Condor Ferries and MARINELife – a day trip to Guernsey

4:30am is not a time I like to see, however that is what time it was when I was dragging my clothes on and carrying the kids to the car last Wednesday morning. We had been staying in the New Forest and we were off on a day trip to Guernsey.

Condor Ferries and MARINELife run a series of day trip to Guernsey from Weymouth or Poole which you can go on for one £20 per adult which includes a £5 donation to the charity. These trips are available on the following dates

3 September Weymouth to Guernsey
9 September Weymouth to Guernsey
17 September Poole to Guernsey
22 September Poole to Guernsey
29 September Weymouth to Guernsey
6 October Poole to Guernsey
15 October Weymouth to Guernsey

MARINElife is a Dorset based charity that conducts surveys and records sightings of marine and bird life to aid conservation. Join a MARINElife wildlife officer on the following dates as many marine animals and birds can be spotted from the ferry, so imagine what you might catch a glimpse of with an expert, a good pair of binoculars and a little patience.

So here we were 6:30am in the morning on a ferry in Poole, its a bit cold, a bit windy but I had high hopes of seeing something fantastic, a bit different from watching Winter and Hope in their pool in florida the week before.

I was really pleasantly surprised to see that I had not lost my sea legs after ten years without boarding a big boat and it seems that Elizabeth has naturally got them too. Unfortunately some of our other party didnt really enjoy the trip out which was a little bit choppy but they were all fine on the return trip and if you are not sure how people would feel on a boat I would always recommend travel sickness tablets just in case as the channel can be a bit temperamental in parts.
Elizabeth loved standing on the deck with me looking out at the water and the waves, something I have always enjoyed doing and she seemed at peace, not talking but just watching the water rolling by. As Morgan Freeman said in his interview with me the week before “The sea is a great equaliser, it doesnt care who you are or what you do”. I know when I look at the sea I feel all my worries wash away and I feel at peace.

On our way out to Guernsey we were lucky enough to be invited onto the Bridge to meet the Captain and learn about how the ferry was controlled. The girls absolutely loved it and they all enjoyed sitting in the chairs and looking at the various control panels and radar systems

Our trip to Guernsey took 3 hours and in that time we managed to eat a really good cooked breakfast and have a wonder of the ship. I stayed away from the Duty Free until our return journey because I didn’t want to carry my wine any further than I had too.

The Condor Ferry is really great for children with a separate room for them that has seats around the edge and space for them to burn off some steam in the middle. The room had a tv that was playing the film Frozen much to the girls delight. We also got each of the girls a Ship Mates activity pack that cost £1.50. It came in a draw string back with three puzzle/colouring books, a keyring ferry that made a noise, come colouring pencils with a sharpener and a tattoo. A fabulous bargain that could keep them entertained for ages.

I have so many photos of birds, seascapes and the waves in general and it was a really good day. Unfortunately we did not really get to do much in Guernsey as we only had three hours on land however we sent some postcards from a blue postbox, had a cup of coffee at a lovely cafe and even did a bit of clothes shopping for the girls so it wasn’t a completely wasted trip. The return journey was a lot calmer and warmer on deck so I spent most of my time with my eye scouring the surface of the water in a hope of spotting something but alas it was not too be. I think they were hiding from me because they knew I had my camera!

PictureGrey Seal Archive Photo credit Rick Morris

Whilst on the boat on Wednesday
the MARINELife volunteers saw
the following creatures.

Grey Seal

Common Tern
Arctic Tern
Sandwich Tern
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Black-headed Gull
Manx Shearwater
Great Skua
Pomarine Skua

Other birds:
Little Egret
Grey Heron
Carrion Crow


Manx Shearwater – Archive Photo credit Rick Morris


If you love bird watching or for your chance to see one of the fabulous mammals that live in the English channel why not book yourself onto one of the MARINELife day trips, at only £20 per adult it really is a fantastic bargain.

I tell you what else is a bargain, the duty free wine!