|Tue 14-05-2024, 15:00St Mawes, Cornwall
|Fri 17-05-2024, 10:00St Mawes, Cornwall
Welcoming upto 6 solo travellers or couples for a refreshing weekend out on the water in Cornwall. Pilot cutter Tallulah is 44ft on deck and with her bowsprit she is an impressive 59ft long, so plenty of sail area for some exhilarating sailing. This is an active and physically satisfying holiday and we seamlessly teach you how to steer, trim sails and help drop anchor in some unforgettable wild anchorages.
As the Cornish seascapes and beaches give us so much pleasure, we aim to keep them pristine. Skipper Debbie plans to do a bit of beach cleaning this trip, using our big expedition rowing boat to clear somewhere the public can’t normally reach. You don’t have to join in, but it generally gives us a good feeling to do as a team.
There will be a maximum of 6 guests with Skipper and mate who both like cooking. Solo travellers welcome, but we also have a lovely double bed cabin for couples.
Anyone feeling a bit frazzled and wanting to get away from their current environment. Eco warriors who want to leave the natural world a little better, and explore without fossil fuels. Newcomers to sailing and those who already love it.
Sometimes trying a new activity in an inspiring setting with a bunch of strangers is enough to regain your zest. There is no agenda other than rediscovering a bit of joy, peace and energy….and the thrill of sailing a responsive and fast pilot cutter.
Tallulah is owned and run by Debbie Purser. She founded Classic Sailing with Adam in 1997 and our ethos has always been to sail as much as possible, row sexy rowing boats rather than use noisy outboards, and generally enhance the Cornish coastline with our boats presence. For 23 years we ran themed voyages and short breaks on our little blue pilot cutter Eve of St Mawes. Tallulah brings up right upto date with our mission to cut our guests carbon footprint and appreciate our natural surroundings, whilst having a staycation as memorable as any trip abroad. If you are coming to Cornwall from outside the UK, then thank you for coming.
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.
Swimming from Tallulah in a beautiful anchorage is often a big part of the fun on our sailing activity holidays
The availability of Wild Swimming from Tallulah is at the skippers discretion. Supervision is provided from Tallulah and her dinghies. All our skippers are qualified with First Aid at Sea but not all are lifesaving guards.
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 Tallulah Voyages. Plan your travel for the quay in your first instance.
Tallulah has a mooring in St Mawes Bay. Skipper Debbie or the mate will normally meet you at the quay steps /harbour pontoon in Tallulah’s tender – a large blue rowing boat with ‘8’ on the side.
Bad Weather Alternative Ports
In the event of St Mawes being exposed to strong winds / big seas from the west or SW, we may start the voyage from more sheltered waters. This is likely to be the River Fal – Smugglers moorings near St Mawes or Falmouth Estuary.
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 emergencies 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
There is free street parking in the roads up from the main beach, if you can find a space. Buckeys Lane is one way so please park on the right. The private roads of Pedn Moran or Freshwater Lane are popular with beach visitors and holiday cottage customers. Local residents are used to mystery cars parked outside for several days, as long as no drives are blocked, it seems the accepted thing. As with all street parking please make sure there is room for fire engines to get through. From any of these roads the Quay is about 5 minutes walk.
To get to St Mawes by train, buy a ticket for Falmouth Town Station, walk down to the waterfront and come across the water from Falmouth to St Mawes 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 branch line to Falmouth. 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. If you just miss a ferry there are other departures to St Mawes from Prince of Wales Pier, the other side of town. In the winter – all ferries run from Prince of Wales Pier only. It is about 15 minutes walk through the town to the Prince of Wales Pier.
Ferry is the best way. St Mawes Passenger Ferry timetable for both piers https://www.falriver.co.uk/ferries/st-mawes-ferry/timetable. This has a live update to confirm which ferries 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.
A Note on Covid 19
While Tallulah's guests do not need to prove Covid Vaccination status at this time, it is expected that if a guest feels unwell prior to joining the ship they should always use common sense and test when appropriate to decide whether they should join the voyage, for their own safety and the safety of others onboard. It is a requirement that guests on residential voyages take out appropriate Travel Insurance and care should be taken to ensure insurance includes cover for such a case. Likewise, should members of Tallulah's professional crew including the skipper feel unwell prior to a voyage, they will always use common sense & test when appropriate.
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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