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Irish Sea Adventure

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sat 27-07-2024, 14:00Falmouth, Cornwall Mon 05-08-2024, 11:00Greenock, Scotland Grayhound 9 NightsGR270724

Embark on an epic maritime odyssey that promises adventure, breathtaking vistas, and hands-on sailing experience like no other. Our upcoming offshore voyage is a true nautical extravaganza, setting sail from the historic port of Falmouth, and tracing a daring route that will see us conquer the notorious waters of the Irish Sea, bound for the enchanting coastal town of Greenock*.

(*Please note – the end port of this voyage has changed, previously Troon, now Greenock)

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Navigate the Irish sea
  • Get a taste for passage-making sailing
  • Bask in the wildness of Scotland
  • Possibility to stand night watch with the professional crew, and night skies like you’ve never seen
  • Fantastic varied sailing in great company

Grayhound

Vessel type / Rig Three Masted Lugger
Guest Berths 8-10
Beam 19ft
Draft 10.75ft
Deck Length 64ft
Overall Length 108ft
Tonnage 56 tons
Year Built 2012
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

 

An Introduction to Grayhound

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 are always on the menu on Grayhound!

As voyage crew you do not have to have any prior sailing experience or knowledge to join on Grayhound. A positive attitude and a wish for adventure is all! Our experienced crew will make sure that you comfortably and eagerly hoist the sails, make fast the ropes, participate in the manoeuvres, steer the ship and ready the anchor. It is all hands-on and you will be a crucial part of getting to our desired destination. You will learn fast while enjoying the feeling of freedom the ship offers as you get humbled by the sea. 

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

Joining Grayhound in Falmouth

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 ProjectTintagel Castle and the Minack Theatre to name just a few.

Along the Way

After joining and getting acquainted with the ship, crew, and fellow guests, you’ll set sail! Sail West past Lands End and into the Atlantic: first one to spy the Wolf Rock Lighthouse gets a biscuit! You will be fully involved in setting sails, reefing, trimming, jibing, and steering as Grayhound makes her way through the waves, turning North to begin the passage into the Irish Sea.

As you navigate northwards, the coastline of Wales and then the western shores of England become your guiding landmarks, often presenting a beautiful juxtaposition of rugged cliffs and tranquil beaches. The Irish Sea itself is a dynamic water body; while early summer tends to bring milder weather and more stable sea conditions, it’s not uncommon to experience the occasional brisk wind or a sudden downpour, adding a touch of adventure to the journey. This stretch of water includes busy shipping routes and big ships. It is also a beautiful and mysterious sea, full of history. The sea is encircled by the mountains of Dublin Bay, Wales, and Scotland, but still open to the power of Atlantic weather systems. Sailing round the clock gives you a fantastic opportunity to stand night watch with the crew.

The weather will play a large part in deciding the location of any stop-overs en route, but the possibilities are endless. As you approach Arran, you’ll start to see why the island is known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’. Everything from beautiful beaches to lofty Munroe’s in a small space! The backdrop of the Firth of Clyde makes this a truly beautiful approach.

Arriving in Greenock*

*Please note – the end port of this voyage has changed, previously Troon, now Greenock

As Grayhound gracefully navigates towards Greenock, prepare to be greeted by a panorama steeped in maritime tradition and industrial heritage. Greenock, with its historic shipbuilding legacy, offers a distinct contrast to the rugged natural beauty you’ve encountered along the way. The town’s bustling waterfront is a blend of modern developments and historic landmarks, including the Custom House and the remarkable Victoria Tower, once part of a larger complex and now a proud symbol of the town’s past.

Upon your arrival, the Greenock Esplanade presents a splendid opportunity for a leisurely stroll along the River Clyde. The views of the river, framed by distant hills, are particularly breathtaking during sunset. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the McLean Museum and Art Gallery reveals fascinating insights into Greenock’s shipbuilding history and local culture.

Greenock’s location also makes it a gateway to exploring more of Scotland. It’s only a stone’s throw from the scenic Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, offering a stark contrast to the open seas with its tranquil lochs and rolling hills. Moreover, whisky aficionados may wish to indulge in a tour of nearby distilleries, experiencing Scotland’s world-famous spirit.

Your time in Greenock marks not just the end of a memorable journey aboard Grayhound, but also the start of new adventures in a land rich with history and natural beauty. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in local culture or venture further into the Scottish Highlands, Greenock is a fitting finale to your sailing adventure.

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

Sailing from Falmouth to Greenock during the summer offers a diverse and exciting experience. You’ll enjoy mild, comfortable temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C as you embark on your maritime adventure. While the weather can be changeable, it adds a thrilling element to your journey, and the occasional rain and fog can create a mystical atmosphere at sea. The prevailing southwest winds will be in your favour, propelling your voyage. Expect moderate sea conditions, which can provide an invigorating sense of adventure. For first-time sailor, this voyage promises an unforgettable introduction to the world of sailing.

A NOTE ON VOYAGE DESCRIPTIONS

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. 

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

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.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

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.

Isle of Arran. Sail there with Classic Sailing

Start & End Port

Falmouth, Cornwall

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.

Greenock, Scotland

Maybe is normally in the James Watts Dock

Greenock

Greenock is a historic industrial town and port beside the Firth of Clyde, some 25 miles west of Glasgow.

Art and poetry.

Greenock was first of all a fishing community that become the site of the first dock on the Clyde in 1711. The town’s long maritime history is celebrated at the Custom House Museum.

Much of the west end of Greenock retains its impressive Victorian buildings, not least the 245-foot Victoria Tower which remains incomplete.

Other attractions include McLean Museum and Art Gallery and the Old West Kirk, which dates from 1591 and features stained glass by artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Robert Burns lover Mary Campbell (Highland Mary) is buried in Greenock Cemetery.

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on Grayhound

What is included

  • Duvets, linen, pillows
  • Sailing instruction
  • All meals on board (professional chef)
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits, fruit and day time snacks.
  • Night watch snacks (if applicable)
  • You don't have to do the cleaning, but help with the washing up is always appreciated.
  • Waterproof and insulated jackets and trousers
  • Life Jacket and safety equipment, we also have child automatic life jackets.
  • Charging facilities for phones, cameras and tablets etc.

What is not included

  • Towels
  • Travel to joining port
  • Tours, shore expeditions with any hire vehicle or local guide (optional & shared costs)
  • Personal travel insurance See Topsail Insurance LINK
  • There is no bar on board so you might like to bring a bottle or two of wine to enjoy with meals. You can also buy organic sailed cargo wine, red, white and rose onboard.

What to Bring

Don't forget, Grayhound is 108ft overall so she will not always fit into small yacht marinas and she will often have to anchor off in the bay or port. Be prepared to get into a small boat with your luggage and pack sensibly protecting any vulnerable items like cameras. Grayhound has waterproof and insulated flotation jackets and trousers on board which are very warm. In summer or hot locations you may wish to bring some lightweight waterproofs. Even in the Caribbean you can get tropical downpours or spray on deck when sailing in strong winds. A mobile phone so you can ring the ship in an emergency or if you are running late on joining day. Also it means we can contact you if we have to change the joining port for any reason. Grayhound's phone number will always be supplied with your balance confirmation e-mail. Shoes with a good grip for deck & aloft Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies Swim suit & beach towel. You are welcome to bring snorkel and mask - especially worth it in the Caribbean or Cape Verde. Suntan lotion & sunglasses - consider sunblock and lip salve protection in Canaries, Cape Verde, Trans Altantic, Caribbean. Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves Clothes that dry quickly. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers Small rucksack for going ashore Travel insurance documents/tickets Personal medicines/ spectacles Spending money/passport Camera/binoculars etc Phone chargers. 240 generator on board UK three pin sockets. We welcome musical instruments and you can plug in ipods or CDs into ships stereo. There are storage areas for each bunk . Please pack in a soft rucksack or bag. A torch is useful as a few baggage spaces are at the foot of bunks with reading light at other end. There is no alcohol to buy on board, so you are welcome to bring a bottle or two to drink with meals. If you decide to buy some on arrival You can also buy Grayhound t shirts, mugs and Breton tops from our ship's shop we accept pounds or euros.

Review

 

Sailing on Grayhound in the Caribbean, March 2024

James recently shared his feedback from his voyage on Grayhound, sailing from St. Lucia to Guadeloupe from 6th to 12th March. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience, rating it as amazing, but he felt the need to share some insights.

The crew comprised 11 people, including a professional skipper, a young mate, a cook, and the boat's Swedish owners, Willie and Oscar. The passengers included two Americans, Connor and Leah, along with James and Nigel Sharp, who was there to write an article about the trip. A young couple joined as volunteer crew but lacked experience, which somewhat impacted the dynamics.

James appreciated the diverse age range and found the mixed sleeping arrangements manageable, though he noted the challenges of sleeping in tropical heat. His prior experience on classic boats like Pilgrim and Johanna Lucretia helped him enjoy working on the boat, though he advises that physical fitness is essential for activities like using the hand winch and rowing in the Caribbean heat.

A significant aspect of the trip was the administrative process of checking into each Caribbean island, which James found somewhat tedious. He also highlighted that Grayhound is a vegetarian boat, which, while not a major issue for him, did limit the culinary experience of the Caribbean.

Despite some minor issues, James emphasises that future passengers should be prepared for a more casual and less professional experience on Grayhound, compared to other vessels. He always felt safe and enjoyed the boat's beauty, describing the atmosphere at times as akin to a 'happy hippy expedition'. The owners' approach to running Grayhound as a business seemed more focused on enjoyment, including evenings with drinks and beach BBQ’s.

Overall, James is grateful for the experience and open to future sailing adventures. He also stayed on in the Caribbean for an extra week, offering to share his discoveries with others. He's curious about Nigel Sharp's upcoming article in Classic Boat, noting Nigel's mixed impressions during the trip.

This is a summary of the comments by James March 2024

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 experience

Jonathon

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
learning to steer at a young age on Grayhound
learning to steer at a young age on Grayhound

Vessel Gallery

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.

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