|Wed 05-06-2024, 15:00St Mawes, Cornwall
|Tue 11-06-2024, 10:00St Mawes, Cornwall
Sailing on 44ft Tallulah involves all guest crew and sailing to the Isles of Scilly is always an adventure. Sailing around the Lizard into Mounts Bay and across a bit of ocean to the Isles of Scilly is our primary aim. If the weather is not suitable the spirit of the voyage will be passage making either west or east of Falmouth, wild anchorages, exploring ashore and learning about wildlife from skipper Debbie
The skipper and crew will teach you what you need to know to be crew. As the islands come over the horizon, you can feel proud of your place in paradise. This granite archipelago is scenically stunning and boat transport between the islands is a way of life. Arriving on a pilot cutter puts you in a different category to those arriving by ferry….and your floating base offers a different 360 degree sea view each day. Where Tallulah anchors and sails between the islands is very tide dependant, and the skippers local knowledge after 23 years exploring here, will help you explore ashore on several different islands.
Sometimes it may be difficult to get to the Isles of Scilly and the skipper may need to seek out an alternative sailing ground or leave the islands for more sheltered options. With Tallulah’s voyage scheduling and 25 years experience of taking guest crews to Scilly, we try and pick the best weather months and tidal combinations to sucessfully reach the islands and maximise our time there.
max 6 guests. Solo travellers welcome.
Keen sailors who want a taste of offshore passagemaking, romantics that like remote anchorages. Photographers, artists and wildlife enthusiasts will love this time of year with seabirds coming ashore to breed and seals and dolphins enjoying the empty anchorages.
Tallulah is relatively new to charter, but her skipper and owner Debbie has explored the Isles of Scilly by pilot cutter for over 23 years. If you sailed with Debbie on ‘Eve of St Mawes’ then you know she like to anchor amongst uninhabited islands, go for short sails between and around the Isles, and spend plenty of time ashore too.
We like to do things as carbon free as possible so Tallulah will bring a wooden rowing dinghy, stand up paddleboards and an electric outboard for longer boat trips on ‘Number 8.’ There is a mate on board too, but we believe in hands on participation in the sailing. A great voyage for intermediate and experienced sailors but not beyond the sights of adventurous beginners wanting offshore sailing and remote anchorages.
The passage to and from the Isles of Scilly is never going to be a calm. The islands lie in the Atlantic which out there is never still. You should already know if you have your sea legs or can cope with brief periods of seasickness.
Tallulah is based in St Mawes Bay, so like the pilot cutters of old, she has easy access to the open sea. Your 60-70 mile sea journey to the Isles of Scilly begins with a sail down the Lizard Peninsula. The strong tides give us a helping hand towards our destination and also attract basking sharks, dolphins and pilot whales. We might shorten the passage by sailing to Helford River or Coverack on the first evening, but usually its an early start from St Mawes or nearby.
From the Lizard Lighthouse Tallulah crosses Mounts Bay and you may loose sight of land, before the high granite cliffs of West Penwith come into view. Wolf Rock lighthouse is on route and the seas around Lands End are the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean. Gannets wheel overhead and big ships need to be watched carefully.
If there is a big swell running or prolonged gales forecast then the Isles of Scilly is not the place to be in a sailing boat of any size. Tallulah’s Scilly season begins in midsummer and ends in early September, so conditions are usually more benign. The passage out is still quite a challenge and a long day. The guest crew will be split into 2 watches so you know when you are the crew helping the skipper or mate, and when you can just relax or take a snooze. The rewards are great though, and we aim to make landfall way before dusk. Favourite first night anchorages include the Cove in St Agnes, Porthcressa on St Marys, or around the top of Tresco to Old or New Grimsby sound.
The Isles of Scilly are low lying islands that sit well off Lands End and should be viewed as oceanic islands, swept by strong tides. When the ocean swell is high, or from several different directions from previous storms, then some or all of the anchorages can be unsafe. Likewise if there is a strong headwind and waves from the Atlantic, then getting to the islands can be too tough for an enjoyable adventure. Even in high summer we can get a bad combination of strong winds and swell on some trips. The skipper might have to delay journeying west until weather improves or discuss with everyone and seek out an alternative sailing ground with activities which are as close to a Scillies wildlife adventure as possible. Mounts Bay, the Lizard coast or even towards the rugged Devon coast still has abundant wildlife, secret coves, and interesting coastal communities ashore.
When the weather is good, The Isles of Scilly are one of the most beautiful sailing grounds in Europe, and well worth the 11-15 hour passage to reach this wildlife and beachcombers mecca.
The Isles of Scilly are granite outposts and have no silty rivers. This means the beaches have white sand that looks like the Seychelles, glittering with mica and crystal clear seas. Swimming is amazing but chilly. Seals swim in the kelp forests, terns scream overhead and in spring you might see puffins.
For 100 years the pilot trade was the main industry in the Isles of Scilly so pilot cutters are part of its heritage. Growing flowers was the next economic boon. The unique micro climate supports sub tropical plants, which all adds to the unique character of Scilly.
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.
Tallulah is 59ft overall with her bowsprit and her designer and builder Luke Powell is still convinced her hull shape and lighter construction makes her the fastest pilot cutter he has built. We have yet to prove that pedigree as Tallulah has only been lightly used as a private yacht since her launch on 2008.
Having a longer waterline than our previous pilot cutter Eve means Tallulah will make faster passages to the islands, and with a lot more space below decks for the same number of guests (max 6 and 2 crew).
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. If it is too dangerous to be in the Isles of Scilly or we need to leave early, then the skipper will try and create a voyage similar in style to our Scilly Expeditions, but in more sheltered waters.
A hands on training session and possibly a short sail from St Mawes on the first evening.
We plan all Tallulah Scilly dates to maximise the tide with us at the start of your voyage. If the weather is ok we set off early on the first full day. Generally the aim is to reach the Isles of Scilly in one long day sail, but sometimes we will stop in Mounts Bay on route. Very rarely we will go west overnight if it is really calm, or favourable light winds.
We generally reach an anchorage in time for a swim, or a walk ashore to watch the sunset, or perhaps a beer in the pub. All overnight stops are anchorages in Scilly. There are limited facilities ashore. Your landing stage is often barefoot on a beach.
Approx 4 evenings and 3 full days are spent in Scilly. This might be a different anchorage each night, but how and when we move is very weather and tide dependant. If you want to learn advanced navigation this is the place. Each hop requires detailed pilotage planning as there are a lot of rocks and sandbars. Scenically this is a fascinating, changing landscape so bring a camera.
By the time you come to sail back to St Mawes, you will be well used to boat life and the winds are usually behind us for fast sailing. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and sometimes even tuna.
Note on Sailing to the Isles of Scilly
Please note sailing to the Isles of Scilly is subject to weather. We promote these voyages because the big majority of voyages do go to the Isles of Scilly. Tallulah and her Skipper Debbie are more than capable of making a great alternative voyage for you in Cornwall if it unsafe to sail to the Isles of Scilly.
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.
Fantastic experience where we were given expert help and advice by Debbie and crew. I never thought we would tack Talulah into Falmouth harbour but we did, what a fun experience and soooo enjoyable. Highly recommended and will be booking up again soon, thank youHoward - July 2023
This was the first time I had sailed, and although I suffered from seasickness a couple of times, the experience was something that I could not have even imagined. The crew were all very helpful to a "newbie" and would think of another sailing trip, but perhaps in calmer waters .Anonymous happy customer - July 2023
Fantastic day! The skipper (Debbie) kept it interesting by rotating crew and still maintaining full control! AmazingJames - July 2023
Debbie is great, she has a great passion for sailing and is very knowledgeable about boat building too! Anthony was extremely helpful, they make a great team and they made us feel very comfortable on board. Understandably, there is limited space and privacy but I slept really well which I really did not expect! Would love to sail again with Debbie and Tallulah.Caroline Spring 2023
Thanks for looking after us very well. Good to be in safe, sure and pleasant hands...It was a nice experience I've wanted to try for a long time. Thanks for making it a good one...I love what you're doing and your courage and I wish you great success.Diane
Great to sail on another class of sailing vessel with an experienced skipper and mate. I enjoyed the sailing a lot. The crew were very helpful and the food was very good.Peter
Sailing on Tallulah
Both Debbie and Jess were excellent. Both were good at explaining things and very patient. I have also been out on Moosk and Agnes. Going out on Tallulah with Debbie and Jess was by far the best experience.Alasdair, Spring 2023
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.
Scilly Island Hopping - long midsummer days TH200624
St Mawes, Cornwall
St Mawes, Cornwall
Sailing and island hopping expedition In the Isles of Scilly TH030824
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St Mawes, Cornwall
Island Hopping in the Isles of Scilly - try the big spring tide challenge
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