If you were to line up all the experiences we offer on an ‘Extreme-o-Meter’, the Southampton RIB Ride with SeaDogz would come pretty high! If you were hoping to read a blog post about a relaxing, chilled out boat ride on Southampton Marina, then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place.
Arriving in Southampton at midday, Robb and I met the SeaDogz team at Pitcher & Piano where we became acquainted over a few cups of coffee. I can’t stress enough how friendly these guys are, nothing was too much trouble and we felt totally at ease preparing for the ride. Once the cameras were set up, the rest of the participants arrived and we donned our waterproofs before beginning the safety briefing.
The anticipation was really building as we headed down to the pontoon. I knew we were going on a fast boat ride, but I didn’t realise just how fast the RIB could go until we were told all four and a half tonnes would leave the water and crash back down, powered by a 600 horsepower engine! We were taught the correct stance to hold while on the boat (knees bent, weight on the thighs), and that it was imperative we hold on to the handles at all times. Although no one had ever fallen out before, there was still a possibility it could happen – especially with me on board!
Sitting in our allocated seats, it was time to head out onto the open water. Luckily for us it was a lovely day, so the journey from the pontoon out past the speed restriction area was thoroughly pleasant. A nice extra touch was the addition of music to the trip, which started with the SeaDogz theme tune, ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’, the James Bond theme music, and general pumping dance tunes for the rest of the ride!
We were given no warning for when the speed would suddenly kick up, only the passing ‘End of Speed Restriction Zone’ sign. Instantly we were flying across the water, jumping over waves and taking sharp corners around buoys, reaching speeds of 70mph! It felt like riding a rodeo bull, or a rollercoaster without the safety harness, or a race horse – I think I’m fully prepared to compete in the Grand National now!
There were several other boats out on the water, from small dinghies to huge ferries, which produced rolling waves just perfect for skimming across. Our skipper called it ‘loitering with intent’, as we’d slalom in and out of these boats seeking the biggest waves for maximum jump height, like our own personal skate park.
Towards the end we slowed down for a few photos, and a brief history of the buildings nearby, including Calshot Castle which was built by Henry VIII in 1540. We then shot off again for a few more laps before attempting an ’emergency stop’ (basically you reach full speed then very sharply spin the boat to the right – thankfully no one fell out), before heading back into Ocean Village Marina.
The trip ended with a couple more ‘after’ photos, which involved some very lovely wind-styled hair, before heading home.
This is definitely up there with the most exciting experiences we offer. For those looking for extreme thrills and adrenaline-pumping action, I can’t recommend a Southampton RIB Ride enough. Huge thanks to SeaDogz for inviting us along and being such great hosts!