|Tue 17-05-2022, 15:00St Mawes, Cornwall||Mon 23-05-2022, 10:00St Mawes, Cornwall||Tallulah||6 Nights||TH170522|
The deep and varied coastline of Cornwall is perfect for a deep keeled boat like Tallulah. Marinas are not our thing. Its so much more satisfying to sail into a sandy bay and drop the anchor, or arrive at a historic quay in a beautiful clinker rowing boat. Pilot cutters are part of Cornwall’s history but they are also aesthetically one of the most beautiful craft ever built. On Tallulah the guest crew are fully involved in the sailing. We will seamlessly teach you to set sail and create a sailing scene worth painting. A bit of pride in what you achieve in a few short days, we think will get under your skin.
Tallulah’s skipper Debbie also runs wild camping voyages on a 17ft open boat called ‘Outdoor Girl.’ This spritsail yawl is shallow enough to explore the landscape between the HW and LW mark, extending our reach way into the salt marsh and tiny creeks on the Helford, Restronguet or Fal River tributaries.
If you have always wanted to try dinghy or keel boat cruising then this wooden boat week combo will show you the pros and cons of sailing – with or without a cabin. It is also nice to have the below decks shelter of a mothership to return to.
max 8 guests on this voyage, split between Tallulah and Outdoor Girl for accommodation. Staffed by Skipper and mate who both like cooking.
Solo travellers welcome, but we also have a lovely double bed cabin for couples on board Tallulah. Outdoor Girl is kitted out for camping and campfires ashore and can rustle up hot drinks on the galley box at anchor. She carries water, firewood and has beaching legs and a boom tent too, so couples or friends want to try camping on the boat can do that too. She has 2 x 2 man mountaineering tents so individuals don’t have to share tents, a boom tent and a bivvie tent for staff if needed.
Anyone who loves sailing and wooden boats and would like to try out as many different types of rig and size of boat as possible. Those who love adventure charter voyages on boats like Tallulah, but would love to explore on a smaller size boat that they might be able to buy for themselves one day. Outdoor types like kayakers, van dwellers and anyone wanting to embrace green transport and go exploring.
If you want to try out the full range of possibilities, this is a great week to immerse yourself in the wooden boat world and try both ends of the wooden boat spectrum. This is a week long voyage of two halves.
The aim is split the guest crew into two groups and swop activities mid week. After an introductory period on board Tallulah, One group will make a plan and go off with the mate on Outdoor Girl for a sail, lots of practice at beach landings, sailing into quays and ports without an engine, and the challenge of finding a beautiful wild camping spot for the night. The other group will experience big boat sailing along the coast on Tallulah. The trade off for comfy bunks and galley cooked meals will be the extra energy needed to sail a 44ft pilot cutter short handed. Then the two groups swap. There is also room for 2 people who want to stay on Tallulah all week and try the small boat sailing without the camping bit.
Spend half the week learning big boat skills on Tallulah with 3 guests or more and Debbie skippering. The mate will be away with the other half of the guest crew on our 17ft spritsail yawl Outdoor Girl (or Wild Boy), so those left behind will really get some hands on participation, and a fuller understanding of how to manoeuvre a pilot cutter with less crew.
Those on the open boat will be sailing closer to the shore and up rivers into much more shallow waters. Learn practical pilotage, how to survey uncharted waters and beach landing techniques with the first mate to get into unusual coves and tidal pools. This is a carbon free challenge as there is no engine on board – only sails and oars. Camp overnight in wooden glades, remote beaches or under the boom tent.
Half way through the week both vessels will rendezvous and swap crews.
Scope to learn skills from the RYA Navigation and Basic Seamanship Syllabus & Certificate, or pick Debbie’s boatbuilding brain about the best type of boats to buy for your own future adventures. In 2021 she spent 12 months at the Boat Building academy learning the relative merits of solid wood versus GRP or plywood, clinker versus carvel and much more.
There is room for 2 extra guest crew to stay on board Tallulah for the whole week if you prefer to watch rather than sail the small sail boats. this might be a good option if just fancy a short sail on the open boats but don’t fancy camping overnight on a beach or afloat under the boom tent.
Now we have a bigger pilot cutter, the low carbon theme remains. Trusty expedition rowing boat Number 8 is still with us. We tow her on most voyages so you can ‘toss oars’ on the way to a waterside pub, or silently row up a wooden creek until you are with the curlews in the salt marsh.
We are not purists though, so there is heating, hot showers, fridge, radiators and stove on board, and these need a bit of engine or diesel to work. Tallulah has a barrel windlass, oil lamps as well as 12v lighting and solar panels so we try to minimise our fossil fuel usage.
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.
Falmouth has always been an important deep water harbour and staging post for exploring the world and trading by sailing ship. In the 1890s many of the pilot cutters registered in Falmouth were based in St Mawes as the bay has fast access to the open sea. Tallulah’s mooring is far enough out in the bay for the crew to train you to sail off the mooring on the first evening. In summer there are many local racing fleets to dodge and off season the Falmouth Oyster Boats are out dredging under sail, trying to hang onto their unique fishery.
There are plenty of stunning locations to sail to on the first evening, from sunset spot off St Just to the grandeur of anchoring below Trellisick House. Its a short romp to the Helford River if the winds are right.
The sepentine cliffs of the Lizard Peninsula protect Falmouth Bay from the west. You have 14 miles of tiny fishing villages and great coastal walking at every anchorage from Porthallow to Cadgewith.
The fast tides and rocky reefs like the Manacles or Black Head, create eddies and plankton upwelling that cetaceans and basking sharks love to feed on. Easter might be a bit early for basking sharks surface feeding but the seabirds are starting to find nests and dolphins seem to enjoy the lack of boats about yet.
Even on a 3 day trip there will be time made to go ashore in some pretty unique places.
Helford is timeless. You feel like you are in a Daphne Du Maurier book. Dense, twisted oak trees sweep down to the water. Oystercatchers flash between rockpools, bluebells, gorse, wild garlic and primroses waft their scent out to sea. Tallulah can tack into the widest part of the river and sometimes right up through to the moorings free upper reaches if the tide is high.
Shoot the gap between Nare Head and Gull Rock with its guillimot colony, anchor off beaches where seals breed in caves. Skipper Debbie has lived here since 1996 and explored the coastline intimately, by sailing, rowing, swimming and coastal walking. The possibilities are endless if you are not obsessed with sailing great distances. If you do want to sail for miles – we can always go on a fast reach out to sea too.
Charlestown is the home of Poldark and many over movies, and full of bars and waterside restaurants. Polkerris is another place to anchor off and row ashore for a pint in an Easterly. Fowey was a privateers lair and impressive to sail into.
Tallulah has a mooring across St Mawes Bay – so your first challenge is to meet Debbie on the Quay and row yourselves and bags out to your floating holiday base.
After finding out a bit about each other and individual hopes for the short break, the skipper and mate will introduce you life on a boat and how you sail Tallulah safety. The training is on going through the few days and the more guests participate, the easier it is for Tallulah to show you the best of gaff cutter sailing.
Some things on Tallulah are quite physical. Some things are easy peasy. She a has roller furling jib, but you need two halliards to hoist the mainsail (like all gaff sails). The barrel windlass is very manual and ancient in concept. There are loads of places to sit. There are high sides to the deck and there will be guard rails so walking on deck in rough weather feels very secure.
Meals are often taken on deck, but the saloon is also characterful with a big oak table and skylights above. Mindful of coronavirus still being around, we generally have all hatches open when stationary, so Tallulah has a well ventilated restaurant and al fresco options to take your meal on deck if you prefer.
Sailing instruction is informal, but the crew have wide interests so can answer most maritime questions from navigation to boat building. Never be afraid to ask to have a go at something.
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 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
This is the home port of Classic Sailing. A seafaring village on the East side of Falmouth Harbour.
The historic Quay in St Mawes Harbour (TR2 5DW) is the official rendezvous for all Outdoor Girl Voyages. Plan your travel for the quay in your first instance.
Our alternative meeting point in St Mawes is Freshwater Boatyard, Freshwater Lane (TR2 5AR). Outdoor Girl has a beach mooring on the shore to the left of the main slipway at this tiny boatyard on the Percuil River, which is best for some combinations of wind and tide.
This is still within the village and only about 10 minutes walk from the village quay and main (pay & display) car park. There is sometimes free street parking in this area in Buckeys Lane, Pedn Moran or Freshwater Lane itself. As with all street parking please make sure there is room for fire engines to get through and no drives are blocked.
Do not drive down the steep driveway into Freshwater Boatyard. It is a small working area and no room to turn. and no parking.
For some voyages we may pre position Outdoor Girl in a new exploration area within the Falmouth and Helford Estuary network to make better use of the winds and tides and sheltered water. Debbie will contact you at least 48hrs before the voyage with final joining instructions by email and text. All confirmed customers will be sent Debbies mobile number for emegencies or late arrival.
The A30 is the best route into Cornwall for St Mawes – if you follow a Sat Nav you will probably be taken via King Harry Car Ferry which is not the quickest route but is worth doing for the experience.
The best way is to leave the A30 at Fraddon and follow the B3275 until it meets the A390 where you turn left for a little way back towards St Austell. Then follow the signs to the right for the A3078 which ends in St Mawes.
There are two car parks in St Mawes both trouble free and you can pay by card
St Mawes Quay Car Park is very convenient as it is where you join your voyage but is a little more expensive.
St Mawes Central Car Park run by the St Just in Roseland Parish Council is recommended. It is just a minute walk from the Quay.
You can pay for a number of days with a debit card
To get to St Mawes by train, buy a ticket for Falmouth Town Station and come accross Falmouth Harbour by passenger ferry..Falmouth is on a branch line from Truro which is on the main London – Penzance rail line. Trains come into Cornwall to Truro from many parts of the UK and it is only 30 minutes down the brach line to Falmouth but beware there are several small stations in Falmouth. Get off at Falmouth Town Station..
Falmouth Town Station (the Dell) is ten minutes walk from Customs House Quay where one of three ferries runs to St Mawes in the summer. In the winter it is about another 15 minutes walk to the Prince of Wales Pier.
Ferry is the best way. St Mawes Passnger Ferry timetable for both piers https://www.falriver.co.uk/ferries/st-mawes-ferry/timetable. This has a live update to confirm which ferrys are running on the day. It only stops in really bad weather.
St Mawes Ferry 01872 861 911 or 07855 438 674
Ferries are hourly in winter and three per hour in the summer and the journey is 20-25 minutes.
There are buses from Truro to St Mawes but they are very infrequent and take about an hour.
Newquay is the nearest airport but it is poorly served by public transport. A taxi to St Mawes can cost over £60
Classic Sailing recommend Treesisters charity as a carbon offsetting scheme and we have our own Classic Sailing Forest you can add tree planting to. These community tree planting schemes are all in parts of the world that desperately need reforestation and have maximum scope to reduce CO2
Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please!
Tallulah does not have waterproof jacket and trousers yet, so please bring a properly waterproof jacket and trousers on all voyages.
Walking and cycling waterproofs are usually adequate and much lighter to pack, so there really is no need to buy a coastal sailing jacket (unless you really want an excuse to invest in your future sailing). If you need any advice, or lack of a jacket is preventing you participating, please ring us on 01326 53 1234
Tallulah does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol, (unless it is an alcohol free voyage) e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.
Photos and images of the striking 44ft pilot cutter Tallulah, offering charter voyages for individuals, couples and groups from 2022. Based in St Mawes, Cornwall. No experience is necessary and a local skipper as your guide.
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