Last Sunday, 29th September, my partner and myself boarded Stuart Lines flagship vessel, The Pride Of Exmouth, and had the most wonderful boat trip that I think we have ever been on. Everything about the trip was perfect, right from prior to boarding the craft. We collected our boarding passes from the ticket office from Phillippa who, when we explained that our party had diminished from 4 to 2, insisted on refunding the cost of the 2 unused tickets even though we didnt ask. The actual cost of the trip was £8 each per adult and £6 each for children. Incredibly good value in my opinion.
We then queued up for a short time before being happily greeted by Ian and his staff who are always very cheery. As we set sail Ian took us through all the usual safety regulations and explained the trip and how long it would take. As I had lived in Exmouth all of my life I was pretty certain that there would be very little that Ian and his staff would be able to tell me that I didn't know already but was looking forward to hearing what he had to say anyway.
Well, how wrong can you be? Within 10 minuts of setting sail I had learnt 10-12 facts about Exmouth and its history, and for the next 2 hours we were regailed with snippets of information about everything under the sun, all told in Ian's dry manner.
Couple this with the staff going around to everybody on board, around 200 passengers I believe, and offering us all refreshments, at prices that are cheaper then just about all local cafes and bars I just knew that this was going to be a memorable experience.
The trip up The Exe was fascinating with all sorts of points of local and/or historical facts and interests being pointed out. And then we moved into the network of canals linking the river to Exeter Quay passing through both Turf Lock & Double Locks, well this was an absolutely brilliant part of the journey! Seeing all of the different widlife and watching bridges, that I had driven over thousands of times, opening and closing was a bizarrely joyous experience. Even when we travelled along the back of the industrial estate there was so much to learn about the area.
When we reached The Quay it was such a shame that we had to get off. I can honestly say that 2 hours or so has never passed so quickly and so entertainingly in my life.
Ian, Phillippa and all of your superb staff, you are a credit to the town and I cannot wait until we book quite a few more trips with you all. As the headline says we are all never too old to learn.
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