Voyage Reports

Pilgrim – Island Hopping in the Scillies


Explore the Isles Of Scilly on Brixham Trawler Pilgrim

The voyage starts and finishes from Falmouth in Cornwall. Pilgrim will then take you out of the mouth of Falmouth heading West down the stunning coastline past Coverack, around the Lizard and across  Mounts Bay towards Lands End. From Wolf Rock lighthouse you really feel you are sailing out into the Atlantic Ocean. The 65 mile passage to the Scillies is a really great way to start your holiday and get to know the ropes. This passage can be either benign or challenging . There are strong tides and shallow seamounts around the Lizard Point and Lands End which create upwellings and currents ideal for sealife and where there is food in the ocean you are likely to find basking sharks, ocean seabirds diving, dolphins, or perhaps whales –  so be sure to have your camera ready!  

Dolphins play alongside Pilgrim on the way to the Isles of Scilly
Dolphins play alongside Pilgrim on the way to the Isles of Scilly

The journey to the Islands is part of the adventure. Once around the Lizard, Mounts Bay is huge so you may now be out of sight of land until you get to the islands – if the conditions are hazy. The thrill of spotting the Isles of Scilly when this fascinating archipelago first appears over the horizon never goes away, however many times you visit. Choosing and making your destination in the Scillies is greatly cherished because not only do you arrive in style under sail but you have been part of the journey, your effort and team work has made it possible. You get a sense of achievement never found arriving by ferry or plane.

The Isles of Scilly is spectacular and should be on everyone's bucket list
The Isles of Scilly is spectacular and should be on everyone's bucket list

What the Islands Have to Offer

This granite archipelago consists of fifty small inslands whjich include the main islands of St Mary’s, St Martin’s, Tresco. Bryer, St Agnes and Gugh. Many of the islands are uninhabited so wildlife is in abundance and fondly protected by the local humans. 

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 Isles of Scilly are situated just 28 nautical miles away from the southern tip of Cornwall, these group of exotic islands experience much improved air quality, away from the pollution on the main land. There are no rivers so the seas are crystal clear and the white sand glitters with mica.

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 and the most stunning sun sets. 

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! Navigation and pilotage is fascinating as there are many sand banks and reefs, so deciding where to go is very tide and swell dependent, so when the skipper explains the route, you will see a very busy nautical chart.

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