The coastal passage to the Scillies is a really great way to start your classic sailing holiday. This passage can be either benign or challenging . We depart from Falmouth and as you leave behind the Cornish coast at Lands End it’s likely that you will spot basking sharks, dolphins, seals – so be sure to have your camera ready! Eventually the welcome Islands start to come into view there is a real sense of excitement and anticipation.
What the Islands Have to Offer
The first thing that strikes you about these islands is the vivid colours that surround you, particularly the tropical flowers, the white sandy beaches and the turquoise blue sea.
Although the Scilly Isles are situated just 28 nm away from the southern tip of Cornwall, they experience much improved air quality, away from the pollution on the main land.
This is also evident when the days draw to a close and you get to experience fantastic night skies with crystal clear views of the constellations.
Sailing amongst the islands, you will have plenty of time to explore ashore, swim in the blue sea, watch the island’s wildlife and enjoy the fabulous, dramatic scenery. Of course if you prefer to just relax, there are some wonderful pubs and cafes to sample and just watch island life go by!
In keeping with their reputation for extraordinary wildlife and unique natural habitats, the surrounding waters, sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs of the Scilly Isles provide the perfect opportunity for a close encounter with seals playing in the surf, nesting Puffins or a playful group of inquisitive dolphins. Most of the time dolphins are busy feeding but they may decide to come and play with the boat and do a bit of bow riding!
Sailing: Previous sailing experience is not necessary to enjoy sailing on Pilgrim. All are welcome to join the crew in helping to sail her including novices who can learn new skills. Those with experience will enjoy the scale of our rig and see how these big old vessels perform under sail and compare to smaller craft. But guests are more than welcome to just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
On some longer cruises (i.e. cross channel) distance, sea state, wind and tide dictate that there are long passages. This may include some night sailing and the skipper will set up a watch rota. Guests are welcome to join in watches if they wish. Meals during long passages will be adapted as necessary to suit conditions. Guest’s logbooks can, of course, be endorsed for sea miles travelled.
Pilgrim represents a great example of a “working boat” with our top deck layout having been authentically restored to the traditional gaff rigged, sailing trawler layout. There are no covered areas on deck. You will find various places to sit, from the oak “transom” (the rear of the boat behind the smaller (mizzen) mast) and on deck lockers around the main hatchway. Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye on you to make sure you are safe and if necessary ask you to move to other areas to allow for hauling or trimming of sails etc.
Accommodation: Our main salon is comfortably furnished to provide cushioned seating around a large extendable oak table. This is where we set out breakfast, lunch (buffets) and usually gather for evening meals, but food can always be taken on deck, weather permitting.
Eight of our berths are in the main saloon area, (see Tour) all exceed 6 feet in length, are single bunks with a dedicated reading light and small stowage area. Two of these bunks can be curtained off to offer a degree of privacy. A further four bunks are situated in a separate cabin in the forepeak (front of the boat) and another four in the “lazerette”. This offers a small degree of privacy. (Skipper and crew are normally, but not exclusively berthed in the lazarette and one or two may occasionally occupy berths in the main accommodation areas especially during “watches”). We do ask you to please wear some form of nightwear.
Berths are comfortably upholstered have “lee” cloths and are provided with sheet, duvet and pillow and we can provide towels (on request). Note: Only ten of the available twelve guest berths will normally be bookable for extended cruising. We have mains power on board, so you are able to recharge phones or cameras.
There are two heads (nautical term for toilet) with integral showers. These are adjacent to the forward cabin and at the foot of the companionway (staircase) in the main saloon area. Heads are electric and we will be pleased to give instructions on their use.
We also have a wet locker for hanging and drying any outerwear, boots etc, this is heated and has a fan. (You need to bring your own clothing etc)
Stowage of personal effects is very limited so only one soft bag per person please. (This may have to be stowed on your bunk during sailing)
Food and Drink: A big part of your on board experience will be mealtimes! With all that fresh air you will get hungry and we offer scrumptious food!
Refreshments are included during your time aboard. Food can be taken on deck (weather permitting) or in the comfort of the main salon. Tea, coffee, squash and biscuits etc. are served throughout the day.
Guests are served mid morning tea and coffee, lunch and light afternoon tea. We also provide a two/three course dinner and of course breakfast for the duration of your cruise.
Alcohol is not included in the price charged for your holiday and should not be consumed under sail and always at the discretion of the skipper). We ask you to bring your own beer/wine etc , (in moderation please if you want it , as stowage is limited). A small supply may be available to purchase on board.