It’s corny but as it was such a beautiful warm and sunny day on the British North East coast at Whitby we fancied a boat trip. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds, as although there were 3-4 boat vendors offering little taster trips out to sea, we needed to find one that offered some easy steps onto the boat for the benefit of our disabled friend who was with us.
After a fish and chip lunch at the wonderful Whitby institution that is the Magpie, we spotted just further up the prom a smaller replica version of Cook’s ship the Endeavour (the original was built in Whitby and which sailed to Australia for the first time all those years ago) offering 25 minute trips for £3 a person. We were in luck to snaffle the last 4 tickets for the next sailing 20 minutes hence.
The boat is a faithful replica but 40% smaller than the original – even with scaling it up in my mind, I was shocked with the small size of the boat that crossed the world for the first time ever in 1768 carrying 94 people, some goats and chickens and 18 months of provisions.
The 25 minute trip itself really is no adventure; the excitement was limited to wondering how long it would be before the excitable child jiggling around in the seat next to me would stick the heel of her flip flops into my hip, but it was nice to escape Whitby Harbour and feel the sea breeze in our hair.
The skipper was quite funny and enjoyed showing the kids the whale and the crocodile from rock formations in the cliffs around Whitby. There was a little bit of information about Cook (who apprenticed in Whitby) and the ship, and the replica. This wasn’t really a historical or knowledgeable trip (there was a teddy bear dressed as a pirate on the rigging), but it was a bit of fun as long as you didn’t mind being fairly squished on board. Importantly for our friend, the boat was quite easy to get into and out of, and the boat staff were very patient in allowing her to ease her way back up the steps onto the prom side.
All in all at £3 a pop this little trip was quite the bargain and assuming the weather is good I can totally recommend a Whitby boat trip.
Other companies do the boat trip (some for £2.50 for 20 minutes, and there are also some longer fishing trips on offer), just wander up and down the sea side in the centre of Whitby to see what takes your fancy.