, must be booked online and all proceeds will be donated directly to the Jurassic Coast Trust.

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OK guys, I’ll admit it – it’s too early for most of us to mention the looming ‘c-word’ however, for those of you who are super organised and already looking ahead, our Christmas timetable is now live on our website! There you go, I’ve said it so no complaints if you leave it ’til the last minute and we are fully booked! 

Now, MOVING SWIFTLY ON!!

For those of you who aren’t quite mentally prepared to think about the ‘c-word’ just yet, perhaps you’d prefer to consider the exciting array of Autumnal adventures which we have on offer? 

November is set to be an eventful month this year, kick-started by our annual fireworks cruise, which is already starting to fill up and then swiftly followed with our first bird watching cruise of the season! We are thrilled to be welcoming ornithologists Dave and Derek back aboard, who will be providing expert commentary throughout the season. 

Firework Night Cruise
Guided Bird Watching Cruises

We have three band nights remaining for 2019, one of which is already full but two of which do still have some spaces, so here’s the lineup:

Friday 27th September – The Reggaskas are a seven piece band that play original alternative music with an unique but cheeky reggae ska vibe!  Female fronted with a strong rhythm section of drums, bass, guitar and keys accompanied by a lively brass section of saxophone and trumpet – their vibe definitely entertains the crowds!

Tickets are just £10 and cruises will set sail from Exmouth Marina at 19:30, returning for approximately 22:30. 

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Friday 6th December (Christmas Band Night) – Reflex 80 – this two-piece act performs all of your favourite hits of the 1980’s including Wham, Erasure, Duran Duran, Madonna, Communards and Banarama to name just a few! So it’s time to grab anything neon and come and pay tribute to everything we love about the Eighties!

Tickets are just £10 and cruises will set sail from Exmouth Marina at 19:30, returning for approximately 22:30. 

BOOK NOW!
 

 
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Want to learn more about our boats, trips, or book your place on one of our cruises? You can do all that and more on the Stuart Line website!