Seacoast Safaris offer a range of different boat trips around the coast of North Wales including an adventure RIB Safari and a selection of cruises around the Islands, Menai Straits, Beaumaris Castle and a popular Puffin Island Cruise.
Dogs are welcome on all of the cruises (except the RIB Safari) and they can travel for free, although a small donation is encouraged. The Puffin Island Cruise is one of the shorter trips, lasting approximately 90 minutes, and this is the one that we decided to go on with Elsa. They have a great website where you can book online, or if you’d prefer to speak to someone then you can also book over the phone too.
We arrived early and spent a little bit of time exploring Beaumaris. The castle has recently adopted a dog friendly policy but we didn’t have time to visit it on this occasion because we literally didn’t want to ‘miss the boat’! The pier is easy to find and there is a large car park within close walking distance. Seacoast Safaris recommend that you arrive 30 minutes prior to departure.
Elsa wasn’t the only four-legged passenger, a stunning Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier also boarded the boat.
We settled ourselves on a bench on the side of the boat and didn’t have to wait long before we set sail, wondering we might encounter on our cruise. Although puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes are known to nest on the island, the main breeding season is between April and July and they spend the rest of the year at sea. There was also the possibility of encountering other wildlife including: cormorants, shags, seals, porpoises and dolphins.
To my amazement, not long after we set sail, I actually spotted dorsal fins in the harbour! Unfortunately the creatures were too far away to identify, and we hadn’t attached the zoom lens to the camera at that point so we couldn’t tell exactly what they were, but it was still quite a thrill to see them nonetheless!
As we approached Puffin Island (or Ynys Seiriol in Welsh) the tour guide pointed out a couple of puffins bobbing around on the water and they turned the boat around quite a few times so that, no matter what side you were sitting on, everyone had the opportunity to see them. We also saw auks, shags, gannets, gulls and seals on our cruise.
Unfortunately, as the boat started to sail back to the harbour, the heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched!
Since we’d had incredibly dry, warm weather up until this point, I had actually forgotten to take Elsa’s raincoat with us. We did our best to wrap her up with a little fleece blanket that I happened to have in my bag and this just about kept her dry, but the wet weather scuppered any plans that we had to continue exploring Beaumaris when we got back to shore, we headed straight back to the car to dry off and then made our way home.