Cornwall’s Coast

Voyage No. Start date End date Start port End port Days Price
BE240415 Fri 24 Apr (10.00am) Sun 26 Apr (16.00pm) Falmouth Falmouth 3 £390 Book voyage »

Please note: all of Bessie Ellen’s bookings are now handled by Nikki’s own agency, VentureSail Holidays. By clicking ‘Book voyage’ you will be taken to a VentureSail booking form in order to secure your berths.


Falmouth, one of the best deep water harbours in the world and where you will join Bessie Ellen for a few days of living a life governed by fresh air , sails and salt water.

The sailing here is world class, giving the adventurous sailor or the complete beginner a challenge. On board, you, the voyage crew take part in hauling sails, steering and navigating under the eye of the skipper, while the professional crew are on hand to teach traditional rope work and navigation techniques.

Voyage Details

Voyage Description

At night we will find an anchorage up a creek or picturesque Cornish harbour, perhaps rafting alongside other vessels and enjoying the atmosphere and camraderie of life at sea, of story telling and playing music over a nightcap under the stars.


Try your hand at Astronav.

Navigation using planets and stars is as old as ancient Greece, but with the arrival of GPS and the more recent computerised navigation software we are finding the more traditional methods of navigating using a sextant to position fix are becoming replaced by newer and quicker technology.

So, for those interested in understanding Astronav and for this weekend only, join Clive (Topsy) Toner and the crew for an introduction to this ancient art.

Topsy will be explaining the uses of the sextant and how it works along with practical demonstrations and classes during the day. Throughout the evening he will go through some of the finer points and hold discussions around the table. The classes are not compulsory and will run for those of you who are interested alongside your traditional sailing experience aboard Bessie Ellen.

Over the weekend you may cover the following:

  • Measured angles for coastal navigation.
  • Terrestrial and celestial objects.
  • The nautical almanac and sight reduction tables (AP3270)
  • How to prepare a “sight” and work out a position line


By the end of the weekend, you will be able to check a sextant for errors, make various measurements and use the results to determine a position line at sea. All tables and a few sextants will be supplied but do bring your own if you have one.

Apart from teaching, Topsy is also a master of the Mandolin and Banjo, so do bring your instruments to join our evening sessions.


Experience More!

  • First time sailors will receive a complimentary RYA Logbook
  • On arrival you will be welcomed with a continental breakfast
  • Stretch your legs along the National Trust SW coast path
  • Bring your instruments for our evening sessions with Topsy on mandolin.


 Who the Voyage Would Suit

First Time sailors, musicians, star gazers, sailors at all levels, gardeners and bird watchers.

“An amazing time, brilliant food, sailing & company. Many thanks x” Samantha T



The wild Cornish coast offers an excellent habitat for many species of wildlife both on the coast and inside our estuaries. In spring, hatched shark egg cases get washed ashore and can be found when wandering the beach.   Look in the seaweed at the high tide line and you will be sure to find one. Gather sea spinach and shoreline samphire for the dinner table, nearly all are edible here.

At sea, we may be lucky enough to see a seal colony lazing on the rocks or dolphins playing in the bow wave as we sail.   Sunfish and basking sharks are more summer visitors, but with warm spring sunshine they can be seen close in shore.

For bird lovers, our coasts and cliffs become the breeding grounds for many of the popular species such as, fulmar and kittiwakes and in some rarer spots, puffins. Less likely to be seen out at sea, but certainly up nesting in the cliffs are the Chough. A member of the crow family, they have recently returned to Cornwall after 50 years.



Useful Information

How to get there:

Meet outside the National Maritime Museum entrance.  We will then take you to the vessels berth.

By Rail: First Great Western to Truro, change for Falmouth Town or Docks. Both are central

By Road: From Exeter 97 miles, 2 hrs. A30 via Launceston & Bodmin, then A39.

Where to Stay:

If you are travelling earlier than the joining date we can suggest: THE NARE HEAD HOTEL *****, THE VICTORY INN, ST MAWES *** THE GUEST HOUSE, 7 Marlborough rd, Falmouth.

Visitor Attractions:

National maritime museum,   High street shopping, good local fayre. St Mawes by ferry. Helford river and Gardens.  Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell. Pendennis Castle and Trago Mills.


Pendennis marina 01326211211

Falmouth water taxi 07522 446659

Ships Mobile 0044 7800 825 382

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a few common enquiries that we receive.