A Blue Thunder Rib Ride Around St Ives

As the school holidays came to an end, embarked on a coastal adventure – a fast and thrilling rib ride in St Ives.

I came across Blue Thunder Rib Ride experiences on Instagram. No doubt their picture of their rib boat, whizzing across the sea, caught my eye. It certainly piqued my interest and I knew it was a different day out we could have this summer. Not only would we explore St Ives’ beautiful coastline, it’s an opportunity to see and learn about local marine wildlife. That, alongside experiencing an exciting and uplifting speed boat trip, which I knew we’d both love! With one trip already cancelled due to weather, we spent the last Sunday of the summer holidays in St Ives, waiting to board Blue Thunder.

Blue Thunder Rib Rides

Booking was quite easy. While you can book via Blue Thunder’s website, I was in contact with them on Instagram. On the day, I didn’t have a confirmed time, but we made our way on the train to St Ives anyway. Once there, we secured our place on the 2.15pm ride. We couldn’t wait.

Around St Ives and a Beach Picnic

If, like us, you have some time to kill, there’s loads to keep you occupied in St Ives. I always save up my change throughout the year and take Henry to the arcade. It’s his idea of heaven. I excelled myself too, coming 2nd on Mario Kart. That never happens!

A cornish pasty with Porthgwidden beach in the background
A Cornish Kelly's Ice Cream being held up in front of a beach

St Ives is surrounded by some of the most beautiful, blue flagged beaches in Cornwall. It seemed fitting to have a picnic on Porthgwidden and look out at the sea we’d soon be riding on. I even treated myself to a rare pasty from The Allotment. With it being a day out, a Kelly’s ice cream was on the agenda too – millionaire shortbread flavour, fabulously sweet and creamy.

We wandered the side streets of St Ives and settled for some time on the beach before our Blue Thunder rib ride.

Getting Ready For Our Speed Boat Experience

It took a little while to get us all sorted with life jackets at the Blue Thunder desk. It’s worth noting that rib ride times are subject to change depending on tidal conditions and wind. Thankfully, the weather conditions were perfect, dry and sunny. We knew on the day of our trip that we wouldn’t be going around Godrevy lighthouse as it was deceivingly windy out at sea.

Smeatons Pier, St Ives

All geared up the rib ride to begin, we met Blue Thunder at the end of Smeaton’s Pier. Our skipper confirmed that we’d be going to Godrevy lighthouse and then back along the coast to St Ives. We gently moved out of St Ives harbour and stopped. Sadly, there was an RNLI call and we watched in wonder as the orange rescue boat made its way out to sea.

Fishing boats in the harbour at St Ives

The sea and houses behind the harbour wall at St Ives

Our Coastal Rib Ride Tour

Sat bobbing on the water, I could feel Henry’s eagerness for the rib ride to really begin. Then, with a roar of the engine, we were off! Squeals and laughter came from us passengers. We were rapidly belting along the sea, heading for Godrevy Island.

Penny Bedford smiling with her son on a rib ride

What’s great about a coastal tour rib ride is the speed. The bobbing and bouncing experienced over each wave is thrilling and exhilarating, especially at high speed. You can’t help but smile and laugh, as well as anticipate the next rolling wave.

Being out at sea, with little else around us, is truly wonderful too. Blue space is so good for us, particularly our mental wellbeing. I try and soak up at every opportunity.

View from a rib ride of some rocks near Godrevy lighthouse
Godrevy lighthouse from Blue Thunder Rib RIde

At Godrevy Lighthouse

With the engine turned off at Godrevy lighthouse, we had time to hear about its history. It was built in 1858 after a number of ships met a disastrous end on the concealed rocks surrounding Godrevy Island. Given the lack of equipment available, I’m always amazed at how such things were built hundreds of years ago. Apparently blocks and bricks had to be rowed over from St Ives. It must’ve taken ages! Like most lighthouses, it’s no longer manned, but is fully operational.

While seals are often hovering around Godrevy Lighthouse, there were none to see during our trip. We saw cormorants resting and diving into sea. I’ve never seen them close up before. Apparently they’re super fast and can stay under water for quite a while.

The sea and west Cornwall coast

The Rib Ride Back To St Ives

We made our way back to St Ives, closer to the shore than before. This meant we could see Hayle beach (Cornwall’s longest at 3 miles), Carbis Bay and Porthminster. At one point we experienced a sharp right turn, just for the thrill and another burst of laughter erupted from the boat.

We left Blue Thunder smiling, with our hair slightly matted, saying how it was worth the wait. In fact, Hen told me it was the best thing we’ve done all summer. A Blue Thunder rib ride was worth it, just for that!

There’s lots of things to do outside in Cornwall, offering a sense of adventure. You may be interested in this post on ideas for outdoor activities and adventure in Cornwall.

A Fast, Exciting Rib Ride with Blue Thunder, St Ives. from Penny Bedford on Vimeo.


Author: plbedford

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