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Run Away to Sea - 2023 

There are ten one week voyages to choose from, some of which are back to back to allow you to create a two week holiday on board.  There are a few three day mini cruises as well as single day trips available for group charter or open to anyone to book. 

We welcome solo travellers, couples and groups, people of all ages, genders, races and creeds, experienced sailors and novices, passengers and participants. 

on the way to Lindisfarne
pre dinner debate
white cliffs
Michaela and family
Scottish lochs
leg 2 Sunset at Margate
rounding lands end
Inverness lock
beer on the Medway
dinner in Ramsgate
Marthe
summer sunset
Dover
Carl at the helm
guests chill on deck
Dart sunset
eating pancakes
dinner on deck
Falmouth shanties
whisky tasting in Islay
more lochs
easy sailing
Whitby
full sail
Paul and Qiao
steady as she goes

When we plan a voyage, we prepare a typical passage plan and itinerary to check the legs are feasible and that each includes an interesting range of activities and attractions. Many factors will influence the final itineraries for each leg; wind, sea state, canal water levels, passenger preferences, berth availability and a big slice of serendipity. So, the detailed descriptions below are aimed to give you a taste of what to expect, things will change. After all, it wouldn't be an adventure if it you knew it all in advance!

'.........but the joy of a trip like this is the flexibility. Being at the behest of mother nature means things always have to be kept relatively loose.

As a chronic over-planner and self-confessed control freak, there was something unbelievably freeing about knowing that as long as I got to ....... in time for my flight home - I had no obligation to be anywhere or do anything for the next 10 days. It was a pretty unfamiliar feeling, I’ll confess.  While I’m well-travelled internationally .........., it’s rare for me to take a trip that’s more focused on journey than destination. This took some getting used to, as most of the time our daily plan was simply ‘get to this mooring point’ or ............ researching things to see in upcoming towns or looking for swimming spots along our way, .....' 

 

Marthe de Ferrer  for Euronews Travel  Oct 2022

1     Round the Island               13 May - 20 May            Coastal                              225 nm

We start our season at our home port of Dartmouth, boarding will take place from 17:00 on the Town Jetty in the middle of town. There is long term parking available at the park and ride for those who want to drive to Dartmouth and return by public transport.  Perhaps the most exciting way to arrive are by train changing from the main line to the steam railway at Paignton to Kingswear and then over on the ferry to the Town Jetty. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

 

The first day’s sailing is a long one across Lyme Bay, around the infamous Portland Bill and into Portland harbour to anchor for the night.  We will depart Dartmouth around 09:30 after breakfast and depending on the weather sail or motor across the bay, keeping an eye open for the many dolphins that live in these waters. We must arrive at Portland Bill at the correct time, around 18:30, to avoid the dangerous turbulent waters of the Race and make it to the anchorage with time for a well-earned dinner.

Portland to Poole is a shorter distance and is best done with the tide.  This starts in our favour at around 14:30 so we plan to set off after lunch.  This gives time for a run ashore in the tender, ‘Boo’, for a walk on Chesil beach or even a sea swim for the braver ones. The passage takes us very close in around St Albans Head to avoid the overfalls on St Albans Ledge and then past Swanage and round Peveril Point and the Old Harry chalk stacks into Studland Bay.  We may anchor in the bay for an evening on the beach or motor into Poole harbour, dodging the chain ferry, to moor up on the Town Quay if there is space. Very convenient for an after dinner sojourn to the quayside pubs!

The tides again determine the time of departure from Poole.  The east going tide starts at Hurst Castle, the entrance to the Solent at 14:30 so to make the most of it we will leave at around 12:00 aiming to sail across Christchurch Bay and down the Solent to berth in the Cowes heart of sailing in plenty of ime for dinner on board and a stroll ashore. 

The next day we only have a short passage to make down the Solent to anchor off Bembridge so we have plenty of time to sail Snark around the racing buoys of the Solent!

The daytime tides are in our favour for the next leg, we will depart around 11:00 to round the east end and south side of the Isle of Wight, back to the Needles chalk stacks and across Christchurch Bay to Studland Bay in time for dinner on board and maybe a run ashore in Boo for a pint at the Banks Arms in Studland. 

Again we have favourable tides for the sail west to Weymouth.  We should be raising anchor at around 10:30 to arrive in the pretty seaside town of Weymouth at 14:30.  This is a great place for a walks ashore, a swim on the beach or just enjoying the day on board.  

We will set off for the last days sail at 09:30 rounding Portland Bill close inshore at 11:00 followed by the long passage across Lyme Bay back to Dartmouth.  This is where we most often see dolphins either fishing or if we are lucky riding our bow wave for a while. We should be in Dartmouth by 18:00 to berth in the centre of town. 

We ask guests to disembark by 10:00 the following morning

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2     Dart River Cruise and Heritage Regatta              26 May – 29 May            River and Coastal                              

Boarding will take place from 17:00 at the quayside at Long Marsh in Totnes. There is a pretty 25 minute riverside walk from the mainline station to the quayside or it is a short taxi ride.  Long term parking available Immediately next to the quay. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

We will set off down the meandering River Dart at 10:00, giving us plenty of time to reach the sea and do some sailing practice as we head north around Berry Head into Torbay aiming to get into Brixham to berth on the Heritage Pontoon by 17:00  in time to head up to the Yacht Club for a regatta get together and fish supper.  

The following morning we will be joined by some additional guests and take part in the Parade of Sail off the breakwater followed by joining the Class 1 race if our practicing went well the day before!  This is fairly relaxed sailing, managed to avoid close quarters sailing.  If not partaking we will spectate from a safe distance a great chance to see the local Brixham trawlers and other traditional boats being put through their paces. Then back to the pontoon and up to the yacht club for dinner and the prize giving.  

After the excitement of the Regatta we will change down a gear, leaving Brixham at around 10:00 for a gentle sail back around the coast to the Dart and up the river to arrive back at Totnes at 15:00 on the top of the tide.  We ask that you disembark promptly to give us time to get back down the river before it dries!  

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3     Isles of Scilly voyage                      03 June - 18 June            Coastal                              335 nm

Boarding will take place from 17:00 on the Town Jetty in the middle of town. There is long term parking available at the park and ride for those who want to drive to Dartmouth and return by public transport.  Perhaps the most exciting way to arrive are by train changing from the main line to the steam railway at Paignton for Kingswear and then over on the ferry to the Town Jetty. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

We depart Dartmouth and head north into Torbay to find a prime spot to anchor and watch the spectacular air display over the bay.  We hope to berth overnight in the busy fishing port of Brixham but may anchor in one of the pretty bays nearby.

Time and tide wait for no man so the rest of the voyage is strongly influenced by the tide times.  Fortunately they are in our favour in the late mornings and afternoons so no super early starts and arrivals in time for a civilised dinner.

The fist day takes us from Brixham around Berry Head and Start Point to anchor in the pretty estuary of Kingsbridge  above Salcombe.  Leaving at around 10:00 we have plenty of time to sail down Start Bay to arrive just as the tide starts to make over the shallow bar into the inlet at around 13;00. We can run guests ashore in Boo our tender to explore the trendy town of Salcombe or drop you on the beaches opposite for a sea swim in the clean flood tide water.  Dinner will always be available on board.

Another 10:00 start takes us out of the estuary past Bolt Head and across the bay past the Eddystone Lighthouse to the Fowey River and its pretty eponymous town again arriving around 17:00.  An early dinner and a run ashore to the charming pubs of this famous trading and smuggling town is well worthwhile.  But remember don't overdo it, getting back aboard from a small tender requires a steady head and foot.

Next Fowey to Falmouth or Carrick Roads to be more precise.  Leaving at around 11:00 we should be in the Roads or estuary by 17:00 . We will motor a little up the Fal to a river anchorage to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the Cornish countryside. A contrast to the next two days when we will set off into the fringes of the Atlantic, first around The Lizard to berth overnight amongst the fishing fleet in Newlyn and then out past Lands End and the Wolf Rock lighthouse  to the anchor off St Marys in the Scilly Isles arriving around 17:00.

We have a rest day in St Mary's where you can explore the islands by foot bike and ferry while the crew take a short break.

The following days will be spent exploring the islands on Snark, in the tender and on foot or swimming. It rather depends on the weather and your preferences.  After which we will set off back across the seas to the bustling fishing port of Newlyn, a six hour passage.  The tides dictate this will start around 12:00 arriving at 17:30 allowing for some favourable tide pushing us along.

The next leg takes us to Falmouth to the Falmouth Classics Regatta, the largest and best of the classic yacht and traditional working boat regattas on the south coast.  We will leave Newlyn around 12:30 arriving 18:00 with some fair tide.  Snark will be one of the biggest boats attending a bit big for the Town Pontoon so we will use one of the Pilot buoys in the harbour and get too and from using our tender or the water taxi. It is worth spending some time ashore where there is a real buzz in the evenings with sailors and the numerous shanty groups singing in pubs, cafes and town square stages.  There is also a fascinating maritime museum which hosts special events and of course some excellent harbour side pubs and eateries.

After a day in Falmouth we will set straight off across the bay to anchor at Corsands or in the mouth of the Yealm, depending on the winds. The major hurdle on the last day is getting around Start Point in a fair tide clear of the race.  This requires us to leave at 07:00 ish meaning we will get back to Dartmouth by mid day.  Disembarkation will be at the Town pontoon at 17:00. 

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5     Dart River Cruise          24 June – 26 June               River and Coastal

 

Boarding will take place between 09:00 and 10:00 at the quayside at Long Marsh in Totnes. There is a pretty 25 minute riverside walk from the mainline station to the quayside or it is a short taxi ride.  Long term parking available Immediately next to the quay. Following your safety briefing we will be serve a late light breakfast on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests before we set off at 11:00 to cruise down the Dart.  

Our exact itinerary is weather dependant.  If the winds are light and north to west we may sail out into Start Bay and anchor for the night off Blackpool Sands or Hallsands. If there is a fair sailing wind we may venture as far as the Kingsbridge estuary. Strong winds or south to easterlies will require us to retreat to the Town Pontoon in Dartmouth for the night.  

The following day will involve a trip out to the Bay or in search of dolphins of Berry Head and then a cruise up the river to anchor at Bow Creek for the night and a leisurely dinner on board. 

 

The following morning we have time for a relaxed breakfast before we motor the final stretch up the Dart to Totnes to arrive at around 12:00, plenty of time to get back home in the afternoon. Snark will be heading back down the river for a couple of days at her base before the next adventure starts. 

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6       West Country Adventure                  1 July - 9 July          Coast and River

Boarding will take place from 17:00 on the Town Jetty in the middle of town. There is long term parking available at the park and ride for those who want to drive to Dartmouth and return by public transport.  Perhaps the most exciting way to arrive are by train changing from the main line to the steam railway at Paignton for Kingswear and then over on the ferry to the Town Jetty. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

The next morning we will set off on our adventure.  We have not planned a specific itinerary for the three trips in July.  We will go where the winds and tides dictate and where our guests suggest (within reason!)  In the seven days of the cruise we could get as far as the Isle of Wight or Lands End and back, though that would require long days at sea and not much time for beach barbeques, trips to the pub, walks on the beach, sea swimming or a myriad of other ways to wind down and chill out on Snark.  

A gentle days sail will get us to Salcombe or Exmouth, another day gets us to the Tamar or Weymouth, and maybe a cruise up to the Tudor manor of Cotehele or a day exploring the strangeness of Portland and Chesil Beach. Snark is self sufficient for over seven days so we don't need to step foot ashore at all or at least only in the remotest spots. Alternatively we can berth in the many busy harbours on the coast and enjoy whatever pleasures the port has to offer. There are lots of exciting possibilities which we can explore with you once we know which way the winds will blow (the tides we know already).

Disembarkation is by 10:00 the following morning.  There should be a ferry to Totnes from the same pontoon dropping you at Steamer Quay and a 20 minute walk from the mainline station or a regular historic steam train reached by passenger ferry across the harbour that takes you to the mainline station in Paignton.

                 

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7       West Country Adventure                  15 July - 23 July          Coast and River

Boarding will take place from 17:00 on the Town Jetty in the middle of town. There is long term parking available at the park and ride for those who want to drive to Dartmouth and return by public transport.  Perhaps the most exciting way to arrive are by train changing from the main line to the steam railway at Paignton for Kingswear and then over on the ferry to the Town Jetty. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

The next morning we will set off on our adventure.  We have not planned a specific itinerary for the three trips in July.  We will go where the winds and tides dictate and where our guests suggest (within reason!)  In the seven days of the cruise we could get as far as the Isle of Wight or Lands End and back, though that would require long days at sea and not much time for beach barbeques, trips to the pub, walks on the beach, sea swimming or a myriad of other ways to wind down and chill out on Snark.  

A gentle days sail will get us to Salcombe or Exmouth, another day gets us to the Tamar or Weymouth, and maybe a cruise up to the Tudor manor of Cotehele or a day exploring the strangeness of Portland and Chesil Beach. Snark is self sufficient for over seven days so we don't need to step foot ashore at all or at least only in the remotest spots. Alternatively we can berth in the many busy harbours on the coast and enjoy whatever pleasures the port has to offer. There are lots of exciting possibilities which we can explore with you once we know which way the winds will blow (the tides we know already).

Disembarkation is by 10:00 the following morning.  There should be a ferry to Totnes from the same pontoon dropping you at Steamer Quay and a 20 minute walk from the mainline station or a regular historic steam train reached by passenger ferry across the harbour that takes you to the mainline station in Paignton.

                 

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8     West Country Adventure                  29 July - 6 Aug               Coast and River

Boarding will take place from 17:00 on the Town Jetty in the middle of town. There is long term parking available at the park and ride for those who want to drive to Dartmouth and return by public transport.  Perhaps the most exciting way to arrive are by train changing from the main line to the steam railway at Paignton for Kingswear and then over on the ferry to the Town Jetty. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

The next morning we will set off on our adventure.  We have not planned a specific itinerary for the three trips in July.  We will go where the winds and tides dictate and where our guests suggest (within reason!)  In the seven days of the cruise we could get as far as the Isle of Wight or Lands End and back, though that would require long days at sea and not much time for beach barbeques, trips to the pub, walks on the beach, sea swimming or a myriad of other ways to wind down and chill out on Snark in the middle of summer.

A gentle days sail will get us to Salcombe or Exmouth, another day gets us to the Tamar or Weymouth, and maybe a cruise up to the Tudor manor of Cotehele or a day exploring the strangeness of Portland and Chesil Beach. Snark is self sufficient for over seven days so we don't need to step foot ashore at all or at least only in the remotest spots. Alternatively we can berth in the many busy harbours on the coast and enjoy whatever pleasures the port has to offer. There are lots of exciting possibilities which we can explore with you once we know which way the winds will blow (the tides we know already).

Disembarkation is by 10:00 the following morning.  There should be a ferry to Totnes from the same pontoon dropping you at Steamer Quay and a 20 minute walk from the mainline station or a regular historic steam train reached by passenger ferry across the harbour that takes you to the mainline station in Paignton

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9        Three River Voyage                      12 Aug – 20 Aug              Coast and River

Boarding will take place between 17:00 at the quayside at Long Marsh in Totnes. There is a pretty 25 minute riverside walk from the mainline station to the quayside or it is a short taxi ride.  Long term parking available immediately next to the quay. Following your safety briefing we will serve dinner and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

The first day we have an early 07:00 start down the Dart, across Start Bay, round Start Point to Salcombe and an anchorage up the Kingswear Estuary at Salt Rock by lunch time.  There will be time to run ashore in Boo our tender or just settle in for a quiet afternoon on board. 

We should have time to enjoy a good breakfast before we leave Salcombe and cross Bigbury Bay to Plymouth Sound and past the naval docks into the Lyhner River and the Dandy Hole anchorage. 

The next morning we will lower the topmast and get Snark ready to cruise up the Tamar under Brunels famous bridge to Cotehele Quay where we can berth at high tide for three hours giving time to walk up to the beautiful Cotehele Manor House or just explore the ancient quay. We need to head back down river a few miles to find a safe anchorage for the night at Pentile.  

We will cruise back down the river on the morning ebb tide and find an anchorage at Jennycliffe in Plymouth Sound to raise and re set the top mast and prepare for the spectacular International Fireworks Competition off Mount Batten breakwater.

Then off across the bay to Carrick Roads and Falmouth where we will anchor overnight amongst the assembled tall ships prior to joining the tall ships parade of sail the following morning and watching the start of their race to La Corona.  We will head the other way to find an anchorage on the Fal for the night. 

Our last sailing day takes us up the Truro River at high tide to the historic docks right to the heart of Cornwall's capital where we will berth on the mud overnight. 

Disembarkation is by 10:00 the following morning.  The mainline train station is a short taxi ride away or stroll through the city centre past the Cathedral and historic quarter.

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10   West Country Adventure and Royal Dart Regatta              25 Aug – 3 Sept               Coastal                             

Boarding will take place from 17:00 on the Town Jetty in the middle of town. There is long term parking available at the park and ride for those who want to drive to Dartmouth and return by public transport.  Perhaps the most exciting way to arrive are by train changing from the main line to the steam railway at Paignton for Kingswear and then over on the ferry to the Town Jetty. Following your safety briefing we will be serving dinner on board and there is time to get to know your fellow guests.

On the first day we will head up stream to join the Coronation Parade of vessels down the Dart through Dartmouth and out into Start Bay before returning to the Town Pontoon for dinner and a grandstand view of the famous regatta fireworks.

 

The next morning set off on our adventure.  We have not planned a specific itinerary for this yoyage; we will go where the winds and tides dictate and where our guests suggest (within reason!)  In the seven days of the cruise we could get as far as the Isle of Wight or Lands End and back, though that would require long days at sea and not much time for beach barbeques, trips to the pub, walks on the beach, sea swimming or a myriad of other ways to wind down and chill out .

A gentle day's sail will get us to Salcombe or Exmouth, another day gets us to the Tamar or Weymouth, and maybe a cruise up to the Tudor manor of Cotehele or a day exploring the strangeness of Portland and Chesil Beach. Snark is self sufficient for over seven days so we don't need to step foot ashore at all or at least only in the remotest spots. Alternatively we can berth in the many busy harbours on the coast and enjoy whatever pleasures the port has to offer. There are lots of exciting possibilities which we can explore with you once we know which way the winds will blow (the tides we know already).

Disembarkation is by 10:00 the following morning.  There should be a ferry to Totnes from the same pontoon dropping you at Steamer Quay and a 20 minute walk from the mainline station or a regular historic steam train reached by passenger ferry across the harbour that takes you to the mainline station in Paignton

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