Sailing the Small Isles
- Vessel: Pellew
- Where: Mallaig, Scotland
- Duration: 4 days
- Embark: Mallaig - 5 May 2022, 11:00
- Disembark: Mallaig - 8 May 2022, 11:00
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Explore the Small Isles of the Hebrides on Pellew as she sails to remote anchorages, secluded islands and wonderful wildlife locations.
Join pilot cutter Pellew in the Scottish harbour town of Mallaig on the West coast of Scotland. The harbour town of Mallaig is the perfect joining location to begin your Scottish adventure sailing holiday, as you are immersed in one of the most ruggedly beautiful places on the planet.
Discover the magical world of the Hebrides under sail as Pellew takes you to remote anchorages off the beaten track with some of the best wildlife spotting opportunities in the UK. Explore remote anchorages far away from any tourist hustle and bustle where the only island inhabitants are the resident sea bird colonies, deer and sheep. This mythical part of the world is surely best seen by boat with island hopping, medieval castle ruins and a vibrant Celtic culture.
- Skippered sailing
- Island hopping
- Traditional rig
- Suitable for beginners
- Great for solo travellers
- Wildlife watching
- Sail area & highlights
- Life on board
- Sample menu
- Travel planning
- The boat
- What's included
- Boat schedule
Your Sailing Area
The Small Isles, Scotland
Sailing in the Hebrides is one of our most popular sailing holiday destinations and the archipelago that makes up the Small Isles has plenty to offer the adventure traveller. From remote anchorages where mountains run straight into the sea, miles of atmospheric landscapes to secret coves and uninhabited islands for walking trails ashore, sailing in the Hebrides is the perfect balance of learning the ropes and onshore adventure.
Exactly which islands you explore during your sailing holiday will entirely depend on the wind and tides but once you have boarded, your skipper will have the latest weather forecast and will have a better idea of what you can expect.
Pellew is a modern replica of a traditional wooden Pilot Cutter, a specific type of classic sailing boat designed to deliver specialised crew quickly to larger ships coming into port, whose own captains may have not had the knowledge to navigate treacherous waters that the local skippers knew so well. Due to this historic need for a rapid response, Pellew is designed for speed and agility – so getting involved with hoisting sails, taking the helm and being on hand to tack can offer a truly exhilarating sailing experience.
Once the sails are set, you’re on the way out of Mallaig for some spectacular scenery as you explore the Small Isles made up of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna.
Rum is a National Nature Reserve and is the largest island, home to the architecturally remarkable Kinloch Castle, and of course some wonderful wildlife. The island’s most famous residents are sea eagles (re-introduced in the 1980s), red deer and the hardy Rum ponies. There is plenty of exploring to be had on the Isle of Rum, taking in the stunning mountain and coastal scenery.
Eigg is the most populated but still only has under 100 residents and is the most welcoming of the Small Isles. Offering Britain’s largest pitchstone ridge, eagles soaring over stunning white beaches and the worlds first fully renewably powered electricity grid, we’re sure you’ll love Eigg as much as its locals.
Muck is the smallest and most southerly island. Its low-lying mostly treeless landscape offers dramatic perspectives and panoramic views of sandy beaches and rocky shorelines. Watch out for Golden Eagles!
Canna, looked after by the National Trust since 1981, is one of the prettier islands. With its high basalt cliffs and dramatic volcanic landscapes, the views here are breathtaking. You might even be lucky enough to see Minke Whales from the high cliffs, soaring Sea Eagles and nesting Puffins.
Wonderful Wildlife Encounters
From stags to sea otters, a sailing holiday in the West Coast of Scotland is a wildlife seeker’s dream so remember to bring your binoculars and your guidebook. You’ll most likely encounter huge sea eagles in the Small Isles and see hundreds of species of sea birds with the chance to get friendly with wild puffins when you go ashore – they’re very inquisitive and always come to say hello. Whales and the odd Orca are also sighted on occasion, but it’d be an unusual trip if you didn’t see bottlenose dolphins or porpoises at least once!
All voyages for Pellew
Guest berths: 8 Rig: Pilot Cutter
Pellew is a faithful recreation of the Falmouth Pilot Cutter Vincent, originally built in 1852 and based in St Mawes she was a familiar sight on the Fal estuary for 70 years, eventually retiring from service in 1922. Today, the spirit of tradition lives on and Pellew is strongly built to sail the oceans of the world with her guests travelling in utmost comfort and safety.
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.
With her vast sail plan, think fast, invigorating sailing with the lee rail kissing the waves, Pellew is certainly not for the faint-hearted. So if you are looking for that next adventure at sea on a beautifully powerful wooden vessel, then Pellew is the boat for you.
Below decks, you are welcomed into a cosy saloon with cushioned seating around a large table and a generous galley. Delectable home-cooked meals will be freshly-prepared on board by our dedicated cook using locally sourced produce wherever possible. The 8 guest berths are arranged around an open-plan cabin with a shower and two toilets for guest use.
She is oak framed throughout and planked with locally sourced Douglas fir mast and spars. Although she is tiller steered, she does have two large electric capstan winches to help get the sails up and in. Guests are welcomed and invited to get involved in the sailing of Pellew. In fact, it will be hard not to want to feel first hand, the power of this beautiful boat as glides seemingly effortlessly through the water.
She will usually sail with a skipper, mate and dedicated cook, with a fourth crew member joining for longer voyages. She will be spending her sailing season exploring the coasts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands, the Breton Coast and exploring the majestic isles of the Scottish Hebrides.
Life on board Pellew
Pellew is one of the fastest pilot cutters of her time so a lust for adventure is certainly a must and sailing with her is not for the faint-hearted! You don’t need any experience to join her as the friendly and professional crew are always on-hand to show you the ropes.
You’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals and the crew love to share their knowledge with guests, showing them the ropes and feeling the wind power in the sails. They welcome as much or as little participation as you want – from pulling up sails, sheeting in and steering, and even navigation.
A typical Day
Normally, after breakfast, Pellew will set sail for a day on the water aiming to reach a new destination every evening. We enjoy searching out quiet anchorages and hidden coves where we can spend the afternoon exploring ashore and the night enjoying the company, the stars and of course, our freshly cooked evening meal.
All food will be freshly-prepared onboard to the highest standard by a dedicated cook so guests can expect hearty breakfasts, freshly baked bread, delicious lunches and dinners, as well as plenty of home-made cake!
Sleeping and Relaxation
You are welcomed into the main saloon with cushioned seating around a large table next to a generous galley. It’s a great sociable space with the traditionally built wooden finish giving a lovely cosy feeling.
In the fore, there are 8 guest berths in an open-plan cabin with each berth in twin bunk arrangements. She has a generous (for a boat!) shower room and two toilets for guest use.
- All inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, soft/hot drinks)
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet)
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
- There are off-shore jackets available for guests when sailing but please bring your own waterproof for time ashore.
What’s not included
- Wash and/or swim towel
- Any flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
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.
This voyage will not be more than 12miles offshore.
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, please let us know when making your booking.
What language is spoken onboard?
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
What are the sleeping arrangements?
Shared quarters, 8 berths in the open fore cabin with easy access to a toilet
How many toilet/showers does she have?
2 toilets, 1 shower for guests
Are bedding and towels provided?
All bedding is but please bring your own towels.
Is there an age limit?
Preferably over 12's accompanied by an adult on a 1:1 ratio but please check with us in the office as each voyage is different.
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Yes, each bunk has a 12v USB charger
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
There are off-shore jackets available for guests when sailing but please bring your own waterproof for time 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.
Mallaig offers limited long stay parking in a car park to the left on the Train Station as you drive into Mallaig. Alternatively try another long stay spot at 24 East Bay, Mallaig.
You can travel by rail overnight on the Caledonian Sleeper from London Euston to Fort William. Once in Fort William you can take The Jacobite Steam Train or the electric train direct to Mallaig. Mallaig station is then only a 5-10 minute walk to the harbour pontoons.
Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport are best placed for access to Mallaig. From either of them take a train onto For William and then onto Mallaig which takes approximately 2-3hours. There are good links direct from the airport to the train and bus terminals for onward travel to Fort William.
STAY IN MALLAIG:
There are plenty of places to stay in Mallaig. Try Chlachain Inn, Seaview Guesthouse or West Highland Hotel.