Category Archives: Core Info

Newsletter – January 2018

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Happy New Year from the Devon Sailing Experiences team!


We have lots of exciting opportunities and offers planned for 2018.


New Loyalty Card


We are launching our new loyalty card which gives previous customers a number of benefits which include for 2018:
5% Discount off any future bookings (bareboat charter and experiences)
10% off Devon Sailing wearables (to be launched later this year)


To apply for your card, just reply to this email with your address and we will post it out to you. Please note that you can only apply for a loyalty card if you have previously sailed with Devon Sailing Experiences.


Reduced price for 5-day group sailing experience


With your own double cabin onboard our 40’ yacht, our group sailing events offer an ideal opportunity for people who would like to sail a little further, but don’t necessarily have the experience or inclination to head out on their own. It is a great way to connect with like-minded people and just set sail.


The new price is £699 per person (reduced from £795) which includes your own double cabin, breakfast and lunch aboard the yacht, skipper, and mooring fees. We can offer 50% off the new price for the second occupant of your double cabin – a cost effective way to bring a friend or partner.


We have currently have 2 double cabins remaining on our next scheduled sail:
Sunday 10th June – Friday 15th June 2018.


To receive updates about our latest group sailing opportunities, get in touch and we will add your contact details to our database. There is no obligation to book and your personal details will not be passed on to anyone else.


Sail to Isles of Scilly (7-day group sail) 33% discount for 2nd person sharing


Due to popular demand, we are offering a 7-day group sailing experience with an aim of reaching the Isles of Scilly.


The price for this experience is £1,095 per person, which includes your own double cabin, breakfast and lunch aboard the yacht, skipper, and mooring fees. We can offer 33% off the price for the second occupant of your double cabin.


There is currently 1 double cabin remaining on this sailing experience which is scheduled for Saturday 8th September until Saturday 15th September 2018.


Many of our guests have ambitions to reach this beautiful and special destination, but are often surprised by how long it can take and the sailing conditions required. It is important for those wishing to undertake such a trip are aware that, although it may be your ultimate aim, it may not necessarily happen if the weather does not permit. As with all our cruises, your comfort and safety is our priority, so flexibility is the key. If you aim for the Isles of Scilly but only get as far west as Falmouth, it is important to accept that. However, if you make it all the way there and back within your timescale, the sense of achievement it amazing!


Further details about this cruise can be found here: http://www.devonsailingexperiences.co.uk/sail-to-the-isles-of-scilly/


See our latest schedule


We are continuously updating our sailing schedule which can be found here: http://www.devonsailingexperiences.co.uk/devon-sailing-schedule/ If you cannot see a suitable date or experience, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our very best to accommodate you.


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
 
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications when we update our sailing schedule. Our social media pages offer a great way to keep up-to-date with our latest opportunities and last minute availability.


Wishing you all the best for 2018 and looking forward to seeing you soon.


Nick, Katie and the Devon Sailing Experiences team.

Make 2018 your year to discover the west-country under sail

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If, like many people, your New Year’s resolution for 2018 was to ‘try something new’, ‘have an adventure’, ‘take more exercise’, ‘get closer to nature’ or ‘relax and enjoy life’, west-country based Devon Sailing Experiences has the perfect opportunity for you.

west country sailing

Try something new

Our day sails offer the perfect introduction to sailing for all abilities, so if you have already booked your west-country based holiday for 2018, why not use it as the perfect opportunity to travel to Plymouth for a day out on the water?

Haven’t booked your 2018 west-country holiday yet? We can offer bespoke sailing holidays with overnight accommodation aboard out 40’ yacht, Bewitched.

Have an adventure

Not only do our sailing experience packages offer the chance to learn a new skill, the discoveries you make under sail are priceless. Whether you find a secluded anchorage that cannot be accessed by road, helm a yacht for the first time or visit a beautiful Cornish or Devonian fishing town, the opportunities for adventure are endless.

Take more exercise

Taking part in one of our sailing experiences offers exercise without even realising. Sailing requires core-stability muscles, so even if you are just standing in the cockpit trying to keep your balance, you will be exercising those muscles (as well as enjoying the view, breathing fresh air and learning a new skill).

Get closer to nature.

Travelling under sail powered by just the wind is as good as it gets. With the beautiful west country coastline always in view and a mackerel line hanging off the back of the yacht, there is nothing more natural than the opportunity to catch and cook your own lunch. If you are particularly lucky, you may spot the pod of dolphins that frequent the area.

In addition to this, we are so lucky to enjoy the South-West Coast Path on our doorstep – it actually passes King Point Marina where our yachts are moored, you know!

Relax and enjoy life

It may take longer to reach your final destination under sail, but as we all know, life is about enjoying that journey. There really is something about the smell and feel of that sea air that makes you breathe more slowly and smile more. If to ‘relax and enjoy life’ was your New Year’s resolution, our weekend sailing experiences to Salcombe or Fowey might be just what you are looking for.

 

Meet our skippers: Nick Rich

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A sailing holiday in Devon prompted Nick Rich to set up Devon Sailing Experiences in 2014.  He is in the hot-seat this week in the final post of our ‘Meet our Skippers’ series.


When did you first get the sailing bug?
When I worked in London about 20 years ago. I’d always liked the idea of being on the water with the freedom and adventure that comes with it. Although I had friends who owned powerboats, while it seemed convenient, it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. I rather liked the elegance and ‘pureness’ of sailing, so I started sailing in the Solent.

What is your finest sailing memory?
I was doing a yacht delivery with the owner from Weymouth to Bordeaux. A few days in, we were sailing under a clear night near La Rochelle.  I was on watch under a broad reach with the asymmetric spinnaker flying, a warm breeze and the glow from the phosphorescence which was beautiful.

What is your favourite sailing destination on the south-west coast?
My current favourite is the Helford River. I always try to take our guests there during their sailing holiday in Devon.

What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?
Pasty or a Pot Noodle! When sailing, I clearly don’t worry about quality.

Force 3 or Force 5?
Depends on which point of sail I’m on. If it’s close to the wind then a 3 or if off the wind then 5 will do. In general,  I’m more keen on 3’s with as much sail area as I can fly.

Meet our Skippers: Gail Wright

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If you took part in one of our weekend sailing experiences to Salcombe or Fowey earlier this year, it is likely that you would have met Gail. She also skippered most of our bespoke sailing experiences during 2018, too. Next in the hot-seat for our “Meet our Skippers” series – Gail Wright.

When did you first get the sailing bug?

Sailing in the BVI’s 16 years ago. I had sailed previously, but this was sailing in such a beautiful place that it made me want to do more. It was lovely to sail from island to island and enjoy the Caribbean.

What is your finest sailing memory?

Sailing to Cape Town after 33 days at sea. The coastline is so rugged and it was really special to see after not sighting land for over a month. The last 3 days of the journey were really rough, and I was tired but elated to have sailed all that way and experience big seas and rough weather. We crossed the equator and dateline and saw some incredible wildlife – dolphins fishing and a mass of pilot whales gliding past the yacht, which was a really amazing experience. I learnt so much about ocean sailing and a lot about myself as well.

What is your favourite sailing destination on the south-west coast?

Tricky one…Fowey or Dartmouth? I love both of these places; they both have good pubs and great food. Fabulous harbours to sail into…it’s got to be Fowey! A great location for a weekend sailing experience.

What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?

Cottage pie with sweet potato topping, preferably made in advance so you can just put it in the oven and it is ready when you come into the harbour.

Force 3 or Force 5?

Force 5 – as long as it’s going in the right direction! Put a reef in, keep an on on the wind and enjoy the sail!

Meet our skippers: Mick Chantler

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Our skippers are the people we rely on to help you make the most of your day or weekend sail. At Devon Sailing Experiences, we have been putting them in the hot-seat over the past few weeks so you can learn a little more about them.

Next up – Mick Chantler.

When did you first get the sailing bug?

After a very autocratic introduction to sailing courtesy of the Royal Navy in the ’70s which almost put me off for life, I eventually got to see the more relaxed and rewarding side to sailing some 10 years later – again, courtesy of the Royal Navy, but in a different environment and mindset. I have never looked back.

What is your finest sailing memory?

My finest sailing memory was quite recent – delivering a yacht with the owners onboard from Plymouth to Whitehaven in Cumbria. A very satisfying and rewarding trip and lots learnt by all onboard. I learn something new every time I go to see – the learning curve keeps going up.

What is your favourite sailing destination in the south-west?

My favourite places to visit are all west of Plymouth, but probably top of my list is Polperro. I prefer smaller ports which are a little more challenging to get into, and therefore quieter at the height of the season.

What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?

My go-to meal whilst sailing has to be simple and hearty – a 2-pot dish like meat pie with smash, tinned veg and extra gravy – yum! (Ok – maybe 3 pots!)

Force 3 or Force 5?

I prefer sailing in a stiffer breeze like a Force 5 with the wind over your shoulder. More exhilarating than a gentle breeze and you can really get the boat going. Ideal to reach a weekend sail destination.

Meet our skippers: Mike Eggins

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If you have ever experienced one of our sailing days from Plymouth, you will have probably met Mike. This week, it is his turn in the hot seat in our series of interviews with the skippers.

When did you first get the sailing bug?
Like most people living near the coast, I got into dingy racing as a kid. Whilst getting into sailing was always an aspiration, my career as a marine engineer in the Royal Navy often precluded the free time. It wasn’t until I found myself running the outboard motor workshop at the RN seamanship school that I really had the opportunity to get back into the sport. I was soon teaching both sailing and powerboating to naval recruits, where I discovered a really enjoyable skill set.

What is your finest sailing memory?
It was with a naval yacht that I had one of my best sailing experiences – helming a Challenge 67 from Majorca to Barcelona in a good Force 10 blow when everyone else turned in with mal de mer. But sometimes there is as much enjoyment in the first time the engine is switched off and you start to feel the boat lifting under sail alone. One of the beauties of sailing is that there are always small pleasures to be had for everyone involved in the process – whether it is hoisting a spinnaker well, learning a bowline or just managing to make a cup of tea on one of DSE’s sailing days.

What is your favourite sailing destination on the south-west coast?
I have to say Fowey. It is the quintessential Cornish town which always provides a great welcome. Also, as a Cornishman, it would be disloyal to recommend anywhere east of the Tamar!

What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?
There is a lot to be said for the traditional Royal Navy meal Pot Mess. The ingredients are not a closely guarded secret – it consists of a suitable selection of tinned foods left to slow cook on the hob. My personal twist is the addition of marmite and ketchup to the gravy mix.

Force 3 or Force 5?
I suppose the answer to that one is always going to be force 3. It’s great to have experience of sailing in heavier weather, but it’s also nice when it stops.

Meet our skippers: Trevor Kirkin

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Want to know more about the skipper who you sailed to Salcombe with? Are you interested in knowing about what drives your day sail skipper to do what they do so well? We’ve asked our Devon Sailing Experiences skippers a few questions to help you learn more about them and will be blogging their responses over the next few weeks.

First up – Trevor Kirkin.

When did you first get the sailing bug?
Rowing my uncle’s 8’ clinker-built tender around Bosham harbour is my first, fond memory of boating and this quickly led to racing our 12′ Firefly on the Thames in London, with my father.

What is your finest sailing memory?

It was just a short hop from Duquesa (near Marbella) to Gibraltar, which brought a brilliant few days of coastal sailing to an end, but it ended in great hilarity! Motoring past Catalan Bay – a very light breeze was on the nose – thoughts of cool beers ashore growing stronger, we approached Europa Point and, with no warning, the Rock’s notoriously turbulent airflow gave us 35 knots wind over the deck for about 10 minutes or so. This Force 8, in the uncharacteristic brilliant sunshine, succeeded in utterly drenching the helmsman (me) in spray to the great amusement of my chums under the spray-hood! However, with an ambient temperature of 28 degrees C, my tee-shirt and shorts were crisp and dry by the time we came alongside half-an-hour later!
What is your favourite sailing destination on the south-west coast?
It’s a toss-up between Salcombe and Newton Ferrers, but on balance, the former wins! The approach to Salcombe is glorious; the welcome (from the Harbourmaster’s staff) is always warm and helpful; the fairway, The Bag and Normandy Jetty (out-of-season) options cover most weather eventualities; the (new) SYC ablutions are luxurious and the choice of restaurants/pubs is broad. What more could you ask for? Well, actually, anything other than a strong southerly when clearing The Bar on departure!


What is your ‘go-to’ sailing meal when you are on the go?
Assuming we’re stationary, it’s Spag Bog (made in advance and heated up while the pasta cooks) with a glass of Syrah or Chianti. If on the move, fresh rolls or baguettes with cheese (no pickle) or paté, followed by Rombouts-style (proper) coffee. (The filter bit normally stays in the mug if made in the sink!)

Force 3 or Force 5?
 Call me soft, but Force 3 is enough! You can use any sail combination you like and there’s scope for un-forecasted 10-knot gusts without it getting too uncomfortable.

Autumn Mileage Builders

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As per previous years sailing in the Autumn can be very rewarding with high pressure and lighter winds allowing us to sail both east and west with ease. We have just completed a 4-day mileage builder for one of our customers which took in Salcombe / Torquay / Fowey and Plymouth.  It also allows ‘sociable’ night sailing of a few hours each evening.

Discounts off our standard rate apply after September so if you want the quiet of an off-season sail with the upside of paying less it’s a good time to time to get involved and get sailing!

We run all the way until December weather permitting. Full refunds are given should the weather become too unsettled to sail.

Newsletter (Autumn 2017)

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Devon Sailing Experiences

Special offer on ‘Group Sailing Experiences’ for 2018

Price per person reduced from £795 to £699
50% off for 2nd person when sharing a cabin


Following the success of our group sailing event in September, we are pleased to announce some newly scheduled dates for 2018 along with a price reduction.

With your own double cabin aboard our 40’ yacht, our group sailing events offer an ideal 
opportunity for people who would like to sail a little furtherbut don’t necessarily have the experience or inclination to head out on their own. They are also an ideal solution for those who have difficulty in coordinating sailing dates with crew or groups of friends.

We have currently scheduled the following group sailing events for 2018:
Sunday 17th June – Friday 22nd June
Sunday 9th September – Friday 14th September

The new price is £699 per person, which includes your own double cabin, breakfast and lunch onboard the yacht, skipper, and mooring fees. We can offer 50% off the new price for the second occupant of your double cabin – a cost effective way to bring a friend or partner.

To receive updates about our latest group sailing opportunities, get in touch and we will add your contact details to our database. It is a great way to connect you with like-minded people and just set sail with a skipper. There is no obligation to book and your personal details will not be passed to anyone else.

More information about how our group sails work can be found here:
http://www.devonsailingexperiences.co.uk/2017/05/09/2719/

Thinking about the ideal Christmas gift?

Our sailing experience gift vouchers continue to be popular. With experiences to suit all levels of experience, we are bound to have the product that suits you.

Enjoy a bottle of Prosecco on us when purchasing a voucher for Christmas 2017!
(Exclusive and weekend charters only – see below for details)

Day sail vouchers are available from £99 per person. The price includes the cost of a fully-qualified and commercially endorsed skipper, as well as a light lunch whilst underway. Dates are listed on our sailing schedule.

Weekend sailing vouchers cost £299 per person. The price includes 2 nights accommodation onboard our yacht, breakfast and a light lunch whilst underway, mooring fees and skipper. When you purchase a gift voucher for this experience for Christmas 2017, we will put a bottle of Prosecco onboard for your first evening.

Exclusive day sail vouchers cost £499 for the day. You can invite your friends along for the day (up to 6 guests in total). Lunch is included, and we will also throw in a bottle of Prosecco for your party onboard the yacht if you purchase a voucher for Christmas 2017.

Weekenders and NEW 2-day sailing experiences

Due to the popularity of our weekend sailing experiences, we have scheduled exactly the same type event to run during the week – you will see them on our sailing schedule listed as 2-day sailing experiences. If you require any alternative dates that are not listed, please do not hesitate to get in touch – we will do our best to help.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Follow us on
Facebook and Twitter to receive notifications when we update our sailing schedule. Our social media pages offer a great way to keep up-to-date with our latest opportunities and last minute availability.

Check out the drone footage we have just started adding drone footage to our YourTube channel (courtesy of CC Drones)
Thank you for your feedback

Thank you to all our guests who have kindly left TripAdvisor reviews and sent photos for us to use on our blog posts. We love to hear about your sailing adventures with
Devon Sailing Experiences and feature them in our updates. If you have any photos you have taken or stories to tell from your time onboard one of our yachts, do let us know so we can share them with our followers.

We wish you all the best for the rest of 2017, and look forward to seeing you next season!

Nick, Katie and the Devon Sailing Experiences team.

September Sailing to the Isles of Scilly

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Our exclusive skippered charter to the Isles of Scilly in September was a complete success. Our venture to the west was helped by favourable conditions: with a NW Force 3-4 and tide on our side, it was one of our fastest passages to this part of the South West! The passage from Helford was just under 7 hours.

But it wasn’t easy.

Firstly, just look at the unreliable weather we experienced in August and September this year – high pressure was always close by but it was a complex picture. Our (normally) reliable apps that help us forecast wind speeds and direction were appearing less accurate and were changing regularly as sailing dates approached, making any planning for our skippered charters particularly difficult. It was frustrating for our skippers as they were often unable to predict what was going to happen one day to the next, let alone looking even further ahead to prepare for a trip to the Isles of Scilly.

However, as I am sure you are aware, the key to a successful sailing holiday is flexibility. And that is just what we got with our guests who were determined to reach this wonderful destination.

Due to the sailing conditions, our guests agreed to travel to Plymouth a day early to take advantage of favourable winds. After a night on the Helford River, an early start the next day meant they arrived at the Isles of Scilly by 2pm.

The first mooring was in Porthcressa – a bay located just south of St Marys. Our arrival was greeted by the pop of the champagne cork as our guests (who had attempted to get to the Isles of Scilly 3 times in the past!) had finally achieved their goal. With our early arrival, it was a trip ashore for a few beers in The Atlantic.

The following day heralded a change in wind direction and we were off to explore Tresco. This gave our guests the opportunity to spend the day exploring Tresco Abbey Garden and Vahalla Museum. Highly recommended.

With strong winds forecast from the south, the next day was going to be an ‘ashore day only’. We decided to relocate the yacht to St Marys, where our guests could go ashore and explore the island for the day. When mooring in the Isles of Scilly, you frequently have to move, as no one location has shelter from all wind directions.

With the strong weather over, it was time to use our SW winds to make the best speed to Helford. Sailing under perfect conditions in the sun with the yacht averaging speeds of 7 knots, we were back on the Helford River by 4pm, leaving us plenty of time to visit the Ferry Boat Inn.

The following day was our final leg back to Plymouth. In a strong southwesterly with impressive speeds, our leg was just 5 hours. Moored at King Point Marina by 2pm we were able to enjoy a much-welcomed shower in the first-rate facilities available there.

Many of our guests have ambitions to reach the Isles of Scilly, but are often surprised by how long it takes – it can be particularly difficult for inexperienced sailors or children due to the long passages required. This is why it is important for those wishing to undertake a trip like this with Devon Sailing Experiences are aware that, although it may be your dream, it may not necessarily happen. As with all our trips, your safety and comfort is our priority, so flexibility is the key. If you aim for the Isles of Scilly, but only get as far as Falmouth due to the conditions, it is important to accept that. However, if you make it all the way there and back in your scheduled time frame, the sense of achievement is amazing.