Client Stories: Cariad y Môr

Celtic Explorer

Interview with founder of Cariad y Môr, Ian Davies

Cariad y Môr Charters provides wonderful boat trips and sea safaris from Saundersfoot Harbour in Pembrokeshire aboard The Celtic Explorer from April to October. We caught up with founder Ian to learn about his venture and how LHP helped him set up and run his finances in the cloud to free up time.

How did Cariad y Môr come about and what trips do you offer?

At Cariad y Môr we do marine safari trips with blue sharks, island cruises and mackerel fishing. It came from a natural progression really. I’ve always worked at sea, I’m a Pembrokeshire boy from St David’s. I joined the Navy when I was young, then commercial sector vessels and Welsh Government marine and fishery protection. I love the coastline and I’m always in the water, surfing, swimming or diving amongst coastal wildlife. Every time I’m out I see amazing things. Like minky whales, gannets driving mackerel, pods of tuna and super pods of dolphins.

I realise quite how precious, biodiverse, and fragile our coastline is and feel passionately about giving back to Pembrokeshire by introducing people to the wonders of the deep.

Most people don’t know about the sharks you can snorkel with here or the need for conservation. I’m involved with Shark Trust. They share information on interacting with marine wildlife and support my kind of immersive experience. What I offer is a mix of experiences, from team building corporate days with seals, sharks and whatever shows itself, to learning about wildlife on holiday.

Every year we get barrel jellyfish as big as armchairs, so many in the water at times you wouldn’t fit a chair between them. Hundreds of thousands of them. You can get in the water with them, it’s a mind-blowing sight. Immersive and definitely one for the bucket list!

Blue sharks come every year when the waters warm up. Females arrive in time for pupping and are incredibly inquisitive and non-aggressive if you respect their domain.

The sharks swim just inches away from you to see where you are. I’m one of the first to do this with sharks to raise awareness.

My boat The Celtic Explorer is a 9m cheetah cat, stable and decked out for wheelchairs with ramps. You don’t have to get in the water*, you can watch from the boat and throw fish if tuna come close.

It’s amazing what you see, I once saw 2,000 dolphins swimming together. It helps getting twenty to thirty miles out.

How has LHP helped?

LHP has helped me a lot as a start-up this year.

They have advised me on tax, incorporation and VAT. Many things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. The team in Tenby is always there at the end of the phone if I run into problems. Michelle Reynolds the Operations Manager has been fantastic!

The team at LHP is very helpful. I’m getting Xero cloud accounts soon and look forward to the benefits of automation. The system promises to simplify my finances and free up more of my time which is very important to me.

If I were to describe LHP in 3 words I would say reliable, friendly and local.

Enquire or book a trip today

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 If you found this business story inspiring and need help as start-up or growing business, Let’s Talk.

cariad y mor

Further information

*While coasteering is popular, getting in with wildlife, creates a greater appreciation. One fantastic experience is our Lundy day trip, we don’t take under 14s on deep water snorkelling trips though. Clients must be confident in the water, but those that come don’t need to get in. We use a trail floating line to hold onto with a buoy on it, 4 or 5 people can then get in at time when animals are close for the most amazing interactions and photo opportunities. You can book a trip from end of April-October, With shark trips from July-October.  While I can’t guarantee you will see all wildlife, 90% of the time we do. I’ve lots of tricks to ensure we keep in touch with the wildlife.

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