Bessie Ellen - Next Canaries Season & Other Destinations
Sail of the Century
Financial Times – Travel Section Saturday 3rd March 2013 article by Andrew Eames
If you have just read Andrew Eames article on sailing Bessie Ellen in the Financial Times, please take a look at our vessel pages on Bessie Ellen and Bessie Ellen Sailing Schedule to see the full range of destinations and journeys around Europe and the North Atlantic.
2013-14 Canaries Voyage dates have not been published yet, but if you want to book a specific week between December 2013 and February 2014 then please ring us for a provisional reservation without financial commitment on 01872 580022
A typical 6 day voyage in the Canaries last year was £680 without flights.
Photo by Phillip Marks in the Canaries December 2010
Part of Our Maritime Heritage
Bessie Ellen is unique in being both on the UK National Historic Ships Register Core Collection as part of our maritime heritage and still meet the highest modern safety standards to achieve an ocean going MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) charter licence. Classic Sailing offer adventure voyages on Bessie Ellen all year round.
The ship and her guest crews have been successfully exploring the Western Canaries and enjoying winter sun, mountain walking and whale watching for 3 seasons. See a typical voyage decription below.
Summer in Europe
Bessie Ellen returns to Cornwall in the early spring for a full summer season around the UK and Northern Europe. The Ocean voyages between the Canaries to Cornwall offer longer challenges in the Spring and Autumn each year.
Highlights for 2013 include day sails in Falmouth, Island hopping in the Isles of Scilly and sailing and wildlife watching in the Western Isles of Scotland and Outer Hebrides. This busy ship also manages to fit in French Festivals like Morbihan and Paimpol Shanty Festival.
Typical Voyage Description - Bessie Ellen Canaries Voyages 2013-14
The Canaries - We show you more than you would expect!
Forget any preconceptions you may have about the Canary Islands. The voyages start and finish in San Miguel Marina, Tenerife which is simple, ten minute taxi ride from the airport. As soon as you sail away from the marina and modern tourist resorts you step back in time to a simpler age. Everybody can focus on getting to grips with sailing a wooden sailing ship with blocks and tackles and enjoying the winter sun and starry nights. We normally leave on the first evening for a short introductory sail. Over the voyage we may visit La Palma, Gomera and El Heirro. None of these islands have big international airports and only the more intrepid travellers, walkers and nature lovers stay on these islands. Travelling by boat you will see the real beauty of the Canaries archipelago and the people that live there. Unlike the Eastern Isles, which are more barren, these are fascinating Islands with green verdant vegetation and brilliant walking.
Island passages under sun and stars
Tenerife - Mountains in the North
This round little island hides many of its assets from the casual observer and to appreciate its full value you need to venture inland. It has many splendid walks and the north west of the islands is a lot greener than the rest.
Photo of Roque Agando by www.gomerawalking.com
The Classic Sailing team think La Palma is one of the most interesting and beautiful islands in the Canaries. The port of Santa Cruz, La Palma, has much old world charm and sitting outside a bar is a delight. We do recommend that you take a tour of this island to visit its verdant forest, sherry making and volcanic sites. The world's astronomy telescopes are based on the crater rim due to the clear skies and lack of pollution so the night skies at sea are amazing.
Weather and wind
As a winter sailing destination there are many attractions:- the sunshine with typical average temperatures of 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) in January; good prevailing winds; and located on the migration trail for dolphins and whales. There are wind accelerations zones where the wind blasts between the mountainous islands, and quieter areas in the lee of volcanic cliffs.
Christmas Voyages in the Canaries
New Year with the pyrotechnic locals
Whales and Dolphins
The South West of Tenerife, Los Gigantes, region is internationally know as a permanent home and temporary feeding ground for a big selection of whales and dolphins. The species you are most likely to encounter are the Bottlenosed Dolphin and the Long Finned Pilot Whale. Please note it is never possible to 100% gurantee sighting of whales and dolphins as they are free to come and go as we would want them to. However every effort will be made to visit the Los Gigantes area where they are most likely to be seen subject to weather and safety.
The Bottlenosed Dolphins appear to be grinning as they ride the bow wave and play with each other speeding through the water. If you study them closely as they swim beside Bessie Ellen you can look for distinguishing marks on the fins or around the head. We have known regular sightings of the same dolphin which makes it like greeting an old friend.
Common dolphins off Bessie Ellen's bow - by Trevor Spittle
These are the acrobats of the ocean, leaping and flying through the air they make some of the most spectacular displays you can imagine. However they and their displays are a rarer sight than the Bottlenosed Dolphins.
Long Finned Pilot Whale