Sail a classic pilot cutter to the Isles of Scilly
- Vessel: Agnes
- Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: Falmouth - 1 June 2022, 11:00
- Disembark: Falmouth - 7 June 2022, 11:00
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Discover the breathtaking Isles of Scilly situated off the coast of Cornwall on board a Cornish Pilot Cutter Agnes from Falmouth
Your adventure sailing holiday aboard Agnes will begin in the bustling seaside town of Falmouth, a historic working port situated at the entrance of the peaceful Fal estuary.
You’ll be setting sail along the rugged south coast and crossing a 28 mile stretch of the Atlantic to reach the near-tropical archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. The 10-12 hour passage is well worth it: the reward is a tranquil week of island-hopping in some of the clearest, warmest waters the UK has to offer. There, you’ll discover secret places on sandy shores, spot marine life and seabirds galore, and experience the charming history of UK’s most southerly archipelago – all while sampling the finest Cornish food sourced from local suppliers.
Life at Sea
Life at sea is never predictable, and exactly when you get to the Scillies and where you explore will be decided by the whims of the wind and tide – and there some conditions where the skipper may decide the weather would make it hard to cross over and return. In this instance Agnes will tour the south coast of Cornwall. After your tour and safety briefing, you’ll start your adventure holiday by leaving Falmouth behind in favour of cruising down the Cornish coast with a stop over on the way before you reach a quiet anchorage in the Scillies. If you’re new to sailing, don’t worry – the crew will guide you in exactly what to do, even if you’ve never stepped foot on a boat before.
Agnes is a modern replica of an original Pilot Cutter who was based out of the Scillies. Named after one of the islands there, Agnes really is designed for the exact location of your adventure sailing holiday to the Isles of Scilly! Pilot Cutters were a specific type of sailing boat designed to deliver specialised crew quickly to larger ships coming into port, whose own captains may have lacked the knowledge to navigate the treacherous waters that the local skippers knew so well. Due to this historic need for a rapid response, Agnes is designed for speed and agility.
Getting involved with hoisting sails, trimming, and being on hand to tack and jibe can offer some exhilarating fun as she speeds through the waves. There’s always plenty of time for more tea and cake when you anchor, so get stuck in with this sailing holiday as much as you can!
Think secluded coves, swathes of untouched white beaches, rocky sea cliffs and a wide variety of different landscapes – from wild and windswept, to sheltered and dotted with palm trees. Remember to pack your swimsuits too, as the Isles of Scilly boasts some of the clearest water in the UK, which makes for ideal open water bathing. The sunny and mild weather also means you’ll be able to laze about on the beach with a book if that’s your thing, or enjoy a quiet walk around one of the many uninhabited islands before returning to the comfort of Agnes’ saloon for dinner.
Out of the 55 islands, just 5 are inhabited and each has its own distinct character. Tresco is home to a beautiful botanical garden, which has some exotic rare plants unable to grow anywhere else in the UK. Sampson has been uninhabited since 1855 and is known as the haunted island, steeped in folklore and mystery. The beaches of St Martins are some of the best in the world, but Brhyer is arguably the most beautiful, dotted with lagoons and rocky outcrops. Dependent on the weather you’ll be able to visit where you like, as each of them are accessible easily by boat.
The Isles of Scilly are a haven for wildlife, especially migratory seabirds who often nest here. It’s a birdwatcher’s dream, so bring your binoculars and your guidebook – but you might not need them as the swifts and swallows on land are so friendly! You’ll most likely encounter seals somewhere along the way as they love the rocky shores, and you may be lucky enough to be joined by dolphins on the voyage to or from Falmouth. Puffins are some of the Scillies’ most famous inhabitants, but they’re increasingly rare these days so keep those eyes peeled.
All that exploring. with sand in your toes and salt in your hair, means you’ll have worked up an appetite! Aboard Agnes, each meal you eat during your sailing holiday in the Isles of Scilly will be home-cooked using locally available ingredients where possible, resulting in the most delicious spread of food every evening – think seafood that’s been caught half an hour ago by local fishermen, local meats and cheeses from various Cornish producers, plus homemade bread and condiments.
The crew might even take a barbecue ashore on those sunnier days when it’s just too beautiful to eat indoors. All dietary requirements are catered to, and you don’t even have to worry about washing up, as the crew take care of that too while you unwind by sampling some specially selected Cornish gin, cider and ales as part of the bar service.
Your ticket price includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and soft drinks. There are six bunk berths are in the fore cabin. Bedding is provided – you just need to bring your own towel.
Simply click “Enquire Now” to reserve your berth for five days whilst you sort your travel plans. No booking form or deposit is required until you are ready to book!
There are currently no voyages scheduled. Please get in touch with the VentureSail team to find out what’s available, or if other upcoming voyages might be suitable.
Call us in the Office on 01872 487288 or email [email protected], and we will be happy to help you find your next adventure!
Guest berths: 6 Rig: Pilot Cutter
Agnes is a 46ft wooden pilot cutter, owned and built by Luke Powell in 2003 – the flagship of his boat-building company.
Traditionally rigged a gaff cutter, she has the ability to fly 5 sails, depending on the weather. She is tiller steered and all sails are pulled up manually, so there is plenty for the guests to get involved with if they so desire. She was built with a traditional oak frame and planked with Douglas fir mast and spars.
Originally designed and built for speed and seaworthiness, these sturdy vessels would carry pilots out to sea, meeting ocean-going ships arriving with cargos bound for Europe. Whatever the weather and however rough the seas these courageous cutters were an integral part of maritime life in the south-west of England.
Down below, you are welcomed into a cosy saloon with cushioned seating around a large table for all the guests and crew. There are six guest berths arranged around an open-plan cabin situated forward of the mast. She has one head, with a pull-out shower attachment for when we can’t get ashore.
The professional and friendly crew of two are always thoughtful hosts, effortlessly sharing a passion for sailing, discovering beautiful anchorages and feasting on freshly prepared meals. She will sail with a skipper, mate/cook and spends her sailing season exploring the coasts of Cornwall and Devon with voyages across to the Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands and the Breton Coast.More about Agnes
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
Please read more information on our Insurance guidelines page.
Are all meals included?
Yes, all meals on board are included in the price. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and hot drinks) Alcohol is not included.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes, Vegetarian, Dairy and Gluten Free diets can be accomodated. Please let us know at time of booking. Unfortunately we are unable to provide a Vegan menu.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
6 berths in the open fore cabin
How many toilet/showers does she have?
1 bathroom with a pull out shower. Water is limited so on-shore showers are preferred.
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
Is there an age limit?
On public voyages yes, please check as each voyage is different. Private charter age limits depend on experience but preferably 5+ years.
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
When the boat is connected to shore power or the generator is on. Solar chargers can be a great alternative.
Are bedding and towels provided?
Bedding, yes - Towels, no
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Offshore sailing jackets/trousers are available from Agnes while sailing but please bring your own jacket for going ashore.
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure and a want to get actively involved.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
You can leave your car at any of the Long Stay car parks with a weekly or overnight ticket. You can pay using the JustPark app on your phone which can be easier.
- Church Street
- The Dell
There are direct trains with Great Western Railway to Truro from starting routes of Plymouth, Exeter St Davids, Cardiff Central and London Paddington. Once at Truro station you will need to change onto the Maritime line to Falmouth Town Station.
The quickest way into the county during the spring/summer months, Newquay Airport requires taking either a taxi to Truro Train Station for the onward rail travel, or a taxi direct to Falmouth.
STAY IN FALMOUTH:
There are plenty of places to stay in Falmouth. Try;
- The Chain Locker
- Cutty Sark Inn
- Seaview Inn