|Thu 20-06-2024, 14:00Falmouth, Cornwall||Mon 24-06-2024, 11:00Penzance, Cornwall||Grayhound||4 Nights||GR200624|
Setting sail from Falmouth to Mousehole in mid-June promises an exhilarating blend of Cornish scenery, abundant wildlife, and optimal sailing conditions. You’ll navigate past iconic landmarks like the Manacles and the Lizard Peninsula, with the chance to spot seals, dolphins, and an array of seabirds along the way. The Sea & Salt Festival in Mousehole offers a vibrant celebration of maritime culture before you round off your journey with a leisurely sail to Penzance, taking in the working port of Newlyn and the iconic St Michael’s Mount. It’s a voyage that captures the very essence of Cornish seafaring, all set against the backdrop of the stunning South West coastline.
GRAYHOUND is one of the largest sailing luggers in the world today. She was built in Cornwall in 2012 and has a 20m long hull, is 33m overall and a canvas area of 470 square meters. The original plans were those of a three masted lugger from 1776. Luggers from that time were built for speed and swiftness ideal for privateering, smuggling…or for hunting the latter! “Pirate hand-break turns” and cannon firing is always on the menu on Grayhound!
Your voyage aboard Grayhound begins in Falmouth, a town rich in maritime heritage. The town is a delightful place to explore, with opportunities to learn about Cornwall’s seafaring traditions and enjoy its coastal attractions. If you’re able to, we recommend arriving a day early to explore Falmouth and the surrounding area. Visit the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and see the national small boats collection. Grab lunch at Windjammer Café, you can sit out on the balcony and watch the hustle and bustle of the harbour below – you’ll likely be able to see Grayhound from there!
There are also 2 train stations right in the town, close to the harbour, making travel to Falmouth easy and perfect for exploring further afield to see Cornwall’s many visitor attractions such as the Eden Project, Tintagel Castle and the Minack Theatre to name just a few.
After joining and getting acquainted with the ship, crew and fellow guests, you’ll set sail! Heading out, you pass Black Rock, which is easily identified by the dark, brick, cone-shaped base and Isolated Danger Mark (two circles, vertically stacked). See Pendennis Castle om your right and St Anthony’s Head Lighthouse on the left. You’ll cruise past the Helford River and its idyllic creeks and woodland. Then later you’ll round the Lizard Peninsula, giving you a chance to glimpse the Lizard Lighthouse standing sentinel at mainland Britain’s southernmost point.
As you make your way through Mount’s Bay, the iconic St Michael’s Mount looms large, Not to be forgotten, the bustling fishing port of Newlyn serves as a prelude to Mousehole, signalling that your destination is near.
Mid-June is a splendid time for wildlife spotting along the Cornish coast. The waters are teeming with life, and the weather generally allows for clear views of both sea and sky. Between Falmouth and Mousehole, you’ll likely have the chance to encounter a captivating array of marine species. Seals and dolphins are a frequent delight in these waters, particularly common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Keep an eye out for their dorsal fins breaking the surface as they dart around the boat or ride the bow wave. You might also spot harbour porpoises, though they’re generally a bit shyer and less showy than their dolphin cousins.
Birdwatchers will have a field day. Gannets are a magnificent sight, plunging into the sea at great speeds to catch fish. Guillemots and razorbills are often seen closer to the cliffs, and you may even spot a puffin or two as you approach the more isolated parts of the coast, though they’re a rarer sight. Cormorants and shags are also abundant, often seen diving for fish or perched on buoys and rocks, drying their wings in the sun.
Arriving in Mousehole aboard Grayhound, you’ll be more than just spectators at the Sea & Salt Festival; you’ll actively partake in the celebrations. Activities are often varied, but you’re likely to find anything from sea shanty performances to boat races, and of course, ample opportunities to sample the local seafood. It’s as though the whole village throws open its doors to honour the sea, its gifts, and the people who’ve made a living from it for generations.
Beyond the festival’s bounds, Mousehole itself is a treasure trove of Cornish culture and maritime history, offering you an unparalleled opportunity to dive deep into the essence of traditional sailing and coastal life. All in all, it’s a journey and event that has the potential to transform casual onlookers into passionate sailors, under the vast sky and atop the ever-changing sea.
After the fun of the festival , you’ll leave Mousehole for Penzance. You’ll find yourself sailing past Newlyn once again. If you didn’t get a chance to appreciate it on the inbound trip, now’s the time to take in the sights and sounds of one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK. It’s a working testament to Cornwall’s maritime and fishing heritage, and a fascinating contrast to the more leisurely atmosphere of Mousehole.
Upon nearing Penzance, the vista shifts from natural beauty to architectural charm. The town’s promenade and historic buildings will come into view, offering a blend of Cornish tradition and Georgian elegance. It’s like sailing into a different chapter of Cornwall’s rich maritime story.
Although a shorter sail compared to your earlier journey, the Mousehole to Penzance stretch offers its own unique set of joys. From the robust activity of Newlyn to the stately grandeur of St Michael’s Mount and the genteel air of Penzance, it’s a route that provides a bit of everything—a fine way to round off what I’m sure will have been an unforgettable maritime adventure.
In mid-June, you’re sailing into some of Cornwall’s best weather—mild to warm temperatures and favourable winds generally from the southwest. It’s the sort of climate that makes for lively yet manageable sailing, ideal for both newcomers and seasoned mariners. Sea conditions are usually moderate, offering a gentle introduction to ocean sailing without too much drama. The visibility is often excellent, perfect for soaking up those Cornish views and spotting an array of marine wildlife. All in all, it’s a brilliant time to be out on the water, balancing comfort and adventure in true Cornish style. Just pack for both sun and spray, and you’ll be more than ready for whatever the sea decides to serve up.
On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best and safest sailing routes for the forecast. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but when it comes to sailing, you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description provided is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or prior experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. As such, the scheduled joining ports, routes, activities and/or destinations may be altered. Due to the complexities of weather systems, this may be at very short notice.
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. Handling cargo adds an extra dimension – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.
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.
We now have several vessels that use Falmouth as a joining or leaving port. As every vessel is different, and we do not have our own pontoon there, all joining instructions are slightly different. Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date.
This is a list of the likely joining locations, but sometimes the ship can also be at anchor. Read the vessel’s joining instructions carefully for full details.
Port Pendennis is the small marina behind the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the nearest rail station is ‘Falmouth Town’ (3 mins walk). The Maritime Museum has a big tower like a lighthouse so aim for that and at the entrance, turn right and walk down the side of the museum. The gate to the marina is behind the museum building.
Custom House Quay is a stone quay enclosing a small wet dock in the Centre of Falmouth Town. It is used for some of the foot ferries to St Mawes in the peak summer. Only 5 minutes walk from Falmouth Town Station if you head towards the town centre. Situated at the Maritime Museum end of the high street and has its own short stay car park between Trago Mills Store and the Chain Locker Pub if you are driving and want to drop your bags first.
Falmouth Visitors Yacht Haven is about 100 yards beyond Custom House Quay but if walking from the rail station towards town it is best if you walk accross Custom House Quay short term car park and nip through the alley tunnel through the Chain Locker Pub. The yacht haven is a small marina only yards from Falmouth main shopping street (Arwenack St), tucked away down the bottom of Quay Street.
Penzance harbour is the home port of the Car and Passenger Ferry to the Scillies. There is only one ferry called the Scillionian – a very distinctive white vessel that moors up on the seaward Pier to the Penzance Wet Dock. If the ferry is in port you can usually see it accross the harbour from the Penzance Railway Station car park.
The outer harbour is tidal and dries out to mud so the wet dock is the place that Classic Sailing vessels will use to start or end your voyage, so if you head for the Penzance – Scilly Ferry on foot or follow the road signs for the Scillionian Ferry you will find the Wet Dock. Next door is the famous Penzance Swimming Lido with bright blue flags.
The Penzance Wet Dock has a lock gate that can only be entered 1.5 hrs before or after high water, and the entrance is exposed to Southerly or SE gales, so it is possible the skipper of your vessel may have to dock in the nearby fishing port of Newlyn.
Thank you so much to all the Grayhound crew for an unforgettable adventure. I cannot imagine a kinder and better crew with which to sail.Caroline
Thanks all for a great time, I really enjoyed it. Fastest Channel crossing I have managed!Barney
An unforgettable experienceJonathon
We've had two idyllic sailing trips. One particularly fantastic day scrambling over big volcanic rocks down a deep craggy valley to a black sand beach with dramatically high cliffs. Grayhound was waiting, attracting attention because she's so beautiful and unique. Swimming out to her in the clear waters o the Atlantic rates as one of life's highlights.Grayhound Guest
Fantastic, exhilarating and an honour to be on such a ship.Des
Excellent company of genuine all round sailors. The wind in my face and the swell beneath. 5 stars for welcome, accommodation on board, safety, quality of sailing, food, skipper and crew.Barry
Outstanding and unforgettable experience. Loved learning the lug rig, meeting the crew and other guests, playing an active role on board.Charlie
Brilliant sail on an interesting boat with friendly and knowledgeable people.Steve
Three masted lugger Grayhound is a unique sight and a joy to take photos of. Not only does she look very unusual as it is a rig not seen much now, she has a mission to deliver cargoes under sail, so she is the darling of the press. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.
Midweek Winter Workshop - wooden boat repairs and boat building skills for women
Smugglers Cottage, Tolverne
Smugglers Cottage, Tolverne
Provident Southwest Amble 2024 PV290524
Shakedown Voyage - Help with Launch & Sea trials TH240324
St Mawes, Cornwall
Recently Viewed Voyages