What you need to know when booking a trip:
All trips, regardless of length, must be booked and paid for in advance to secure your trip.
Some of my trips have a 2-tier price option to make the trips affordable for both big and small groups. Children, babies and OAP's all count as a 'person' onboard, therefore if you have 6 adults and 2 babies then you will fall into the 'up to 11' price category without exception.
If you are only paying for 'up to 6 people' price tier then the boat may be shared with another group. If you wish to hire the whole boat privately and not share with another group then you will need to pay the 'up to 11 people' price.
The departure point is at the end of the floating pontoon along Coast Road, West Mersea, Essex, CO5 8PA. Please be aware that this floating pontoon is used by children for crabbing activities so at first glance it can look like a massive queue waiting to get on the boat. If you continue to walk all the way to the end of the jetty and beyond the children crabbing, push to go through the gates at the Hammerhead, this is the waiting area for the boat trips.
There is a public carpark situated at the top of the floating pontoon, please ensure you remember to pay for your parking. Please bear in mind, this is a very small carpark and if the carpark is full you will need to find a side road to park in so please allow plenty of time to get parked up and meet me at the end of the floating pontoon.
Please allow suitable time to park and arrive promptly at the time of your booking as this is the departure time and your trip cannot be extended on the day due to late arrival and no refund will be due if you are unable to make your trip at the time and date agreed. As mentioned above, if you are only paying for 'up to 6 people' the boat may be shared with another group and it is unfair to make the other group wait for your late arrival so please ensure you allow plenty of time and turn up early to be on the safe side otherwise the boat may have no choice but to leave without you and no refund will be given.
Please ensure you check the tide times for the day and allow plenty of time to get onto the island before the high tide. Your trip cannot be refunded or rescheduled should you misjudge the tides. If you are unsure if the tide will affect your trip, please speak to the skipper at the time of the booking, do not leave it until the day of your planned trip as the skipper may be busy with trips and be unable to answer your query at short notice.
The departure point at the end of the jetty is a floating pontoon, however the walkway leading onto the jetty does not float so if they are high tides at the time of your trip then this area is liable to flood and you may want to wear wellies to ensure you can access the departure point or allow plenty of time either side of the high tide to get on and off the jetty to ensure this does not affect any other plans you have for your day. It is your responsibility to check the tide times. Your trip cannot be refunded or rescheduled should you misjudge the tides. If you are unsure if the tide will affect your trip, please speak to the skipper at the time of the booking, do not leave it until the day of your planned trip as the skipper may be busy with trips and be unable to answer your query at short notice.
Lady Grace Boat Trips was set up by the skipper, Stacey Belbin, in 2011 and is intended to be a family run business that will pass down the generations for years to come. Therefore, I would like to make you aware that Lady Grace Boat Trips has a crew, Stanley, born in July 2021, that will join us on our trips. Every effort has been taken with your booking to ensure your trip is booked at the most convenient time with the tides and at a time that Stanley should be at his most settled during the day to create the least disruption on the boat as possible to ensure your full enjoyment of your trip booked.
Dogs are only permitted onboard if they are kept on a lead and most importantly must be kept on the floor not on the seats. Please respect these requests are in place for health and safety, hygiene and consideration of other passengers travelling onboard Lady Grace later in the day.
I appreciate when booking a trip onboard the boat, you may wish to spend the day in Mersea and may end up with children and adults playing in the mud and sand. Prior to your trip, please can you ensure all muddy, sandy boots and clothes are washed off before attempting to board my vessel. Lady Grace is a highly prestigious vessel and I am proud to maintain high cleaning standards therefore I ask that you respect my boat and leave the boat in the same condition as you found it.
Lady Grace is not a floating rubbish bin, therefore any rubbish must be contained in your clothes pockets or bags. Rubbish must not be left on seats on put on the floor to blow around in the wind and potentially blow overboard polluting the sea. Please take all your rubbish home with you and dispose of it responsibly.
I do not offer a running commentary as I feel you get a more personalised trip by being given the opportunity to ask me questions if you wish or to enjoy the trip in silence enjoying the peace and serenity of being on the water without me mumbling on in the background.
Please ensure you dress accordingly for the weather, i.e. if it’s hot and sunny make sure you wear sun cream, and if it looks uncertain please bring a jacket and warm layers. Sunhats and caps are not advisable on the boat as they often get caught by the wind and will blow off into the water and due to the shallow waters, we are not always able to recover lost items.
Please note: when booking the boat trip, you are paying for hire of the boat, you are not paying to hire the perfect weather for your trip or guaranteed the perfect sunset. It is an open boat to enjoy whatever nature throws at us, whether that be a glorious sunny day or a breezy drizzly evening – it is all part of the experience of being outdoors so please ensure you dress appropriately and that you are prepared for the experience. No refunds will be given unless the weather is too windy to operate the trip. The weather and sea state decision lies with your qualified skipper.
When booking a wildlife trip, please remember it is 'wild' life, which means the marine mammals we see during these trips are not contained in cages, they are flying or swimming amongst the creeks freely amongst nature. With this in mind; there are no guarantees with what wildlife we will see, that is the beauty of wildlife. If you want to be guaranteed to see a particular species of wildlife then I suggest you visit a place where animals are kept in captivity to avoid disappointment.
Cameras and binoculars are recommended for those who are keen photographers and bird watchers. Lady Grace Boat Trips accepts no liability for any damaged or lost equipment onboard the board. You bring equipment at your own risk, therefore please ensure you bring adequate waterproof protection in the event of wet weather to protect your equipment as it is your own responsibility.
Trips booked and paid for are not refundable or transferable to an alternative date should you be unable to make your planned trip on the date arranged at the time of booking.
Rude and abusive language or behaviour onboard will not be tolerated and may result in early return to port, if this is the case no refund will be given.
For safety reasons, please ensure all passengers remain seated for the duration of the trip, once the boat is underway passengers are not permitted to change places on the boat, it is both dangerous; altering the balance of the boat, and a distraction to the skipper, you must remain seated until the boat is moored back up at the jetty.
All the relevant safety equipment is carried onboard under the local council guidelines should an emergency arise. Please note, all passengers regardless of age must remain seated for the duration of the trip. Lifejackets are only carried for emergency purposes and are not offered for use as a fail-safe for parents that wish to ignore their children's behaviour onboard. It is your duty as a parent to ensure your child remains seated for the duration of the trip. If you wish to put your child in a lifejacket for the trip I suggest you bring your own specifically designed and suited for the size of your children rather than rely on the vessel's 'one-size fits all' emergency equipment. If you are going to put children in your self supplied life saving equipment; please ensure they are fitted correctly and that they are a lifejacket and not just a buoyancy aid, as if there was an emergency onboard, your incorrectly fitted lifejacket or inadeqate buoyancy aid would need to be removed and refitted with the correct safety equipment and therefore this would delay the safety of your child in an emergency situation. Buoyancy aids do not replace lifejackets.
If you have any questions about my trips please call me on 07791 859624. Please bear in mind that due to the nature of my business I may not be able to answer your call immediately if I have passengers onboard at the time of your call. However, leave me a voice message or drop me a text and I will return your call or reply by text at my earliest convenience.
Please see full terms and conditions for more information regarding your booking.
Terms and Conditions
DEFINITIONS “EBT” means the company Essex Boat Trips. “Customer” means the person, company or organisation booking a trip. “Fee” means the cost of the trip as published on the EBT website or otherwise agreed in writing.
A booking will be provisional until EBT receives the following: A deposit or payment as defined in Section 2 below. b. Customer name and telephone number.
Upon receipt of the above EBT will confirm the booking in writing.
These Terms and Conditions of Booking apply to all bookings confirmed to a Customer by EBT and by entering into a confirmed booking, the Customer agrees to be bound by them (unless otherwise agreed in writing).
A copy of these Terms and Conditions of Booking is available on request.
DEPOSIT OR PAYMENT
Payment for the entire cost of the trip is payable in advance to secure the booking.
We can only accept bank transfer or cash as payment, not cheques or credit cards.
CANCELLATION BY CUSTOMER
More than 4 weeks before the booked date then the Deposit or Payment is returned. A £10 administration fee will be chargeable and deducted from the returned Payment.
Less than 4 weeks before the booked date then the Deposit or Payment is forfeited.
If the Customer requests an early return to harbour, then the full Fee is payable, no refunds will be given.
CANCELLATION BY EBT
Should bad weather be forecast for the day of the trip, the Customer has the option of the Deposit or Payment being returned in full or moved to another suitable day.
Due to illness of the skipper, mechanical breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances, the Customer has the option of the Deposit or Payment being returned in full or moved to another suitable date. In this case every attempt would be made by EBT to find another suitable boat or skipper, if suitable with customer.
EBT cannot be held liable for any loss incurred by the Customer in arranging the trip if EBT has to cancel the trip.
The Customer MUST telephone EBT the evening before the trip between 1800 and 2000 to check the weather is suitable for the trip to go ahead and finalise details. Telephone 07791859624.
Failure to telephone will be taken as acceptance by the Customer of any decisions made by EBT for the following day.
Bad weather relates only to the wind conditions as this can sometimes affect safe operation of your trip. Precipitation does not affect the operation of the vessel and is therefore not taken into account when making a decision. EBT’s decision is final with regard to the weather but we try to get out if possible, with due regard to safety and common sense.
ALCOHOL, DRUGS AND SAFETY
Due to changes in insurance company requirements NO alcohol will be allowed on board at any time.
Drug abuse or excessive alcohol consumption will cause an immediate return to port at the full cost of the trip.
Any injury or loss sustained onboard must immediately be reported to the Skipper.
EBT’s Vessel, Lady Grace Boat Trips is licensed for a maximum of twelve passengers and two crew.
Any medical conditions that might affect a customer during the trip MUST be reported to the Skipper at the time or booking or before departure.
INSURANCE AND LEGAL
EBT’s Vessel ‘Lady Grace Boat Trips’ and Skipper are licensed to operate as required under the local authority, Colchester Borough Council.
EBT maintains £10 million Public Liability Insurance.
These Terms and Conditions of Booking and all other express and implied terms of the contract shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England and the parties agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
Nothing in these Terms and Conditions of Booking shall affect the rights of Consumers.
All clauses and sub-clauses of this Agreement are severable and if any clause or identifiable part thereof is held to be unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such enforceability shall not affect the enforceability of the remaining provisions or identifiable parts thereof in these Terms and Conditions of Booking.