Exploring the Isles of Scilly With Pilot Cutter Pellew
- Vessel: Pellew
- Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
- Duration: 7 days
- Embark: Falmouth - 3 August 2023, 11:00
- Disembark: Falmouth - 9 August 2023, 11:00
Discover the breath-taking archipelago of the Isles of Scilly situated off the coast of Cornwall on board a Cornish Pilot Cutter from Falmouth.
Your adventure sailing holiday aboard Pellew 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 in order to reach the near-tropical archipelago of the Isles of Scilly. The 10-12 hour passage is well worth it. You’ll have the most tranquil week island-hopping in some of the clearest, warmest waters the UK has to offer. Walk barefoot on sandy shores, spot marine life and seabirds galore and experience the charming history of the UK’s most southerly archipelago.
- Skippered sailing
- Island hopping
- Traditional rig
- Suitable for beginners
- Great for solo travellers
- Wildlife watching
Your Sailing Area
Isles of Scilly
Life at sea is never predictable, so exactly where you explore on Pellew when you get to the Scillies will be decided by the whims of the wind and tide. (Please note, if the weather is not in favour then an alternative sailing plan will be decided to explore the wonders of the coast of Cornwall instead.) She is designed to sail in the wildest of seas whilst giving her crew and guests utmost safety and comfort.
After your tour and safety briefing, you’ll start your adventure holiday leaving Falmouth behind as you work down the coast before making the sea crossing to 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. Pellew is designed for speed and agility, – so 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.
Discovering the Islands
After you’ve spotted the classic Cornish landmarks of the Minack Theatre and waved goodbye to Land’s End, some tropical scenery is in store for you on the Isles of Scilly.
These stunning islands feature large stretches of deserted white sandy beaches, dramatic rocky coves, stunning seascapes, amazing archaeological sites, beautiful walks and scenery along miles of coastal and country paths and nature trails. Remember to pack your swimsuits too, as the Isles of Scilly boasts some of the clearest water in the UK which makes for beautiful open water bathing.
The sunny and mild weather means you’ll be able to laze about on the beach with a book or enjoy a quiet walk around one of the many uninhabited islands before returning to the comfort of Pellew 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, is known as the haunted island and is steeped in folklore. The beaches of St Martins are some of the best in the world and Brhyer is dotted with lagoons and rocky outcrops. St Agnes is the artisan island bursting with creativity while St Mary’s is the “capital” with the largest population. Dependent on the weather you’ll be able to visit where you like, as each of them is 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. 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 as you make the sea crossings there or back. Puffins are some of the Scillies most famous inhabitants, but they’re increasingly rare these days so keep those eyes peeled.
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
What COVID policies are in place for sailing with Pellew?
Pellew is still running a Test & Sail Policy for the 2022 sailing season whether guests are vaccinated or not. Please refer to our COVID page for more information.
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?
8 berths in the open fore cabin
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.
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. Try Church Street TR11 3RQ or The Dell TR11 3HP.
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 or Seaview Inn.