Life on Board Bessie Ellen

The first thing to know about life on board the Bessie Ellen is that guests absolutely don’t have to have sailing experience.

For those who do know a bit about sailing, and those who are interested to learn, the skilled, patient crew will quite literally show you the ropes and get you involved. For guests who are on board to soak up the views, watch the wildlife and relax, you are by no means expected to work your socks off during your holiday – but it is jolly good fun!

In accordance with Nikki’s desire to be as environmentally conscious as possible, meals on the ship tend to be as locally sourced as possible, supporting local suppliers and farmers. Occasionally this even means foraging for our own mussels! All our food is expertly cooked by Chef Pete, who started life on board as a paying guest, but fell in love with the way of life and became part of the team. After dinner, enjoy a drop of whiskey and listen to Nikki and her tales of life at sea – including stories of pirates – and hear just how exciting living life at sea can be.

For further evidence of what you can expect of life on board Bessie Ellen, have a look at these write-ups by novice sailors Hazel Southam and Sarah Whitehead.

Life on board Bessie Ellen is the perfect balance of sailing, exploration and good food. Mix that up with some of the best sailing grounds in the UK, hidden anchorages and plenty of time to discover off the beaten track locations ashore, a sailing holiday on Bessie Ellen won’t leave you wanting for much more.

Below decks, her guests are indulged in a spacious saloon with original wooden beams, comfy open bunks and two toilet/wetrooms where you’d be forgiven for forgetting that you were even on a boat!

Nikki is also the proud owner of Bessie Ellen’s sea dog Bracken. A tiny terrier, he is getting ready for his first season on the water and cannot wait to meet guests. Bracken will only be sailing on Bessie Ellen within UK waters so won’t sailing overseas and will be living in the Captains Quarters. Nikki appreciates that although they are dog lovers, not everyone may feel the same way. If you have any concerns at all about travelling on Bessie Ellen with Bracken, please do let us know. We want our guests to have the best experience and if this doesn’t involve a sea dog, we completely respect that and Bracken can remain ashore at his second home. So, if you are allergic or worried about Bracken being on board, please us let know when enquiring!

Skipper profile

Nikki Alford

Nikki, owner and skipper has proudly taken care of the magnificent Bessie Ellen since 2000. She provides a strong, skilled leadership and will make even the newest of sailors feel at home on the ship.

Read Nikki Alford's Adventure Logs
Life onboard

Bessie Ellen

Life on board Bessie Ellen is as you make it. Whether you want to relax and watch for wildlife, or get stuck in with either honing your skills or learning the ropes, it is entirely up to you.

Read Bessie Ellen's Adventure Logs
The History of

Bessie Ellen

Bessie Ellen started life out in Plymouth, England, and is now one of the last remaining trading ketches in the West Country, where there was once a fleet of almost 700.

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