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Sail across the English Channel: West country route

Sail across the English Channel: West country route

TRIP TYPE:
Coastal Sailing
TRIP DATES:

Portsmouth to Dartmouth March 28 – April 09 2020 (£999)

Portsmouth to Falmouth October 03 -10 2020 (£649)

NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

JOIN SOLO OR AS PART OF A GROUP

Clear

Sail from England to France and the Channel Islands on our super English Channel special

This is a fantastic opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing across the Channel from England to France. You will get to explore some of the French coast, sail to the Channel Islands and then re cross the Channel back to England.  Lots of training, build your experience and have a fantastic week of sailing. If you're a beginner you can earn your RYA Competent Crew certificate.

 
Route Map Image

This is a typical itinerary for our English Channel special. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day, and it may be that we cannot make some destinations listed below or may visit alternative ones. We can only tell at the time!

PLEASE NOTE THE PORTSMOUTH TO FALMOUTH TRIP IS 3 DAYS SHORTER THAN THE EQUIVALENT TRIP TO DARTMOUTH AND WILL HAVE A REDUCED ITINERARY TO THAT SHOWN BELOW

Day 1: Joining day, training and a sail to the Isle of Wight

Join the boat by 0900hrs on the start day. Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about meeting the crew, getting your bags packed away and we’ll do lots of safety briefings. In the afternoon, we’ll slip lines and head out into the Solent to learn all about the essential skills and drills, tacking and gybing, and general sailing manoeuvres. We’ll stop in Cowes on the Isle of Wight that evening for a crew meal in the local pub.

Day 2: Sailing west to Poole, Dorset

Today we’ll make the lovely sail 30nm west to Poole. This gives us a great opportunity to build our experience as individuals and as a crew. We’ll pass the iconic needles as we go and should be mooring up along the harbour wall in time for a lovely dinner on board and with time to walk the seafront.

Day 3: Off across the English Channel to Cherbourg

It’s a good 60nm across the Channel to the French coast, so we have a full day of sailing ahead of us. Due south, we have to find our way across some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. You can be guaranteed to see huge cargo ships passing ahead and to astern of us, and our 60′ expedition yacht will be in her element as we speed through these famous waters. The tides can reach 9 knots as we approach the coast of France so it’s superb navigation exercise, too, and soon you’ll be piloting us into this famous French port.

Days 4-5: Cherbourg to Alderney, the Channel Islands

Today we’ll make the shorter 40nm sail to Alderney, one of the famous Channel islands. Once more our departure time is totally governed by the incredibly powerful tides. As we round the cape, we will be flung west at up to 10 knots, so we can expect to make very good time! This is a beautiful island, shaped by the sea with breathtaking scenery, unspoilt beaches and an easy pace of life. We may spend a day here to explore ashore

Days 6-7: Alderney to Guernsey

Just 18 nm or so today as we head to the island of Guernsey, another wonderful island to explore. We will try to get to hilly St Peter Port, with its cobbled streets and Regency architecture and surely one of the prettiest harbour towns in Europe. There is also Castle Cornet, the 800-year-old fortress that guards the harbour and Hauteville House, eccentrically designed by its one-time owner Victor Hugo.

Day 8-9: Explore Guernsey

It might be time for a day ashore by now, so whether it’s Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney or another of the islands, the Channel Islands are a great place to have a wonder ashore and enjoy the various attractions.

Day 10: Sail across the Channel to the west country

Our final day of sailing and once again we set off across the English Channel for the south coast of England. It’s another 60nm passage, so we should be sailing for another 9-10 hours and once more the boat will be under the maximum sail possible to ensure a really exhilarating passage. Some trips end in Dartmouth, some Falmouth, so please check carefully!

Day 11: Packing up and saying goodbye

It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs (we prefer if you don’t, but if you need to catch a ferry or flight, you can leave as early as you need to on the last day).

JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT

  • You should join and leave the boat in Portsmouth at 0900hrs on the joining day and 1700hrs on the leaving day

GETTING TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS

  • Portsmouth has a mainline rail station at Portsmouth Harbour which is around a 90-minute train ride from London and has a direct rail link to London Gatwick Airport (IATA code: LON). It is also around the same journey time to London Heathrow although this is not a direct train line. Coaches terminate at the Hard Interchange next to the railway station.
  • Dartmouth is around a four-hour train ride from London (the nearest station is Totnes). It is also around a three-hour train ride to Exeter airport (IATA code: EXT)
  • Falmouth has trains and busses running to London Paddington, and Newquay Cornwall Airport (IATA code: NQY) is also nearby.

AGE & EXPERIENCE

These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.

NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED

CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT

We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.

See more information and the full kit list here

MEDICAL DECLARATION

We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.

See the Medical Declaration here

TRAVEL INSURANCE

  • It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
  • We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
  • Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues.
  • For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.

TRIP CATEGORY: COASTAL SAILING

Mostly day sailing, shorter mileage and more time to head ashore and explore. Please note, this trip more sailing each than some other routes.

INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY

  • Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
  • Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
  • Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
  • All on-board food and snacks.
  • Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
  • RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Your travel to and from the start and end points.
  • Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
  • Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
  • Any meals you eat ashore.

IN SUMMARY

Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.

  • These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
  • These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
  • When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
  • Please ensure you  have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.

    Terms & Conditions