Built in 1904, Bessie Ellen is one of the last ketches of an era now gone forever. Today, she sails on, giving sailing holidays in stunning locations to people just like you who are looking for adventure at sea.
The old cargo hold has been converted into a cosy living space, using locally sourced timber to retain the traditional interior. Here we sleep 12 guests in large berths as well as being the space where we can relax, read and eat along with making new friends.
Single travellers, interestingly have a wider choice of holiday than those travelling with family or friends. Beach holidays, resorts and theme parks are great for group excursions but the independent traveller can afford to be much more adventurous.
A guest’s account:
When joining Bessie Ellen on her Ocean passage from Tenerife to Cornwall via the Azores, I purposely avoided inviting friends and family from joining me because it was “my thing” and I didn’t want to worry whether they were enjoying the experience.
There is a certain amount of trepidation and anxiety involved in taking on an unknown type of vacation such as a sailing trip. Once underway we are encapsulated in our own world.
Simple questions arise such as:
- What will the food be like?
- Can I charge my phone?
- Is there space for privacy?
- What will the bathroom facilities be?
- Will I get on with the other guests?
These are all considerations I had before embarking on a voyage. I am happy traveling alone but sometimes we need to share the experience with others.
In the event I had no cause for concern. Most of the other guests were either singles or couples with some being repeat customers which was comforting. There are people from all backgrounds and walks of society who have a breadth of life experiences. This lends itself to interesting and stimulating discussions, lively debate and of course personal stories to be told.
The bathroom facilities are above average for a sailing vessel. Large and spacious, there is plenty of room to shower and change without getting everything wet.
Bessie Ellen has a galley equipped to professional catering standards with the food being cooked to a very high standard. When did you last see someone taking pictures of their meal in a restaurant?
The ship carries two generators for the purpose of producing normal household power and can be used for charging phones, kindles, laptops etc. Although not run all day, there are enough power sockets for all on board. If you are a foreign traveller, please remember to bring a power adapter to fit a standard UK three pin plug.
If you need time to be alone to read or just contemplate, apart from the spacious bunks the boat is large enough that you can find somewhere to relax. The ship has a comprehensive library comprising the obligatory maritime section with additional novels and rare editions.
It’s up to you how much you get involved. There is the opportunity to explore all expects of sailing from setting sails to steering and navigation.
The routes and destinations are hand picked based on a knowledge gained over many years of sailing in the area. If you have any personal aspirations or goals you want to achieve these can be discussed with the crew and if possible will be accommodated.
Sailing on Bessie Ellen provided me with just the right combination and variety of adventure, excitement and natural beauty that I could safely say it is a complete experience.