|Mon 05-07-2021, 18:00Charlestown, Cornwall||Thu 08-07-2021, 18:00Charlestown, Cornwall||Anny of Charlestown||3 Nights||AY21/08|
Fancy a 3 day break on a wooden schooner, with square sails too? Imagine steering 89ft Anny with canvas sails against a blue sky, or a seascape more dramatic. Sailing in Cornwall in May is refreshing and good for the soul. The seabirds are breeding and the sea is warming up and full of life. Coastal woods are full of bluebells and wild garlic and you can taste the salt in the unpolluted air. The historic Charlestown Harbour is in the middle of a rugged coastline with Fowey to the East and Falmouth and Helford to the West and tiny anchorages in between that few tourists have heard of.
Beginners keen to try a new activity on a small and friendly tall ship with wide uncluttered decks and characterful wooden interior. Keen sailors who can’t wait for Spring and summer to arrive and love outdoor adventures in Cornwall. If you are someone who instantly feels better the moment they take off their shoes off and feels a wooden deck beneath their feet or sand between their toes, then a sailing ship beats a holiday cottage for romantic appeal. The crew on Anny of Charlestown are happy to teach you as much sailing skills or marlinspike seamanship as you want, or be your guide to the unspoilt and rugged coastline of Cornwall or even Devon. Anny has a ships boat for going ashore in secret coves or when anchored off historic fishing villages so you can explore ashore oo.
You may recognise Charlestown Harbour from countless film and TV productions. It is still used today for filming and you can imagine the characters striding down the quay or joining a ship like Anny in UK programmes like Poldark, Taboo and the Three Musketeers. This Georgian Harbour has been kept as original as possible with cobbled wharves and a small fleet of resident tall ships clustered in the wet dock.
Whilst Anny is traditionally rigged as a topsail schooner with blocks and tackles, square sails and gaff sails, you can learn sailing skills and seamanship that are useful and relevant to all types of sailing vessel from yachts to tall ships.
If you are simply looking for a few days escape then this really is a unique way to explore Cornwall and its coast and rivers from the sea. If you love secret Cornwall – the places that most the tourists don’t get to see – then exploring by sailing boat should be your perfect weekend choice.an all inclusive weekend break with lots of outdoor time, great food, timeless scenery with empty anchorages.
The voyage is adapted to give guests a wonderful chance to visit natural environments far from the madding crowd. After a good day spent out in the elements you will be able to retreat to the light and airy saloon to enjoy a freshly prepared meal in Anny’s beautiful saloon with woodburner or on deck in the sun.
Anny is likely to be at anchor for most short trips, rather than inside the lock basin. This gives her the versatility to set off as soon as everyone has been introduced to the ship and safety briefings – whatever the state of tide. Guest crew and baggage will be taken out to the ship by boat, so you can admire your ships design lines as you approach. Anny is the flagship of Charlestown and owned by the harbour, so if you want to drop off your bags early or have a query, the Harbour office can help.
Once aboard, enjoy rereshments on deck whilst the crew give you a safety briefing and introduce to to the concept of helping sail a schooner from day 1.
In the event of bad weather in the wide Bay off Charlestown, the more sheltered Fowey Harbour is a short car ride away, and you will be informed of the arrangements in advance, or given a lift on the day.
The skipper is a local and knows how to get the best out of the different wind directions and how the coastline of bays, headlands and drowned river valleys can be used to create the most enjoyable sailing and overnight stops. in the Spring and Autumn you might squeeze in a bit of night sailing, but generally you are tucked up at anchor in time to relax and watch the sun set. In summer the days are long and with all that fresh air and lovely supper to send you to sleep you might not even see the dark.
On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.
On the first day you will probably be so focused on learning to steer a big schooner, set and trim sails and adjusting to your floating home, you may lose track of where you have sailed. It might not be far, but you will have been ‘in the flow’ of a busy day that is totally different from life ashore. You might anchor for lunch but it is more likely you will enjoy it on deck whilst sailing along when the weather and winds are fair.
Charlestown is tucked in a valley mouth under the distinctive China Clay hills of St Austell. The wide Bay that is on her backdoor stretches from the stripey daymark on Gribben Head to the reassuring bulk of the Dodman. Mevagissey, Porthmellon and Gorran Haven Polkerris are all little fishing ports or quays you can anchor off in different wind directions as well as hideaways without habitation like Silver Mine Cove or Vault Beach.
Around Dodman Point is Gerrans Bay, punctuated in the middle by Nare Head, Gull Rock and the Whelps. Inshore fishing boats are nearly aways present here, and can sail inside Gull Rock with a bit of care. Portscatho, Portholland, and Portloe all look very different from the water. There are many beautiful beaches here in summer that are fine to anchor off for a swim or a run ashore in offshore winds.
The next big sailing area Westwards is into Falmouth Bay, Carrick Roads and St Mawes Bay. the river entrances to Falmouth & Flushing, Helford River and the extensive Fal River network.
The Lizard Peninsula stretches 14 miles out to sea and offers up a barrier of Serpentine Rock to shelter the coast from Westerlies and Atlantic Swell.
We can’t imagine you will spend 3 days on Anny and not go to lovely Fowey and Polruan. The harbour entrance between cliffs is dramatic but its deep water so you can sail in between the forts when the wind is right. This bustling port has China Clay cargo ships to surprise you but is a perfect evening venue for pubs, restaurants or local walks in the woods and clifftops. In summer colourful Troy dinghies race amongst the moorings with great daring and gig boats train.
Beyond Fowey is Lantic Bay where wild orchids grow and kestrels hover over the beautiful cliff backed beach. The rugged coastline from her has few ports that Anny can enter until you get to Cawsand or Plymouth itself. It doesn’t stop you anchoring off Looe Island and watching 70-80 fishing boats head into the shallow port. Polperro is also too tiny for Anny but you could still visit by ships boat, or remain at anchor, aloof from the tourists ashore.
The remoteness of the Cornish coast in the far west brings its own special reward to those who sail with us. Cornwall has some amazing starry nights and with no street lights causing light pollution, it can be so clear that you can see the Milky Way. Ocean sunsets to die for, isolated lighthouses with their unique sequence of flashing times, tiny fishing harbours that are still in use today by inshore fishermen and women. Some of the biggest cliffs on the south coast of Cornwall have been sculptured by pounding winter gales and wild wind. Almost tropical white sands with sparkling mica sticking to your toes; woodlands stunted by the wind, but with trees adorned with lichen (a sure sign of unpolluted air), lush ferns and springs along the many coastal footpaths make Cornwall a magical place to explore from the sea.
The Gulf Stream provides unexpected sightings of turtles, sunfish and more regular visits by dolphins (common, bottlenose and risso’s dolphin), porpoises, whales and giant basking sharks. Gales often bring in wheeling gannets, tiny storm petrels, guillemots, razorbills and even puffins.
The Fal and Helford Estuaries are designated as Special Areas of Marine Interest, and Fowey River has much unspoilt woodland on either bank. Breeding seals hide in sea caves and deep “zawns”, a Cornish word for a deep cleft in the cliffs probably caused by the collapse of a cave. The drowned river valleys (called rias) have dense oak woodlands with branches sweeping down to deep green waters. At low tide the mudflats are home to egrets, curlews, oystercatchers and leggy herons—all the birds that go screech. At night you hear owls hooting in the moonlight, and a few guests have seen elusive otters in the early morning mists.
The beauty of coastal wandering in local waters over a couple of days is the skipper can find the best sailing angles for the most enjoyable sailing. Mevagissey Bay, , Falmouth Bay, St Mawes Bay, Gerrans Bay, all can offer sheltered waters in certain wind directions and the vast Plymouth other Harbour behind its breakwater offers options to the East. Not so easy to sail up unless you like a challenge, but equally fascinating are the drowned river valleys of Cornwall. The wooded tidal Rivers of Fowey, Fal and Helford, offer still waters and places to moor up and shelter from wild weather. Surrounded by nature it’s not a bad place to ever be storm bound.
In fine weather you can head as far offshore as you want for more wind, ocean swell and a good blast.
Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.
We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.
Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
This historic private harbour is the home port of Anny and Mascotte, but there are often several tall ships in the dock and you never quite know what you will find.
Charlestown Harbour is set on the rugged South Cornish Coast. The last open 18th Century Georgian harbour in the UK, Charlestown is proud to be a UNESCO world heritage site, with a unique history and geography. Charlestown is still a vibrant working port, with classic sailing vessels, beautiful beaches and great places to eat and drink.
Charlestown Harbour has also made a name for itself in the film and TV industries, featuring in Poldark, Taboo, Hornblower and many other productions.
A natural amphitheatre and great setting for your friends or relatives to come and wave goodbye from. Charlestown is tidal, so access both in and out is determined by high tide times. We will advise you nearer to departure of the exact joining times.
Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please!
Anny does have waterproof jacket and trousers you can borrow in a variety of sizes. if you have your own outdoor waterproof of any type you might want to bring your own so you know you can get a good fit.
If you need any advice please ring us on 01872 580022
Anny does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.
Anny is a new Charter boat owned by Charlestown Harbour. 2020 will be her first season in Cornwall, offering residential sailing holidays, so we don't have any feedback yet from her sailing guests.
Anny has been in the dock in Charlestown since 2019, but the lovely living space aboard Anny has not been unoccupied. She has been offering Air B&B and tourists and travellers have been taking advantage of the unique setting in Poldark's famous port.
Here are a few Air B&B reviews for Anny this winter.
Anny is an absolutely stunning boat, and the crew could not have done more to make our stay magical and relaxing.
We had such a great weekend on Anny. She is a beautiful boat and the photos don't do her justice. She is well kitted out with a very comfortable galley area and the beds are all very comfy and cosy.
Beautiful clean boat, duvets and bedding amazing. Great hospitality! Would totally recommend this lovely boat.
The ship is a beautiful unique way to spend your nights. Great facilities, stunning interior and the harbour is kept perfectly smooth from the sea barrier. Steeped in history Charlestown is a fascinating place to spend a few days! I would definitely recommend anyone and everyone to book here and give it a go. You won’t regret it!
Anny of Charlestown is a beautiful topsail schooner operating on the Coast of Cornwall for the first time, after years as a charter vessel in Europe and the Caribbean (as Fiddlers Green). She was built in Denmark in 1930 and her massive oak timbers create that homely and solid feel that only wooden sailing vessels can provide. We think she will turn many heads along the headlands, beaches and historic ports of Cornwall as well as further afield. A great mix of gaff sails and square sails on this pocket tall ship that only sleeps 8 guest crew.
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