Climb aboard this traditional Brixham Trawler as she sails around Berry Head for the Dartmouth Regatta.
This five-day cruise is a great way to spend a sailing holiday and experience Dartmouth Royal Regatta on a historic Brixham trawler.
Your voyage will leave from Pilgrim’s home port of Brixham. Brixham is a busy fishing port, so watch out for local vessels bringing in their catch, as well as other traditional vessels sailing past. After sailing out of Brixham, Pilgrim will take you around Berry Head towards Dartmouth. Berry Head is a limestone headland, and this area of outstanding natural beauty is home to colonies of guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, kestrels and gulls. As you sail past the headland, have your binoculars at the ready and keep your eyes peeled for porpoises and dolphins which will often join Pilgrim, playing in the wake of the bow.
Sailing past Berry Head, look for the lighthouse built in 1906 which has the distinction of being the smallest, but highest sighted lighthouses in the British Isles. Its white light can be seen for 14 nautical miles. This area is also the site of a Napoleonic Fort built between 1794 and 1804 – Designed to protect Torbay from the French in the days when Torbay was a strategic naval anchorage.
Enjoy the coastal scenery with interesting rock formations creating rugged limestone cliffs, sandy bays, coastal coves and inlets. Heading for Dartmouth, you will sail past St Marys Bay, the dramatic headland of Sharkham Point. A ‘Day Mark’ built in 1864 on the eastern side of the estuary helps us identify the River Dart. This is often another spot to see the occasional harbour porpoise, common grey seal as well as cormorants, guillemots, and gannets. The rocky entrance to the river is guarded on the west side of the estuary by a 15th Century castle, which also incorporates the church of St Petrox.
Although not directly taking part in the regatta, Pilgrim of Brixham provides the perfect vantage point to completely immerse yourself in the regatta festivities. From yacht racing, dinghy sailing to gig rowing, there’ll even be two nights of fireworks displays to celebrate. Sail during the day in and around the bay and moor for the evening to explore the festivities ashore.
Pilgrim of Brixham
Guest berths: 10 Rig: Gaff Rigged Ketch
Pilgrim of Brixham, built in 1895, is a traditional gaff rigged ketch that is one of a handful of remaining wooden sailing trawlers that were built in Brixham. Pilgrim and her iconic red sails were once part of a large fishing fleet operating out of Brixham, which used to be the principal fishing port in the country. Her survival is testament to her quality, with many similar Victorian fishing vessels having a life span of less than 20 years – and the main reason for her survival is thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the South Devon Coastal Local Action Group and many individual donors and volunteers.
The Pilgrim Story
After spending many years under different owners in Scandinavia, in 1999 she was brought home from Denmark back to Brixham. After significant restoration work, a few mishaps along the way and a hefty dose of community spirit, Pilgrim was returned to her former glory above decks, and brought up to modern standards below.
Today, as a charter vessel, the Brixham community still rallies around Pilgrim, with local crew, experienced and skilled volunteers performing maintenance and making the Pilgrim of Brixham operation run like clockwork. VentureSail is incredibly proud to have a hand in getting people aboard this historic vessel to not only experience how magnificently she sails, but also to see how passionate those that sail her are. Join Pilgrim on voyages around Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, or experience maritime festivals on this incredible vessel.
Deck planMore about Pilgrim of Brixham
- What are the sleeping arrangements?
There are 8 berths in the main saloon, with 4 in a cabin at the front of the ship, and 4 at the back (these are usually crew bunks)
- What language is spoken on board?
- Are meals included?
Yes - meals will be as locally sourced as possible and freshly prepared. Food is often a real hit on Pilgrim.
- Do I need to be a seasoned sailor?
Not at all. We give everyone who joins us on board the choice to do as much or as little as they like, whether they know how to or not.